Energy generation from tidal power is poised to experience a boom that will see the marine and hydrokinetic market’s generation capacity increase from 760 MW to 5.5 GW in just five years, according to Pike Research. “Our research shows that tidal energy is shaping up to be the lower cost option as compared to wave, and therefore the closest to large-scale deployment,” said research analyst Dexter Gauntlett. The research states that by 2017 worldwide tidal capacity will reach 2.4 GW with the top-producing countries being South Korea (750 MW), the United Kingdom (529 MW) and Canada (300 MW), followed by India, China, New Zealand (200 MW each) and Australia (100 MW).
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.
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.
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.
SWAY, which is planning to develop a 10-MW floating offshore wind turbine, has installed its first prototype off the coast of Bergen, Norway. The 1:5 scale prototype has a 29 m tower, which is constructed a bit like a floating bottle with most of the weight at the bottom moving the centre of gravity some distance below the surface. Above the surface, the tower measures 13 m. The structure weighs 22 tonnes. The prototype’s rotor diameter is 13 m, and it is designed so that the whole tower and turbine swivel according to the wind direction. SWAY is currently looking for a financial and industrial partner to bring the offshore wind turbine to the industrialisation stage.
(picture from: http://www.swayturbine.no/)
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.
Power companies in Switzerland- put off by complicated investment procedures and low profitability at home – are stepping up acquisitions in other parts of Europe. At the end of May, the Swiss electricity companies, EOS Holding and BKW, announced the purchase of 88 wind turbines in Germany and two wind farms inItaly. “Thirty years ago investments were made in nuclear power plants, primarily in France,” explained Nicolas Geinoz of the Association of Swiss Electricity Producers (VSE). “Over the past few years investment was dominated by gas and coal while most recently it has been wind parks.”
Europe’s wind and solar market is an attractive option for Swiss producers. “One hundred per cent of our investments abroad concern renewable energy,” said Alex Fries, director general of EOS Holding.