Giant wind turbine sets record

The new V164 9 MW turbine from Danish company MHI Vestas Offshore Wind produced an amazing 216,000 kWh on December 1, 2016. The turbine was installed at a testing site near Østerild, Denmark. The 9 MW V164 turbine is a tweaked and upgraded version of the 8 MW V164 that was developed in 2012. The V164 has been the most powerful wind turbine to date, holding the previous wind energy generation record before its upgrade. It stands 722 feet high and has blades that are 263 feet long. The V164 has a 25-year life span and 80 percent of the turbine can be recycled when its job is done.

— source treehugger.com, mhivestasoffshore.com

Wind power briefly sets record as source for electricity in U.S.

Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on Sunday, the 14-state Southwest Power Pool (SPP) said, for the first time on any North American power grid. Wind power in the SPP region has grown significantly to over 16,000 MW currently from less than 400 megawatts in the early 2000s and is expected to continue growing. One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

Wind power briefly reached 52.1 percent at 4:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, SPP said on Monday, beating the previous penetration milestone of 49.2 percent. Wind penetration is a measure of the amount of total load served by wind at a given time.

— source reuters.com

Denmark Generated Enough Wind Energy To Power All Its Electricity Needs On Wednesday

According to WindEurope, Denmark generated a total of 70 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from onshore wind and another 27 GWh from offshore wind — enough to power the equivalent of 10 million average EU households. This is not the first time wind power has dominated generation statistics in Denmark, with several big wind energy days back throughout 2015. By the end of 2015, the country had a total of just over 5 gigawatts (GW) worth of wind energy installed — made up of 3799 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind and 1271 MW of offshore wind — a number which likely would have increased during 2016.

— source cleantechnica.com. February 24th, 2017

All Dutch Trains Now Run 100% On Wind Power

Electric trains have always been a relatively sustainable mode of transport, with much lower emissions than cars, but as of the 1st of January, 2017, all electric train rides in the Netherlands have become even greener. They are now entirely powered by clean, renewable, wind energy.

Dutch railway companies, of which NS is by far the largest, teamed up with energy company Eneco in 2015 to cut train ride emissions drastically. Originally, 2018 was set as the target for changing to 100% renewable power sources. After having reached 75% in 2016, though, the 100% transition was completed one year ahead of schedule.

The NS alone transports 600,000 people per day, for which it needs 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year.

— source cleantechnica.com

Wind farms key to cutting carbon emissions

Wind farms have made a significant impact in limiting carbon emissions from other sources of power generation in Great Britain. Power from wind farms prevented the creation of almost 36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as coal and gas, in a six-year period. This is the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road, University analysis of nationwide output shows. The study, published in Energy Policy, was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

— source ed.ac.uk

Solar That’s Cheaper Than Wind

A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity.

This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The chart below shows the average cost of new wind and solar from 58 emerging-market economies, including China, India, and Brazil. While solar was bound to fall below wind eventually, given its steeper price declines, few predicted it would happen this soon.

Disclosed capex for onshore wind and PV projects in 58 non-OECD countries Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

“Solar investment has gone from nothing—literally nothing—like five years ago to quite a lot,” said Ethan Zindler, head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF. “A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar” and helping other countries finance their own projects.
Half the Price of Coal

This year has seen a remarkable run for solar power. Auctions, where private companies compete for massive contracts to provide electricity, established record after record for cheap solar power. It started with a contract in January to produce electricity for $64 per megawatt-hour in India; then a deal in August pegging $29.10 per megawatt hour in Chile. That’s record-cheap electricity—roughly half the price of competing coal power.

“Renewables are robustly entering the era of undercutting” fossil fuel prices, BNEF chairman Michael Liebreich said in a note to clients this week.

Those are new contracts, but plenty of projects are reaching completion this year, too. When all the 2016 completions are tallied in coming months, it’s likely that the total amount of solar photovoltaics added globally will exceed that of wind for the first time. The latest BNEF projections call for 70 gigawatts of newly installed solar in 2016 compared with 59 gigawatts of wind.

The overall shift to clean energy can be more expensive in wealthier nations, where electricity demand is flat or falling and new solar must compete with existing billion-dollar coal and gas plants. But in countries that are adding new electricity capacity as quickly as possible, “renewable energy will beat any other technology in most of the world without subsidies,” said Liebreich.
Turning Points

The world recently passed a turning point and is adding more capacity for clean energy each year than for coal and natural gas combined. Peak fossil-fuel use for electricity may be reached within the next decade.

Thursday’s BNEF report, called Climatescope, ranks and profiles emerging markets for their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy projects. The top-scoring markets were China, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, and India.

When it comes to renewable energy investment, emerging markets have taken the lead over the 35 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), spending $154.1 billion in 2015 compared with $153.7 billion by those wealthier countries, BNEF said. The growth rates of clean-energy deployment are higher in these emerging-market states, so they are likely to remain the clean energy leaders indefinitely, especially now that three-quarters have established clean-energy targets.

Still, the buildup of wind and solar takes time, and fossil fuels remain the cheapest option for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Coal and natural gas will continue to play a key role in the alleviation of energy poverty for millions of people in the years to come.

But for populations still relying on expensive kerosene generators, or who have no electricity at all, and for those living in the dangerous smog of thickly populated cities, the shift to renewables and increasingly to solar can’t come soon enough.

— source bloomberg.com By Tom Randall

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Powers Up

Deepwater Wind announced today that the Block Island Wind Farm has completed its commissioning and testing phases and begun commercial operations, delivering electricity into the New England region’s grid on a regular basis. The energy produced from the Block Island Wind Farm is linked to the New England grid by National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system.

The Block Island Wind Farm consists of five 6-MW “Haliade” wind turbines made by GE. The wind farm will be able to provide 90 percent of the electricity needs of the island, located three miles off the coast of Rhode Island, replacing diesel generators the island’s residents have relied on until now.

— source treehugger.com, dwwind.com