Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

British wind power experts have been sharing their expertise with Taiwanese counterparts at a seminar in Taipei held by the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO).Led by Richard Brooks, head of Business Development of the Renewable Deployment Team of Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change, a U.K. delegation comprised of 16 experts from nine companies and three universities delivered presentations at the seminar about U.K. expertise in the offshore wind power sector. {pagebreak}Speaking at the opening ceremony of the seminar, BTCO Director Michael Reilly said the seminar was very timely, because as the world faces a major economic slowdown and the recent collapse of oil prices, some experts and politicians around the world have suggested that this is a time to go slowly in efforts to develop a low-carbon future."Acting now will place us all in a better position when the world economy picks up speed once again. Investing now in renewable energy projects will help counter the impact of the slowdown, " Reilly said."And, most of all, increasing the use of renewable energy now will improve energy security in the years ahead," he added.According to Reilly, the U.K. became in 2008 the number one in the world for

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Power and Energy Solutions (PES) magazine has been named as an official partner for the European Wind Energy Conference in Marseille, France, next year.The event, which will be held in March, is the biggest gathering of wind energy experts and commentators from Europe and beyond and it provides an opportunity to discover the latest developments in the sector, network and generate new business.{pagebreak}PES magazine will have a bonus distribution at the show's media point and it will be promoting the conference through print and online outlets. Mark Smith, PES Project Director, said: "The opportunity to become involved in EWEC 2009 is a very exciting one, not least because this prestigious event represents a gathering of the finest minds in wind energy today. We're really looking forward to promoting the conference and being represented at it in such a high-profile way."Roland Sundén, CEO, LM Glasfiber & EWEC 2009 Conference Chair, commented: "Coming at a time when EU member states will be preparing their National Action Plans, designed to deliver against the EU renewables targets, EWEC 2009 represents an ideal opportunity to discover the latest developments in the wind energy sector, exchange ideas and information, and generate new industry contacts and business

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Nine UK manufacturers are ready to blow away the competition to gain new business in wind energy and other fast growing renewable energy sectors.As part of an Envirolink business improvement project funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and central government, the companies have energised their own people and performance to compete more effectively in this fast growing market.{pagebreak}Together, the nine companies have generated big productivity benefits as a direct result of the project. Participants were put on a fast track to lean transformation by experts from The Manufacturing Institute, who were commissioned to provide up to 18 days advice, support and coaching to each company. This ranged from early diagnosis work to assess key challenges, through to in-depth training for staff, and practical lean implementation work to boost productivity.Manchester-based HMG Paints, which supplies coatings for wind turbines, achieved a 33 per cent productivity improvement in its unit department business area through driving non value added activities out of its processes and standardising best practice operating procedures.John Falder, Managing Director of HMG Paints, said: "The Manufacturing Institute, working in conjunction with our team, undertook a totally fresh look. Techniques such as 5S workplace organisation and process mapping combined with educating

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Power conversion specialists Converteam have taken top honours at an awards ceremony which recognised their work in the wind turbine field.The UK-based company, which makes a leading range of drives, including the MV3000, widely used in the most advanced wind turbines, came first in the World Class Manufacturing category at the Manufacturer 2008 Live awards.{pagebreak}Ten members of the team were at London's ExCel arena to receive the prize in front of an audience of 400 industry executives.The award recognised the business development and productivity improvements the company has made at its Kidsgrove site. Converteam's entire approach to manufacturing came under close scrutiny from the judges, including its monitoring and analysis of lead times, customer returns, work content, labour minutes per unit, inventory levels and cycle times.Stephen Beattie, General Manager at Kidsgrove who received the award on behalf of Converteam said, "Winning this award is a great achievement against stiff opposition and shows what can be achieved when we work together as a team. We have weathered the downturn experienced by traditional industries to emerge as the UK's biggest supplier of wind turbine converters."Due to the combination of innovative design and lean manufacturing methods, this 300 strong site has shipped

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No strangers to lucrative means of producing energy, the money men of the Middle East are now looking towards the renewables sector for cleaner ways of making a profit.A company based in Abu Dhabi has bought a 20 per cent stake in London Array offshore wind farm, which is set to be one of the largest in the world. {pagebreak}The planned 1,000 MW project in the Thames Estuary off the Kent and Essex coasts could power three quarters of a million homes.Masdar and energy firm E.ON recently announced the joint venture recently and representatives from both firms were meeting government ministers at Downing Street to discuss the project.E.ON said it was hoped the first stage would be completed in 2012 and would consist of up to 175 turbines.Before the deal was made, E.ON owned half of the wind farm project and DONG Energy owned the other half.Masdar bought 40 per cent of E.ON's share, giving it a 20 per cent stake in the whole enterprise.E.ON chief executive Dr Wulf Bernotat said: "We have secured in Masdar a strong partner to work with us on the London Array scheme and on future renewable energy projects which will help push the industry

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No less a personage than the Queen of England has stepped into the renewables debate by promising to invest in wind power projects in the deep waters off Britain.The Crown Estate, which is the holder of the Queen's property, says it will pay up to half of all pre-construction development costs for companies wanting to build wind farms in the North Sea.{pagebreak}The announcement has been met with a huge surge in applications for the latest round of licensing, with around 100 companies interested in developing their ideas.Adam Bruce, chairman of the British Wind Energy Association, said: "The Crown Estate offering to be a development partner takes away much of the cost and uncertainty with third-round projects, which is why we have seen so much interest in the latest licensing round."Although deep-water projects are expensive, they could be far more efficient because they could utilise larger turbines and take advantage of stronger prevailing winds, said Bruce. "Unlike onshore wind schemes, the operator is also only dealing with one planning regime and one landlord in the Crown Estate, which is now offering to be a partner."A spokeswoman for the Crown Estate said the response to the licensing round had "greatly exceeded our

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Harnessing Ireland's offshore wind and wave energy is vital to help the country to slash its carbon emissions by 2020, a new parliamentary committee has said.The Dail's Committee on Climate Change, which was established a year ago, {pagebreak}said Irish people now produce the fifth highest levels of greenhouse gas in the world in per capita terms. The EU wants Ireland to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and also harness 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by the same date.Committee chairman Sean Barrett called for the development of wind and wave energy projects in Ireland's offshore area, which covers 900,000 square kilometres of sea bed or ten times the land area of the country. He said the current planning regime for such projects was several decades out of date. "If we are to exploit offshore wind and harness the power of waves and tides, we must replace outdated structures with a modern system for dealing with marine developments," Mr Barrett said.In Northern Ireland, a Unionist MP has criticised a cross-border call for Ireland to remain a "nuclear-free zone". Sammy Wilson said that true environmentalists should support nuclear power.The Democratic Unionist MP was responding to

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The Danish based sub-supplier to the wind turbine industry, Avanti Wind Systems, opens office in India.It will be operated by general manager for Avanti Wind Systems India, Mr. Lars Rasmussen and based at the Trade Commission of Denmark in Bangalore{pagebreak}At the beginning of 2009, Avanti Wind Systems expands operations to Chennai, where the company will open a factory for Service Lifts and Fall Protecting Systems. Avanti Wind System is leading world marked producer of service lifts and other personal safety systems to wind turbine towers. Including the office and factory in India, Avanti Wind Systems will operate factories, technical service centers, offices and training centers in six countries, Denmark, Spain, China, USA and Germany."The wind industry is growing very fast in India too - and Avanti Wind System wants to be close to our costumers, so we are able to provide a fast and high quality service", says Avanti Wind Systems CEO, Soren Midtgaard.The Avanti Company was founded in Denmark in 1885 and was originally a ladder factory. The company still produces ladders, but is now focusing on developing and producing safety equipment for the service technicians working in wind turbine towers. Avanti has

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A warning not to undermine EU support for renewables has been sounded by a wind energy trade body in a letter to a French minister.The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has expressed its concern about a proposed ‘review clause' {pagebreak}in the Renewable Energy Directive, and underlined the importance of priority grid access for renewables in an open letter to French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo.A ‘review clause' is currently being debated in Council as part of the Renewable Energy Directive. The clause would introduce a review, in 2014, of whether the flexibility mechanisms were ensuring that the Member States were meeting their targets. The EWEA says this could undermine stable national support mechanisms, market stability and investor certainty, as well as discourage Member States from ensuring adequate domestic investments before the results of such a review were known."EWEA strongly opposes a review clause evaluating the implementation of the Directive, in particular with regard to whether the flexibility mechanisms are ensuring that Member States reach their national targets," says the letter."Member States will fulfil the majority of their national targets on the basis of domestic effort, not flexibility mechanisms. Such a review clause:• would introduce a disincentive for Member States to ensure adequate

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Fears that wildlife, particularly birds, is affected by wind farms have been allayed in a new study which shows that turbines have little impact on them."This should be welcome news for nature conservationists, wind energy companies and policy-makers", {pagebreak}the report from the UK's Newcastle University said, adding that carbon-free wind power is also helping to fight global warming.When wind power was in its infancy three decades ago, some groups raised concerns that endlessly whirling turbines could kill massive numbers of birds.The siting of some early wind farms, especially on migratory routes in the United States, did result in an unusually high number of bird deaths. However, much has been done since then to make wind farms far less threatening to avian species.Mark Whittingham, the study team leader, said: "This is the first evidence suggesting that the present and future location of large numbers of wind turbines on European farmland is unlikely to have detrimental effects on farmland birds."The study said the 16 wind turbines monitored did not affect the distribution of four groups of wintering farmland birds (seed-eaters, corvids, gamebirds and Eurasian skylarks). Monitoring the four groups at differing distances from the turbines, the study found no evidence to suggest

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