Chinese manufacturers eye German market

December 12, 2012

flag chinagermanyBerlin-based Germany Trade & Invest, the economic development agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, confirms Chinese companies are building factories in Germany. Citing an example, the agency mentioned that Chinese subsidiary Jade Werke will begin production of steel fundaments for offshore wind parks in Germany as early as 2013. The company is investing €50 million in a production plant in Wilhelmshaven, with construction planned to begin this summer.

According to the agency, last year, Germany installed 2,007 MW of wind energy capacity, bringing its total capacity to 29 GW. It added that the 30% growth of new installations still comes primarily from the onshore segment, but offshore wind will account for a growing share in the coming years.

This year alone, construction is expected to begin on six new offshore parks totaling 1,660 MW capacity along Germany’s North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines. Growth rates in the onshore segment were strong last year, the policy framework has been improved, and the offshore market ready to take off, said Anne Braeutigam, wind energy expert at Berlin-based Germany Trade & Invest.

Iberdrola, Areva ink deal

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.

Siemens puts €150 million into wind in Denmark

December 5, 2011

Siemens plans to invest €150 million over the next two years to expand its wind power business. The company is contemplating to open two research and development centres, and an offshore “centre of excellence” in Denmark. Siemens Wind Power CEO Jens-Peter Saul said further factories were being planned in the UK, Canada, Russia and India.

Meanwhile, Siemens has won its first ever offshore turbine order in China. Guodian-subsidiary Longyuan has given the manufacturer a 48 MW deal for the Rudong inter-tidal project located in Rudong county, Jiangsu province, western China. The project will use 21 Siemens SWT-2.3 MW, 101 turbines. The contract also includes a five-year service agreement. The turbine’ blades will be manufactured at its new Chinese facility.

In October last year, Longyuan won a tender to develop the 200 MW Dafeng offshore project.

In yet another development, Siemens has installed the first prototype of its 6 MW offshore wind turbine, the SWT-6.0-120, with direct drive technology. The prototype has been installed at Høvsøre in Denmark. The offshore wind turbine’s nacelle and rotor weigh under 350 tonnes, something that could cut the cost not only of the nacelle, but also the tower and supporting structures, Siemens says.

“In tendency large wind turbines have always been heavier per megawatt than small ones. The SWT-6.0-120 breaks this rule, having a weight per MW similar to that of many turbines in the 2-3 MW range,” says Henrik Stiesdal, CTO, Siemens Wind Turbine Business Unit. Serial production of the 6 MW offshore wind turbine is scheduled for 2014.

Dong, ScottishPower to set up 389 MW offshore wind farm

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.

Germany plans nuclear energy exit, guns for wind power

August 30, 2011

The country’s cabinet recently approved a series of laws to make possible an exit from atomic energy by the end of 2022, including measures for a massive increase of onshore and offshore wind power, the accelerated expansion of the electricity grid, and more gas-fired generation capacity. Despite being behind schedule on plans for wind parks off Germany’s North and Baltic Seacoasts, the government is sticking to an ambitious offshore wind energy target.

“We want to expand wind power at sea in the next 20 years, to a capacity of 25 GW,” Transport and Construction Minister Peter Ramsauer said. “That is equivalent to the generating capacity of 18-20 nuclear power stations.” The cabinet agreed a gradual phase-out from nuclear power, with one of its 17 nuclear power stations each being switched off in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and three each in 2021 and 2022, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said.

In yet another development, the country’s recently introduced energy legislation would benefit offshore wind farms over land-based ones under a government proposal aimed at limiting the cost of new sources of renewable energy as it scraps its nuclear power plants.

Offshore wind park owners will see their guaranteed above market rates decrease starting in 2018, three years later than the government had planned, the Environment Ministry said in a draft law published on its website. Onshore turbine operators will see an annual reduction of 1 per cent in feed-in tariffs from 2012.

Massive Growth in China’s Offshore Wind Power planned by 2020

August 30, 2011

According to China’s National Energy Administration, the country will increase its offshore wind farm installed capacity to 5 GW in the next five years and create a complete technology and industrial chain to service the growing wind turbine sector.

A renewable energy strategy in the nation’s 12th Five-Year Plan indicates China’s offshore sector is about to enter “a phase of large-scale development” and is estimated to reach 30 GW in 2020. Although China overtook the US last year as the nation with the most installed wind farm capacity, reaching 43 GW in total, almost all of that was generated from its onshore sector.

The National Energy Bureau (NEB) will launch preparation work for the second public bidding on offshore wind power concession projects in the second half year of 2011 and is scheduled to complete the bidding in the first half year of 2012. The total construction scale will be between 1.5 GW and 2 GW. China’s first offshore project, the East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, having a capacity of 102 MW, started operating in June 2010. It comprises 34 units of 3-MW Sinovel turbines.

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