Thursday 6 June 2013

Wind-solar hybrid plants up to twice as efficient
22 Apr 2013

Combining wind turbines and photovoltaic systems results in up to twice the amount of electricity being generated across the same surface area, while shading losses caused by wind turbines amount to a mere 1 to 2%-much less than previously thought.

As an additional benefit, the construction of hybrid power plants does not require grid expansion because the plants generate wind and solar power at different times of day and during complementary seasons, ensuring the level of energy fed into the grid is more steady than that of wind or photovoltaic power plants alone.

"Until now, it was thought that the shadows cast on solar plants by wind turbines led to high yield losses. The study shows, however, that these shading losses are much lower than expected, provided the hybrid power plant is well designed", said Alexander Woitas, head of the engineering department at Solarpraxis AG, parent company of Various scenarios were simulated for the study and detailed shading analyses were carried out.

"Initial requests to create yield reports as well as technical and economic system planning have given us cause to hope that the more efficient utilization of space and infrastructure created by hybrid power plants has excellent prospects for the future", said Dr. Christian Breyer, managing director of the Reiner Lemoine Institut. "We also calculated what effects combining photovoltaic and wind power plants will have on power grids on both a global and regional level. The fact that wind and photovoltaic power supply the grid with much more stable levels of energy when working together has a positive effect on grid stability", he added.

While wind turbines produce a lot more electricity during the colder parts of the year, due to greater levels of wind over the winter months, solar power plants generate more solar power in the summer, compensating for the lower wind power production at this time of the year.

Next year, a photovoltaic system at Templin, near Berlin, is set to be retrofitted with wind turbines as part of the German government's Zwanzig20 research initiative. Data from the pilot plant will be analyzed by Solarpraxis, the Reiner Lemoine Institut and project partners.

Duke Energy to use less coal, more renewables
22 Apr 2013

In its newly released 2012 Sustainability Report, Duke Energy has highlighted plans to rely less on coal-fired generation and more on renewable energy.

As part of Duke Energy's $9 billion generation fleet modernization program, the company will retire more than 3.4 GW of older coal-fired units by year-end. That number will grow to 6.3 GW of coal capacity retired over the next few years.

In addition, the company has set a goal of owning or purchasing 6 GW of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020. The report also reveals that wind power constituted 3,410 MWh, or 1.4%, of the electricity Duke generated in 2012, as well as 1,627 MW, or 6.2%, of the company's generation capacity last year.

"Greater transformation lies ahead for our company and our industry", said Jim Rogers, Duke Energy chairman and CEO, in his letter to stakeholders. "Current drivers of change include the shale gas revolution, emerging technologies and anemic growth in energy usage. Also, our nation must address global climate change in a more comprehensive way".

A power for good
22 Apr 2013

On Friday, April 12, I attended the official opening of the Macarthur wind farm facility. I must say that I was disappointed with the subsequent reporting by your paper. It seemed as though you showed more emphasis on the protestors rather than the positives for the wind farm.

As secretary of the Hawkesdale Brigade Group, I was very privileged to be presented with a cheque for $40,000 from Michael Fraser, CEO of AGL Energy, as a contribution towards the purchase of two ultra-light tankers for the Hawkesdale and Willatook brigades. This is an example of how AGL Energy and the local fire brigades are working together.

In your story on Saturday, April 13, there was no mention of this presentation. Was it an oversight or did you just not care to report on such an important item of the official opening proceedings?

With so much criticism from wind farm opponents following the recent fire at Minhamite, I would also like it known that our group was in constant contact with staff at the facility and really appreciated their offers of both resources and manpower. The Hawkesdale Brigade Group and the wind farm continue to enjoy a close relationship and look forward to maintaining that relationship well into the future.

Ros Stewart, Hawkesdale Brigade Group secretary

Wind farm permit outrage
22 Apr 2013

MOYNE mayor Jim Doukas says the state government is passing the buck by making local councils enforce permit conditions on some wind farms. Cr Doukas said new state legislation requiring local government to be responsible for enforcing wind farm permit conditions could impose high costs on councils.

Under legislation passed in the upper house of State Parliament on Thursday, councils will be responsible for enforcing conditions such as noise levels on eight wind farm projects unless the permit conditions says the state planning minister is responsible. The eight wind farm projects covered by the legislation include the planned Woolsthorpe and Mortlake south wind farms.

Moyne Shire last month lobbied the state government strongly objecting to the legislation, saying the planning minister should be responsible for enforcement of the permits. Cr Doukas said the new legislation would make the enforcement of the permit conditions very "messy" with some conditions likely to be enforced by the state and some by local government.

In speaking in support of the bill on Thursday night, Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay said he was aware that some councils were "not overjoyed at the prospect of taking on responsibility of the enforcement and compliance of wind farm permits that were issued under the previous government".

This was because there was little due diligence in the conditions that were applied to the permits for those applicants. "I believe support should be provided to those councils that must now take on this responsibility, given their previous lack of involvement with the issue", Mr Ramsay said.

He said it followed through on the government's pre-election commitment to give local councils a greater say in the issuing of wind farm permits and for enforcing compliance with their permit conditions. "At the end of the day, that is democracy at a grass root level working effectively", Mr Ramsay said.

Friends of the Earth campaigns director Cam Walker said the organisation believed the approval and enforcement of wind farm permits should be handled by the state government rather than local government to avoid councils being cajoled by "noisy" anti-wind farm minorities.

Mr Walker said that having the state responsible for the enforcement of the wind farm permits would allow wider community concerns to be heard rather than only those who protested loudly.

Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex will provide four Turkish projects with 50 turbines
22 Apr 2013

wind turbine manufacturer Nordex is able to defend a leading position in the Turkish market. Now it has signed delivery and service contracts with two long-standing customers for four projects entailing a total of 50 turbines with a combined total capacity of 125 MWs. A total of 38 N100/2500 turbines are to be connected to the grid for Eksim Holding by autumn 2013. 20 turbines will be built at the Hasanbeyli wind farm in Eastern Turkey close to the city of Osmaniye.

Located in the foothills of the Taurus mountains in the South East of Turkey at an altitude of around 1,400 metres, they will produce an annual energy yield of around 180 GW/hours. Nordex is also installing a further wind farm for Eksim close to Silivri near Istanbul. Driven by average wind speeds of 7.8 m/s, the 18 2.5 MW turbines will generate 150 GW/hours of electricity a year. Nordex is also supplying Dost Enerji, with which Nordex originally launched its business activities in Turkey, with twelve N90/2500 turbines.

One of these will be added to the Yuntdag wind farm, which has since been enlarged to 23 Nordex turbines. Located to the north of Izmir, this wind farm marked Nordex's first foray into the Turkish market back in 2007. Thanks to the superb wind conditions at this site, the energy yield from this single turbine is expected to come to nine GW/hours a year, equivalent to a capacity factor of 48%.

Nordex is assembling the other eleven turbines at the Geres wind farm in the direct vicinity of Yuntdag. This wind farm is to produce 100 GW/hours of clean energy a year. Dost Enerji is one of the pioneers in the commercial utilisation of wind power in Turkey. Says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, a member of Nordex's Management Board: "We are delighted that our long-standing customers Dost Enerji and Eksim Holding have again opted for Nordex turbines.

This underscores the favourable experience which they have gained with our technology and skills. As well as this, it testifies to two superb partnerships precisely in the Turkish wind power market, which is characterised by strong growth potential and excellent wind conditions". The OECD predicts for Turkey an average growth of GDP of 5.2%.

Says Dr. Ruchan Hamamci, Coordinator of Renewable Energies at Eksim Holding: "We are currently operating wind farms with a capacity of 140 MW and will be adding a further 95 MW to this with our Hasanbeyli and Silivri wind farms. Our goal is to become the leading supplier of CO₂ free electricity from wind in Turkey. Nordex has supplied us with reliable and efficient wind power systems allowing us to come closer to reaching our goal from day to day". Source; Nordex

Carnegie Wave Energy formally awarded A$1.27M seawater desalination plant grant
22 Apr 2013

Carnegie Corporation Wave Energy has been formally awarded the A$1.27 million AusIndustry grant to support its CETO Seawater desalination Demonstration Pilot Plant at Garden Island, Western Australia. The grant, which is half the $2.5 million cost, will support design and construction of the seawater desalination plant.

Carnegie Corporation's plant will be directly powered by CETO hydraulic energy from an offshore CETO system to demonstrate that wave energy driven seawater desalination has the potential to significantly and sustainably reduce the amount of electricity consumed by seawater desalination.

The CETO desalination pilot will be co-located with Carnegie Corporation's Perth Wave Energy Project (PWEP) on Garden Island, integrating off-the-shelf reverse-osmosis desalination technology with the PWEP infrastructure.

Key initial tasks ahead of construction include completing detailed design, securing environmental approvals, negotiation of a water sales agreement and, if possible, the integration of the construction and commissioning of the desalination pilot with the delivery of PWEP.

Wind power is booming in Iowa
21 Apr 2013

Windmills once dotted the Iowa landscape. Converting the energy of the wind into mechanical energy helped run pumps and other machinery on Iowa farms, and elsewhere, long before electrical power made its appearance.

A high-tech, 21st-century cousin of those windmills, so important in years gone by, could be one of the key ingredients to energy self-sufficiency for the United States. Wind-based generation of electricity is a technology that offers the promise of vast amounts of electric power produced with few environmental downsides.

Our society has a voracious appetite for energy, and the demand for even more energy is growing fast. That makes overreliance on those energy resources that once used are gone forever both short-sighted and, ultimately, catastrophically foolish.

As our nation seeks energy sources that have long-term viability, concern about renewability has grown. The booming ethanol industry offers part of the answer to how energy needs can be met using resources that can be replenished. Wind power also has the potential to be a major part of tomorrow's energy picture.

Making use of wind to generate electricity has enormous implications for the United States. The goal of generating 20% of the nation's electricity from wind power by 2030 appears highly achievable. Two states-Iowa and South Dakota-already have surpassed that target.

Turning wind power into electric power is already a reality in many parts of the world, including the United States. In 2011, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration, 3% of U.S, electricity was produced from wind turbines and that capacity is increasing rapidly.

In our nation there was a 28% increase in the energy generated by wind in 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association. A statement released by the AWEA in April put the contribution of wind power to new electricity generating capacity created in the U.S, during 2012 at an impressive 42%. More than 6,700 new wind turbines came online last year.

Iowa is a national wind-energy leader. In 2012, 24.5% of the Hawkeye State's electricity was wind-generated. Iowa tops all other states in the%age of electricity produced from wind. Clearly, Iowa is showing other states how to make this increasingly important energy source viable. Energy can be produced in perpetuity from our fields and the gentle winds that blow across them.

It's not too hard to imagine a day-perhaps not so many decades hence-when people will think of Iowa not just as the breadbasket of the nation, but also as a critical source of the energy that makes our way of life possible.