December 6, 2011
Egypt’s wind power capacity may reach 3,040 MW by 2016 as the country seeks to increase its reliance on renewable energy sources, according to Electricity and Energy Minister Hassan Younes. “The North African country decided to exempt imported components used in the renewable energy industry from duties as part of wider plan to encourage investment in the field,” Younes said today in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Egypt, the most populous Arab country, currently generates 550 MW of power from wind energy. It plans to generate 20 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, of which 12 per cent would come from wind power, according to the ministry.
December 5, 2011
Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables and France’s Areva have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop offshore wind projects in France. Under the deal the two companies will compete for two of the five zones to be offered in the forthcoming tender for up to 3GW of offshore power: St-Brieuc (500 MW) and St-Nazaire (750 MW). Areva will act as sole supplier to the projects, offering its M5000 turbine, while Iberdrola will contribute its extensive offshore expertise. Keith Anderson, CEO of Iberdrola’s Global Offshore Division, said, “The development of offshore wind projects is one of the key areas of growth for Iberdrola Renewables.”
Areva in May announced a partnership with French companies GDF Suez and Vinci to bid for the right to build wind farms in three of the offshore zones — Dieppe-Le Treport, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fecamp.
December 5, 2011
Turkey’s newest wind farm is now selling clean energy to the country’s power grid. The 22.5-MW Sares wind farm is jointly owned by GE Energy Financial Services and GAMA Holding, a Turkish general contracting firm. The installation, which uses nine E 2.5-MW turbines, is located in one of Turkey’s most extreme wind regions near the city of Canakkale.
“The Turkish market’s potential for wind business is huge,” said Stephan Ritter, general manager of GE Renewables Europe. The GE-GAMA joint venture is also developing a 10-MW wind farm in Karadag, around 350 kilometers south of Sares. Construction on the project is expected to start in the third quarter of 2011, with completion expected in the second quarter of 2012. According to GAMA Enerji, the two wind farms will generate enough electricity to power 59,000 average Turkish homes and avoid 80,000 tonnes a year in greenhouse gas emissions. The country aims to generate 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
December 5, 2011
After having some of its wind power equipment subsidies disputed by the United States at the World Trade Organisation, China has revoked its Special Fund for Wind Power Equipment Manufacturing subsidy. The U.S.challenged that the subsidy was illegal as it provided grants to Chinese wind turbine manufacturers with the stipulation that the manufacturers had to purchase key parts and components produced in China. The grants ranged between $6.7 million and $22.5 million.
In October 2010, the United Steelworkers Union (USW) petitioned to the U.S.government to investigate these prohibitive government incentives, which the Union claimed were protectionist measures that violated free trade by artificially promoting domestic goods at the expense of imports. After conducting a significant investigation, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative held WTO consultations with China in February. These consultations resulted in China agreeing to remove the Special Fund.
China and the United States are embroiled in a stiff competition to become the global leader in the clean energy technology market place. Over the past year, the United States has not only been replaced by China as the largest cleantech financier, it has also fallen behind in clean energy manufacturing, and its lack of progressive energy policy is driving clean energy businesses to other countries, including China. However, China’s wind energy turbine makers have said scrapping subsidies for the domestic sector will have little impact, even as US manufacturers hailed the move as a victory.
December 5, 2011
The Parliament of Ukraine has recently amended the Law “On Electric Power Industry” No. 575-97-BP, dated 16 October 1997 (the “Law”), by introducing into Article 17(1) of the Law, an additional State guarantee of renewable energy off-take. This amendment has been perceived by industry experts as another preparatory step towards sector reform, bilateral contracts and balancing the electricity market. The Law is now awaiting the President’s signature and will become effective on the day after its official publication.
This so-called “stabilisation clause” provides that the State shall guarantee that for the whole duration of the feed-in tariffs (i.e. until 2030), there will always be legislation in place which provides for: a mandatory off-take obligation that would apply feed-in tariffs to all volumes of the electricity generated from eligible renewable energy sources; and full and timely monetary settlements for such electricity, as per procedure established by the law.
December 5, 2011
Denmark’s Dong Energy and Iberdrola’s subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables have stepped up their collaborative effort to install a mega capacity wind farm off the shore of Irish Sea. Named as the West of Duddon Sands wind farm, the project will encompass a whopping 108, 3.6 wind turbines supplied by Siemens. The 389-MW capacity grand project will incur a humongous cost of $2.56 billion with construction to be started in 2013. Specially made installation vessels would aid in the ambitious building process, so as to accentuate upon the efficiency of construction during all seasons. But the actual productivity (power generation) of the farm will be around 374 MW, taking into account the conventional transmission losses.
September 30, 2011
Mainstream Renewable Power and wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group will build 1 GW of wind energy projects in Ireland by 2016. Mainstream will develop and construct the projects, with Sinovel providing wind turbines.
Sinovel may also consider local supply chain opportunities in Ireland if the Irish Government commits to long-term wind targets. The company’s Senior Vice-President, Mr. Lecheng Li, said, “The first of these projects in Ireland will go into construction later this year and we plan to supply Mainstream with a steady flow of turbines through 2012 and 2013 reaching an average of 250 MW per annum from 2014 onwards. As we gain certainty on project execution schedules we will review our plans for localising operation and maintenance activities as well as possible component manufacturing.”
In a recent development, the British government is considering subsidising the Irish wind energy industry under proposals to be considered in London. Britain believes the west coast and the seas around Ireland can provide it with a large amount of its renewable energy. Irish industry groups say such a move could be worth up to €1.6 billion a year to the Irish economy.
The British government is considering directly subsidising electricity through its feed-in tariff system, which would be a subsidy to private investors operating on Irish territory. It could also operate by a system known as “supplier obligation”, whereby British power companies would be mandated to buy a certain amount of renewable energy from Irish sources. Despite Ireland’s offshore wind potential, there is only one wind farm off Irish coasts.