by Jerome a Paris
Sat Sep 29th, 2012 at 07:25:53 AM EST
A symbolic milestone is reached:
EU wind capacity hits 100 gigawatt mark - industry
(Reuters) - Installed EU wind capacity has reached the 100 gigawatt mark - the equivalent of power generated from 39 nuclear plants or a train of coal stretching from Buenos Aires to Brussels - but financial risk threatens growth, industry body EWEA said.
"We have just in the past couple of weeks passed 100 gigawatts of total installed capacity in Europe," Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association, told a small group of reporters. "We have been adding about 10 gigawatts per year for a couple of years and it will be around the same this year," he added.
The stable volume of installations is important, as it helps provide predictability to manufacturing companies.
Another large offshore wind farm is inaugurated:
Scrira cuts ribbon on giant Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm
The UK's booming offshore wind market will receive a further boost today with the official opening of the giant 317MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk.
Developers Scrira Offshore Energy, a 50:50 joint venture between Norwegian energy giants Statoil and Statkraft, will cut the ribbon on the facility at an opening ceremony at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, near the 88 turbine development.
The £1bn development will be the UK's third largest offshore wind farm, after the 500MW Greater Gabbard site and the 376MW Walney 1 and 2 sites, and is expected to generate 1.1TWh of green energy every year, enough to power almost 220,000 British homes.
Both Walney and Greater Gabbard were inaugurated earlier this year, making it indeed a remarkable year for offshore wind installations, most of it in the UK.
And a journalist provides some inconvenient truths:
It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions
Conclusive figures show that the sceptics who lobby against wind power simply have their facts wrong
The assertion that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions is a myth, according to conclusive statistical data obtained from National Grid and analysed here in the Guardian for the first time. With a new wind generation record of 4,131 megawatts set on 14 September, the question of how far the UK's wind generation fleet can help in meeting our climate targets is increasingly controversial. Now it can be shown that the sceptics who lobby against wind simply have their facts wrong.
From analysing National Grid data of more than 4,000 half-hour periods over the last three months, a strong correlation between windiness and a reduction in gas-fired generation becomes clear. The exchange rate is about one for one: a megawatt hour of wind typically meant the UK grid used one less megawatt hour of gas-derived electricity. This means that actual CO2 savings can be calculated from the data with a high degree of accuracy - these are not guesstimates from models, but observations of real-world data.