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Russia Finally Gets on Board the "Wind Train"

by nb41 Thu Apr 10th, 2008 at 11:56:07 AM EST

Here is a recent item that I came across, original source being the Daily News Bulletin in Moscow :

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 First Wind Farm in Russia to Be Built in Murmansk Region

Apr 09 - Daily News Bulletin; Moscow

The first wind farm in Russia will be built in the Murmansk region.

Murmansk Governor Yury Yevdokimov and president of the Dutch company WindLife Energy signed a protocol of cooperation in building a wind farm in the Kola Peninsula on Tuesday.

Nikolai Sigin, Yevdokimov's press secretary, told Interfax the document stipulates the establishment of a company as the project operator and its registration in the region.

It was reported earlier that the regional administration planned to build three wind farms on the Kola Peninsula.

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.  

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Anyway, congratulations to those involved - it's about time! - and may many more wind farm developments - big and small - follow this one. Odds are, this is going to be REALLY windy spot - the seas around Mumansk  are known for awesome, "ship-eating" weather, so this is a good place to start. Maybe the winds will be as fierce as they are near the Straits of Magellan, or in some of New Zealand's wind canyons, where one wind farm has an average hub height (40 meters) wind speed of more than 11 meters/second, and its really rough on the Vestas V47 turbines.

But regardless, Russia is a country that "Big" is an understatement for. Much of Russia lies in the 40 to 60 degree latitudes, which includes the "Roaring 40's" and the "Fearsome Fifties" wind regimes. A lot of it is flat, which is great for wind turbines. Then there are undoubtedly wind canyons snuggled in the Urals and other mountain ranges, and the Pacific coastline is also undoubtedly windy. And even though really windy areas are probably a long way from where people live in large numbers - they invented HVDC. Couple big hydroelectric facilities, lots of deferred hydro and pumped hydro potential, and to me, that seems like a lot of wind potential, and more importantly, job creating potential.

Geez, maybe they could even start on a Feed-In Law of sorts. Besides, if they can do gas deals, they can do wind deals. Using wind to displace Ngas and oil consuming electrical generators, and also coal burners, will be most welcomed by the rest of the world, and it's also smart business, since the Ngas not burned domestically is foreign dollars earned by perhaps exporting this Ngas as methane or ammonia.

So, the journey begins with a first step (well, actually, the first offshore units were near Odessa back in the 1930's, but that's old history). I hope that the Russians keep on truckin' in the wind turbine direction.

Nb41


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Maybe the winds will be as fierce as they are near the Straits of Magellan, or in some of New Zealand's wind canyons, where one wind farm has an average hub height (40 meters) wind speed of more than 11 meters/second, and its really rough on the Vestas V47 turbines.

That would be one of the three windfarms I can see from the end of my street.  But its not in a canyon - they're all on hilltops.

As for Russia, what's their policy framework like?  Do they do anything at all to encourage renewables, leave everything to the free market, settle it by bribery, or what?

by IdiotSavant on Thu Apr 10th, 2008 at 10:32:10 PM EST

As for Russia, what's their policy framework like?  Do they do anything at all to encourage renewables, leave everything to the free market, settle it by bribery, or what?

Energy generation and distribution is in the process of being looted by Chubais, the architect of Western-supported economic collapse and theft of the public property, so things like renewables are not on the table.

by blackhawk on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 03:05:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a link to an extremely windy NZ wind farm:

http://www.trustpower.co.nz/Content/Generation/WindFarms/Tararua.aspx

While the turbines are on a ridge, the ridge appears to be in a wind funnel zone, hence the "wind canyon". Many of the initial California wind farms are located in similar spots, where winds get funneled by higher hills on either side of the turbine array.

Such arrangements get amazing winds on a really consistent basis. Its the wind equivalent of a Niagara Falls.

In the Western part of the US, in places like Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, as the air that has been cooled by being forced over 3000 to 4000 meter tall mountain ranges (themselves "air dams") falls off the mountains in that ever-present west to east direction, density adds to the kick, and all this air happens to puor across vast flat or gently undulating lands. Every once in a while this river of air encounters a bump, like the State of Kansas. Anyway, wind speeds averaging 8 to 9 m/s at hub heights are quite common across vast regions.

But they are nothing compared to either wind canyon winds or areas like the NZ wind farms (the two islands may also form a canyon of sorts). This wind farm actually makes the North Sea look like a calm spot, and the North Sea is anything but calm, on average.

As for NZ, the big question is why isn't the whole country powered up by the combination of this awesome wind resource, pumped and deferred hydro storage, and that plentiful geothermal energy. I guess it's a work in progress, and I also wish them the best in their efforts to go renewable...

Nb41

by nb41 on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 12:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they invented HVDC

I'm not so sure about that. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 06:10:27 AM EST
is that for investment in wind to make sense, you need a stable regulatory (or at least pricing) framework over a large-ish number of years (10 to 15, at least).

That kind of long term stability is hard to expect, in russia, and it is even harder in a context where most of the electricity is produced from gas which is sold to the generating companies at low domestic regulated prices, and is thus a lot cheaper than what wind can achieve. Furthermore, they are decent arguments to argue that energy should indeed remain at low regulated prices in Russia (it's a vital necessity, and it's probably the fairest way to ensure effective across-the-board support to the population - physical infrastructure is harder to corrupt than policy schemes).

So I'd be surprised to see wind take off in Russia in the foreseeaable future.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 09:35:43 AM EST
Could the Stranded Wind initiative be a good venture for Russia tho ? That way they're not competing with low price gas.

Although we're not at peak gas yet, wouldn't it make more sense strategically for Russia to have more gas to export and use wind for domestic purposes ? I always remember a friend who was involved in the gas industry that the best thing to have done with N Sea gas was to leave it in the ground until prices improved its value. He felt the bonaqnza was somewhat wasted.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 10:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ammonia is also manufactured from natural gas...

As to your other point, the answer would be yes, but they should first of all improve the efficiency of their existing gas-fired power plants - bringing them to state-of-the-art thermal efficiency would save Russia tens of billions of cubic meters of gas each years (ie something worth $10-20 billion per year...)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 11th, 2008 at 11:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either that or you need the state to get involved in the development.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 24th, 2008 at 04:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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