Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

In order to fight climate change, improve energy security, enhance Europe's competitiveness, and maintain our technological leadership, the European wind industry - together with the European Commission and Member States - has developed a 10-year research and development programme. PES brings you the exclusive highlights of this recently-published study.With a €6bn budget, approximately half of which will be provided by the industry, the so-called European Wind Initiative's objectives are:• To maintain Europe's technology leadership in both onshore and offshore wind power• To make onshore wind the most competitive energy source by 2020, with offshore following by 2030• To enable wind energy to supply 20 per cent of Europe'selectricity in 2020, 33 per cent in 2030, and 50 per cent in 2050.To achieve these objectives, the European Wind Initiative prioritises the following technology areas: new turbines and components, offshore technology, grid integration, resource assessment and spatial planning.Key activities in wind energy research are:• Improving the design and layout of wind farms• Increasing reliability, accessibility and efficiency of wind turbines• Optimising the maintenance, assembly and installation of offshore turbines and their substructures• Demonstrating large wind turbine prototypes and large, interconnected offshore wind farms• New methods of grid management to allow high levels

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Among the many promises President Obama made on taking office in January 2009 was one to create some five million jobs in the US renewables industry over a decade. But more than a year on, a new report claims those plans may be on hold with little or no actual movement on the jobs front. Worse, it claims many of the jobs may actually go overseas. ‘Not so', says the American Wind Energy Association. So what is going on? PES takes an in-depth look at the state of the industry and examines the ongoing controversy

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The US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is about to release the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS). This unprecedented two-and-a-half year technical study of future high-penetration wind scenarios is designed to analyze the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 per cent or more of the Eastern Interconnection's electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024. In this essential extract, the analysis shows that transmission upgrades, offshore wind, and operational changes are needed to incorporate 20 to 30 per cent wind by the target date."20 per cent wind is an ambitious goal, but this study shows that there are multiple scenarios through which it can be achieved," said David Corbus, NREL project manager for the study. "Whether we're talking about using land-based wind in the Midwest, offshore wind in the East or any combination of wind power resources, any plausible scenario requires transmission infrastructure upgrades and we need to start planning for that immediately."PrefaceThe Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study is the culmination of an effort that spanned two and one-half years. The study team began by modeling wind resources in a large part of the Eastern Interconnection and finished by conducting

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It seems as if America is not the only nation in North America that is crying out for reform. The Canadian wind energy industry needs improved support from governments, utilities, and communities as it moves into the mainstream of country's energy sector, says the new Chair of CanWEA's board of directors.Gary Pundsack, Government Relations Manager Canada for Vestas, was elected to the post at the 2010 board's inaugural meeting. "We are a growing industry, moving into the traditional energy space and competing with limited resources. So we need to leverage the great work of CanWEA and its members to build support for a stable policy and procurement environment and make it easier to build and operate wind projects," he says.Pundsack, who started in the wind energy business in 2002, worked as a Senior Business Development Manager with Invenergy Wind Canada before joining Vestas in February 2009. His experience as both a developer and equipment supplier gives him a broad view of the opportunities and challenges facing the Canadian industry. "They are two distinct activities in the industry and to have the perspective from both sides is unique." His work with Vestas, where he advocates for policy support and regulatory reforms

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The solution to offshore wind energy obstacles lies in pooling all the power into one common electricity grid, according to researchers at the University of Delaware and Stony Brook University. "We hypothesize that wind power output could be stabilized if wind generators were located in a meteorologically designed configuration and electrically connected," say the authors of the report "Electric power from offshore wind via synoptic-scale interconnection." It's a brave hypothesis, one that reflects the efforts being made over the Atlantic with the European Supergrid. PES presents the research

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As the wind industry maintains and develops on its past successes, the problem of transporting a huge amount of equipment across thousands of miles is one which cannot be ignored. So, what is the state of the industry's transportation business? Moving wind turbine components from the factory floor to the project site is no easy task, involving, as it does, the handling of sensitive and valuable components. PES investigates

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With offices throughout Europe and the US, Navigant Consulting's Energy practice helps clients strengthen their enterprises in order to increase performance, opportunity, and growth. PES spoke to Bruce Hamilton, the company's Director of Energy, in Portland, Oregon, about its success record and about the future of wind and other renewables

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Dr. Robert McCunney is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Biological Engineering, a staff physician in occupational and environmental health at Massachusetts General, and a clinical faculty member at the Harvard Medical School. He was the lead drafter of Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects: An Expert Panel Review. Here, he talk to PES about the results of this far-reaching study.PES: What do you see as the most significant conclusions arising from the work the panel conducted on this issue?Robert McCunney: Before I was invited to participate in this project - and I think I was invited primarily as a result of my experience in occupational noise-induced hearing loss - I really had no fixed idea one way or another about whether there were any health implications. I was willing, like everybody, to take a fresh look at the literature. Usually in occupational or environmental medicine it is important to identify the exposure, what the agent of some concern is.In this case, it seemed to me that the agent was either sound or vibration or both and my conclusions were very similar to what you see in the white paper. The first fundamental message is

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As the world becomes ever more conscious of the need to conserve fossil fuels and move towards greener methods of energy production, the EC's Joint Research Centre remains at the centre of efforts to spread the word. Here the group gives PES an overview of the current state of play and looks into its crystal ball to predict some possible future trends.Spiking oil prices at $147.27 per barrel in July 2008 and speculations about when the oil price will exceed $200 per barrel have already become a reality. The enormous price fluctuations of oil prices during the last 12 months due to the volatility of the financial markets and economic turmoil, have highlighted our strong dependence on oil and have added an additional argument for the introduction of renewable energies: minimisation of price volatility risks. The Gas Crisis at the beginning of 2006 and the interruptions of the gas supply in the summer of 2008 and early 2009 have demonstrated that Europe is highly vulnerable with regards to its total energy supply. A possible solution is the diversification of supply countries, as well as the diversification of energy sources including renewable energies and photovoltaics (PV). In June 2009, the new

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