Tagged: wind power

All eyes on wind power as it blows power record

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

Wind turbines had a storm of a day on Sunday, hitting a new record by providing 24% of the UK’s electricity supply for the whole day.

The energy source stepped up to the plate when a fire took Didcot B gas plant offline on Sunday evening.

On the previous day, wind also set a new peak record by generating 7,998 megawatts (MW) over a half-hour period at midday, once local turbines are factored in, according to National Grid statistics.

This is the equivalent of powering 17 million homes, based on average consumption in October.

RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs Jennifer Webber said this proved wind’s role in the UK energy mix.

She said: “Wind power is often used as a convenient whipping boy by political opponents and vested interests; all the while, it’s been quietly powering millions of homes across the UK and providing a robust response to its vocal detractors.”

Source: Energy Live News 


Wind power is cheapest energy, EU analysis finds

Onshore windfarms far cheaper than coal and gas when health impacts are factored in, report shows
Dawn over Whitlee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor just south of Glasgow, Europe's largest onshore wind farm
Whitlee wind farm south of Glasgow. Onshore wind costs around €105 per megawatt hour when externalities are considered, according to Ecofys. Photograph: Global Warming Images/REX/Global Warming Images/REX

Onshore wind is cheaper than coal, gas or nuclear energy when the costs of ‘external’ factors like air quality, human toxicity and climate change are taken into account, according to an EU analysis.

The report says that for every megawatt hour (MW/h) of electricity generated, onshore wind costs roughly €105 (£83) per MW/h, compared to gas and coal which can cost up to around €164 and €233 per MW/h, respectively.

Nuclear power, offshore wind and solar energy are all comparably inexpensive generators, at roughly €125 per MW/h.

“This report highlights the true cost of Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Justin Wilkes, the deputy CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “Renewables are regularly denigrated for being too expensive and a drain on the taxpayer. Not only does the commission’s report show the alarming cost of coal but it also presents onshore wind as both cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.”

The paper, which was written for the European commission by the Ecofys consultancy, suggests that the Conservative party plan of restricting new onshore windfarms will mean blocking out the cheapest source of energy when environmental and health facts are taken into consideration. It has been suggested the Tory plan could be done through a cap on onshore wind turbines’ output, lower subsidies or tighter planning restrictions.

“Any plans to change policy for onshore wind must be looked at in the context of this report,” said Oliver Joy a spokesman for EWEA. “Investors need long-term visibility. ‘Stop-start’ policies as well as harsh retroactive changes can blindside investors, driving up the risk premium and cost of capital.”

The documents’ contents may also be unwelcome in some quarters of the commission, which early today published selective results from it that did not include external health and pollution costs.

These showed that renewable energy took €38.3bn of public subsidies in 2012, compared to €22.3bn for gas, coal and nuclear. The EU did however note that if free carbon allowances to polluters were included in the data, it “would reduce the gap between support for renewables and other power generation technologies.”

The Ecofys paper’s nuanced evaluation of historical subsidies for coal and nuclear was also not mentioned in the EU press release, which renewable energy associations linked to a fossil fuel lobbying effort ahead of the report’s publication.

“Despite decades of heavy subsidies, mature coal and nuclear energy technologies are still dependent on similar levels of public support as innovative solar energy is receiving today,” Frauke Thies, the policy director for the European Photovoltaic Industry Association told the Guardian.

“The difference is that costs of solar continue to decrease rapidly. If the unaccounted external costs to society are included, the report demonstrates that support to fossil fuels and nuclear even by far exceeds that to solar.”

The EU’s energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, said that the report was only “a first step” to filling gaps in knowledge about the nature of energy subsidies and more reports are likely in the months ahead.

The figures for the energy sources in the report are all approximate, as the bar chart listing them is counted in units of €25 MW/h.

Last year, a row broke out in Brussels after the German newspaper Suddeutche Zeitung reported that Oettinger had tried to delete figures cited in a commission report showing that in 2011, fossil fuels took €26bn in public subsidies, compared to €35bn for nuclear power and €30bn for renewables.

Source: Guardian

UK green bank plans £11bn offshore wind fund

UK green bank plans £11bn offshore wind fund

Copyright: Thinkstock

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced plans to launch a £1 billion fund to buy stakes in operating offshore wind farms.

The bank said it is looking for “suitable long-term co-investors” to pump money into the sector which has been rocked by a number of project cancellations.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “GIB’s plans for a dedicated offshore wind fund are a real boost for our industrial strategy in a sector where we have a strong competitive advantage compared to other countries.

“There are great opportunities for British companies and the industry has the potential to create 30,000 jobs for the UK.”

The bank unveiled the proposals alongside its full-year results, reporting a loss of £5.7 million in the current year – as a result of “a significant proportion of income being deferred to future years”.

Read more here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/06/24/uk-green-bank-plans-1bn-offshore-wind-fund/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-green-bank-plans-1bn-offshore-wind-fund

Source: Energy Live News

UK wind energy output grew 38% last year


UK wind energy output grew 38% last year

Copyright: Thinkstock

The amount of electricity produced by wind grew by more than a third last year, according to DECC.

Provisional energy statistics for 2013 show wind farms met 7.7% of demand last year, up from 5.5% in 2012 – a 38% rise year-on-year.

Overall low carbon generation accounted for 32.7% of supply – up from 29.4% in 2012. Bioenergy rose by 52%, with its share growing to 2.8% while hydropower was down by 13.2%. Nuclear output remained broadly unchanged, accounting for around 65% of the UK’s low carbon generation.

Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK said: “It’s great to see the way wind power has grown in just one year. Each unit of wind power production means that we’re having to import less foreign fuel – especially gas which is eye-wateringly expensive. There has been a steady decline of UK production of traditional energy sources so we need to make sure there is something replacing that – and wind is increasingly playing that role.”

Read more here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/02/27/uk-wind-energy-output-grew-38-last-year/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-wind-energy-output-grew-38-last-year

Source: Energy Live News

UK generates “record” amount of wind power

UK generates “record” amount of wind power

UK generates “record” amount of wind power

For the first time more than six gigawatts (GW) of power has been generated by wind in the UK.

Last Friday (29 November) between 2.30pm and 3pm, wind turbines produced an average of 6,004 megawatts (MW), making up 13.5% of the UK’s total electricity demand at that time, according to National Grid statistics.

That’s enough to power more than 3,410,000 British homes, said trade body RenewableUK.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/12/02/uk-generates-%E2%80%9Crecord%E2%80%9D-amount-of-wind-power/

Source: Energy Live News

UK offshore wind capacity grows 79% in one year

UK offshore wind capacity grows 79% in one year

UK offshore wind capacity grows 79% in one year

The offshore wind industry in the UK has enjoyed a “record breaking year” in terms of new deployment, with a 79% rise in capacity in the 12 months to June this year.

Trade body RenewableUK’s latest annual report suggests it marks the first year in which offshore capacity has outstripped onshore wind power.

Installed capacity in the offshore wind sector stood at 3,321MW at the end of June this year, up from 1,858MW a year earlier. The UK also saw four large scale offshore projects go live during the 12-month period – the Great Gabbard,Gunfleet Sands III, Sheringham Shoal and the London Array, the biggest offshore wind farm in the world.

The onshore wind industry saw capacity grow by 25% to 6,389MW over the same period, with 1,258MW of new capacity installed.

Across both sectors, wind capacity grew 40% and now stands at 9.7GW – enough to power more than five and a half million homes – providing an estimated £2 billion boost to the UK economy, the report claims.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/11/19/uk-offshore-wind-capacity-grows-79-in-one-year/

Source: Energy Live News

£15m fund to cut costs of deep water wind turbines

£15m fund to cut costs of deep water wind turbines

£15m fund to cut costs of deep water wind turbines

Researchers and wind power firms will be able to vie for cash from a £15million fund to develop new, less expensive foundations for offshore wind farms.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced the fund for prototype turbine foundations in water depths greater than 30 metres earlier today.

Foundation structures currently account for around 16% of total offshore wind project costs. Estimates suggest more innovation in this area could lead to a 9% saving.

This would be a step towards slashing the cost of offshore wind generation by around a third to £100 per megawatt hours (MWh) by 2020, as outlined in the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force report, published in June last year.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/04/25/15m-fund-to-cut-costs-of-deep-water-wind-turbines/

Source: Energy News Live