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and it comes from good news across the board (ie in many different countries), suggesting that this is not a one-off and onshore will continue to be a growth story across the continent even as offshore takes off.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 10:17:06 AM EST
... and it may also be the beginning of the repowering sector in Germany, where older, smaller windmills from the early-mid 90's are replaced by newer models.  (will also assist emerging and 3rd world markets, where the reconditioned older turbines will go.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 10:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About the 3rd world, how do wind energy works in places that get quite a few hurricanes each year ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 11:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Almost since the beginning of commercial development, wind turbines have been designed to work with limited to no repair up to 125/mph 200 kph winds.  Survivable (with testing and repair) to 150+mph 240+kph.  Plus, hurricanes are known in advance, and steps can be taken to batten the turbines down.  since most modern (utility-scale) turbines only produce power up to 60 mph 96 kph 26mps very little energy is actually lost by these design standards.

Smaller scale turbines specifically for tropical areas or with high storm likelihood can feature tilt-down towers so the turbine can be lowered as a storm approaches.

In fact, Vergnet    in France does just that, for such markets.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 11:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the beginning of the repowering sector in Germany

In 2009, 55 turbines with 136.2 MW replaced the majority of the 76 decommissioned turbines with 36.7 MW. Indeed a jump from 18 (23.94 MW) last year, but in 2007, it was 45 (103 MW).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 03:19:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
windy Greece still lags, the travesty remains England (Scotland is working on it reasonably well.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 10:29:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that it's unfortunate that there hasn't been more onshore development in the UK, but don't you think that there's something to be said for the large number of offshore projects with the Crown Estate?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 10:52:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No question, "there's something to be said," and the UK is the leader in installed offshore capacity.  It remains to be seen if the UK can build up the supply chain to implement the humongous Crown Estate plans, but no question it is very possible.

however, to the degree offshore is being used in the UK to ignore onshore development, it is a false step.  When onshore is being strongly developed, with significant annual capacity installations, then the pressure is off higher-risk offshore, and the industry can grow at a more healthy pace until it reaches maturity.

eggs, meet sole basket.

Hypothetically, it's possible the 126+ m rotor turbines need another generation or two to reach adequate performance levels.  Offshore slows down or even halts a year or three, then what?  (I'm not saying this is even likely, but there is no question the larger turbines are reaching unexplored territory.  Even the 90-100m rotor turbines have not reached full maturity yet.)

Case in point, the Crown Estate is invested in the Clipper 10MW turbine.  Clipper has an advanced design drive train, which took several years to reach operational status after first commercial installation.  While many prominent engineering analysts now claim that Clipper is back on track, i personally believe there's not yet a long enough data period to be confident they've solved the technical problems.  If that's the case with their 2.5 MW machine, what's to come with a 140m 10MW machine.

Clipper has assembled a top design team behind Amir Mikhail, and seems to have significant R&D funding secured.  if a proper prototype, testing and data analysis period is allowed BEFORE rollout, we could have a winner.  But the 2.5 was rolled out too soon, as are most turbines.  (GE 2.5 an exception.)  There's too much pressure to expand on offshore currently.

But J. is closer than I to industry sentiment, so i'll defer to his views here.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 12:06:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
however, to the degree offshore is being used in the UK to ignore onshore development, it is a false step.  When onshore is being strongly developed, with significant annual capacity installations, then the pressure is off higher-risk offshore, and the industry can grow at a more healthy pace until it reaches maturity.

Yes, but don't you get that windturbines are a horrible blight on the landscape.  At least for the twits who still wish that they could go fox hunting.

Point taken.  I imagine that you are right that the promise of what offshore might be able to do is being used to stop onshore from doing what we know it can.

Case in point, the Crown Estate is invested in the Clipper 10MW turbine.

140 meter rotors?  That's big. What's the hub height on something like that? I suppose that if you are invested in offshore, that you may as well pump up the size as much as possible.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 12:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hub height offshore is less critical than offshore, with lower alphas (increase of speed with height).  There is far less turbulence offshore as well, meaning lower hub heights suffice.  Onshore one needs to go higher to reach stronger winds, and eliminate as much terrain-induced turbulence as possible.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 12:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True enough.  I was thinking that you had to be at at least 140 meters to accommodate the blades, but then I guess not. Each side is 70 meters, so I suppose that you could even put it on a 100 meter a be fine.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 12:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what happened in the Netherlands? Was there a regulatory change?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 03:25:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guess: Dutch politics are not interested in wind?

As you may well know, Econcern went bust last year. Eneco took over their core activities, but I don't know about any plans in the pipeline... I don't expect much from companies as Nuon and Essent.

I'm still under the impression that there will be at least 3 new coal plants built. I don't find much news on this after a quick google search.

IOW: The Dutch suck at wind.

by Nomad on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 04:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the plans for all coal plants are on an extensive and costly hold for 1.5 years since March 2009 - largely through a NGO plaintive at the Dutch Council of State - the government's advisory body. The Council now investigates whether the scheduled coal plants will be violating EU's National Emissions Ceiling.

And there are actually plans for 4 coal plants... (RWE, Nuon, Electrabel and E.On)

A bit of good news at least.

by Nomad on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 05:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New installations went from 500 MW in 2008 to just 39 MW. Lack of political interest or the collapse of just one larger-scale developer is not enough to explain this, even substracting off-shore.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 05:07:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A tender is under way now (bids due by early March, for a government decision by June) - this should allocate a feed-in tariff equivalent for 900 MW of offshore projects, to be built over the next 5 years (or faster).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 05:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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