Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

It started as just an idea, but now the thought of a wind farm in mid-Missouri could become a reality.Mark Chamberlin is a chicken and dairy farmer who originally had the idea to put a wind turbine on his property.\"You always have a lot of time to think when you\'re in tractors,\" Chamberlin said. \"The wind is always blowing here.\"Chamberlin operates a farm in northern Benton County, atop a ridge that sits above the rest of Missouri. In fact, the top of one of his silos is the tallest point in Benton County. It was this elevation combined with the windy climate that made him think he could make some extra money. Since then, Chamberlin\'s plan has expanded into a possible 3,000-megawatt wind farm spanning 20,000 acres.\"We stand a good chance and the better job we do putting this together, I think we can bring [a wind farm] to central Missouri,\" Chamberlin said.So far, about 60 farmers have agreed to take part in the wind farm, committing 16,000 acres of the group\'s goal - 20,000 acres. Last week, the community met in the town of Cole Camp to discuss the possibility of a wind farm. Chamberlin says they had a

Read More

The world\'s largest nuclear plant builder, Areva SA, is diversifying into solar power with the aim of becoming an industry leader, as it acquires U.S.-based solar thermal player Ausra, the company said on Monday.\"This market is set to have 20 gigawatts by the year 2020. Areva has an objective to be a world leader in solar energy\" by 2012, said Anil Srivastava, senior executive vice president of Areva\'s renewable energies business group.Financial details were not disclosed in the purchase of Ausra, a Silicon Valley company which had raised $130 million in venture capital from high-profile firms including Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures.The purchase marks Areva\'s first foray into solar energy.Areva chose solar thermal technology -- which uses the sun\'s heat to create steam to run turbines for electricity -- over other solar power options because it is \"the closest\" to nuclear plants, Srivastava told Reuters in an interview.The solar power industry has started to consolidate after struggling in 2009 with a dearth of financing for new projects and a steep fall in prices. Other solar thermal players include Spain\'s Abengoa SA and privately held U.S.-based BrightSource Energy Inc.Still, companies such as U.S.-based First Solar Inc and China\'s Suntech Power this

Read More

Massive renewable energy projects undertaken by the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries could turn them into solar energy exporters along with their large hydrocarbon exports, according to a veteran Arab energy analyst.\"After oil, Arab countries could start exporting solar energy,\" said Nicolas Sarkis, Director of the Paris-based Arab Petroleum Research Centre (APRC), which acts as an adviser to the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.\"The development of solar energy is rapidly becoming a priority of energy policies pursued by most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, whether oil and natural gas producers or not,\" Sarkis wrote in the APRC\'s monthly magazine, Arab Petroleum and Gas.He said that in non-oil Arab countries, the growing interest being shown in solar power and other renewable energy sources is dictated not only by the deterioration in their energy deficits and the insufficiency of their indigenous fossil fuel resources but also by environmental imperatives and the technological progress that characterises the development of renewable energies.As for the large hydrocarbon exporting countries in the Arab World, the exploitation of their huge potential in the area of solar energy reflects a dual concern to protect the environment and prepare the post-oil era, he

Read More

Israeli solar energy developer Arava Power said on Sunday it signed long-term contracts with 15 agricultural cooperatives to build mid-size solar fields at an investment of 2 billion shekels ($533 million).The fields will produce a total of 100 megawatts of solar energy using photovoltaics, for an average of 6.5 megawatts per field.Arava said it is advancing rooftop solar installations on cowsheds and factories in the signatory cooperatives.Last year German conglomerate Siemens invested $15 million in Arava Power to build 10 five-megawatt solar fields.In December the Public Utilities Authority decided to allow mid-size solar fields at a nationwide capacity of 300 megawatts but many in the industry believe this cap will be filled quickly.\"The goal to produce 300 solar megawatts is an important step toward implementing the government\'s decision to produce 5 percent of Israel\'s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2014, but it\'s not enough,\" Arava Power Chief Executive Jon Cohen said.\"In order to achieve this goal, at least 1,000 megawatts are needed, and the market indicates that

Read More

A special three-part series in last week\'s San Jose Mercury News, entitled \"The Cleantech Revolution,\" highlighted the enormous economic opportunity in the clean-tech sector and warned that the U.S. is quickly falling behind while Asia seeks to gain global market dominance.In its analysis of the clean technology market, the Mercury\'s rhetoric is grand and its data convincing. The first part of the series begins:\"Cleantech is poised to be the valley\'s third great wave of innovation - not just the next big thing, but perhaps the biggest thing ever. Confronting the peril of greenhouse gases and climate change happens to be a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity.\"The numbers provided support this claim: U.S. yearly utility bills exceed $1 trillion annually and the global energy and transportation market is estimated at $7 trillion. The wind and solar industries - valued at $80 billion in 2008 - are projected to triple in 10 years and employ 2.6 million people. Smart-grid technology, according to Morgan Stanley, will grow to $100 billion by 2030 and Cisco Systems believes smart-grid communications infrastructure could be worth $20 billion in the next 5 years.In a nod to its geographic location, the paper focuses primarily on Silicon Valley\'s

Read More

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar journeyed out into Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard vessel last week to signal the Obama administration\'s readiness to put some muscle behind wind energy. To do that, Salazar has to resolve a battle over building a wind farm on 25 square miles of open water that has driven a rift between environmentalists, infuriated local Native Americans and threatened one of the administration\'s cherished priorities.The nearly decade-long fight over whether to construct a 130-turbine offshore wind farm near Martha\'s Vineyard has spurred numerous state and federal regulatory reviews. It has cost millions in lobbying fees and has prompted an intense political debate on Cape Cod and in Washington, setting those who back renewable energy against those who want to preserve the natural beauty of Nantucket Sound.\"The worst thing we can do for the country is to be in a state of indecision, and this application has been in a state of indecision for a very long time,\" said Salazar, who came to see the proposed site of the Cape Wind project and to meet with tribes that oppose it.With many other obstacles resolved, including the wind farm\'s potential hindrance to navigation and fishing and harm to

Read More

President Obama is spending $2.1 million to help Suntech Power Holdings build a solar-panel plant in Arizona. It will hire 70 Americans to assemble components made by Suntech\'s 11,000 Chinese workers.That gap shows the challenge Obama faces as he works to create \"green\" jobs. Asia makes more than half the world\'s wind and solar energy equipment, and is gaining ground as U.S. factories lose out to cheaper labor and higher demand for clean energy. China for the first time topped the U.S. in wind-turbine manufacturing and installations last year, the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council said Wednesday in a report.Obama is giving billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wind and solar industries to create jobs in the United States even as production expands faster overseas. First Solar Inc., the world\'s largest maker of thin-film solar-power modules, won $16.3 million to add 200 manufacturing jobs at its Ohio plant, yet 71 percent of its planned factory growth will go to Malaysia. The company employs 4,500 globally.\"The cost of manufacturing here is too expensive compared to Asia,\" said Guy Chaffin, chief executive officer of Elite Search International, an executive search firm in Roseville, Calif., that has found employees for Tempe,

Read More

The world\'s wind power capacity grew by 31 per cent in 2009, according to statistics released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).The boost added 37.5 GW to total global wind power installations, bringing the figure up to 157.9 GW.One third of these additions were made in China, which experienced yet another year of over 100 per cent growth.China was the world\'s largest wind energy market, nearly doubling its wind generation capacity from 12.1 GW in 2008 to 25.1 GW at the end of 2009.A newly added capacity of 1,270 MW in India and some smaller additions in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan made Asia the biggest regional market for wind energy in 2009, with more than 14 GW of new capacity.However, the US maintains a comfortable lead in terms of total installed capacity, according to the GWEC. Despite the financial downturn, the US wind energy market installed nearly 10 GW in 2009, increasing the country\'s installed capacity by 39 per cent, and bringing the total installed grid-connected capacity to 35 GW.\"The continued rapid growth of wind power despite the financial crisis and economic downturn is testament to the inherent attractiveness of the technology, which is clean, reliable and quick

Read More

New Energy Husum, in cooperation with the World Wind Energy Association, is hosting the 1st World Summit for Small-scale Wind - Turbines, with participants and speakers from 11 nations.Leading experts from Egypt, Argentina, Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Mali, Spain and the USA will be presenting an overview of the use and potential of small wind turbines in each of these countries. High-calibre speakers will be talking about the status and importance of international standards as this technology spreads.

Read More

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has welcomed the publication of the European Energy Regulators (ERGEG) draft strategy on the role of Regional Initiatives towards a single energy market in Europe."Regional Initiatives are a very good step forward, but the final aim remains the creation of a single European market for energy, which should be in place by 2015. Regional Initiatives are an effective tool towards the establishment of a single market", Paul Wilczek, Regulatory Affairs Advisor at EWEA said. EWEA would like to see a strategy for moving forward from Regional Initiatives to deeper market integration across Europe, and a timeline for the creation of a single European market. Market integration is of high importance for the wind industry whose cost-effective integration into the electricity market hinges on the development of integrated electricity markets across the EU. Rules that ensure an efficient allocation of electricity from renewable sources such as wind power are also critical to the development of wind power. A properly functioning single market will be a building block for a future power system characterised by flexibility and an increased number of market entrants, facilitating the integration of wind and other renewables. In addition

Read More