Tag Archives: wind power

The Next Big Thing in Green Energy: Floating Wind Turbines – Technology – The Atlantic Wire

23 Apr

Wind power, you see, is one of the few natural resources the United Kingdom has a lot of. Smartplanet reports that “the UK has more offshore wind capacity than any other country,” but the problem is most of the steady, heavy winds blow over parts of the ocean that are too deep to build foundations to. So floating turbines, which stay in place via cables anchored to the seafloor, make sense. But they’re still very much experimental technology. The first-ever floating turbine went into operation off Norway in 2009, and today Norway’s still the most advanced in the field. The U.S. and U.K. want to catch up, and they’re willing to pay to do so. So if you’ve got some plans lying around for a design you think might work, now’s the time to pitch them.

via The Next Big Thing in Green Energy: Floating Wind Turbines – Technology – The Atlantic Wire.

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Renewable Energy Advances in the U.S. Despite Obstacles – NYTimes.com

11 Apr

The outlook on solar is good, for now:

Many business executives, policy analysts and investors say there is a robust future for domestic solar energy distributed in medium-size arrays and on commercial and residential rooftops, especially in markets with high electricity prices or strong mandates, like Hawaii, California and much of the Northeast.

The low cost of solar panels, whose average price dropped 50 percent last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, has helped. So have new financing methods that allow owners to lease systems long term, cutting their current electricity costs with little or no upfront investment. Last year, about 1,855 megawatts of new photovoltaic capacity was installed, according to a report by the association, more than double the 887 megawatts of the year before.

Despite having lost the program that allowed developers to recoup 30 percent of their costs as a cash grant, the solar industry is still eligible through 2016 for a tax credit to be taken over five years, making its future seem in some ways more solid than that of the wind power industry, even though it far outstrips solar already.

Wind is iffy:

Although wind has some of the same advantages, development faces a different set of challenges. Unlike solar power, which can operate efficiently on a small scale, wind projects often make economic sense only if they are huge, but they can end up generating electricity far from where it is needed, throwing up the political, logistical and parochial hurdles of streaming electrons across county and state lines.

Still, plans for enormous projects are beginning to move ahead. One such project, by Clean Line Energy, which develops high-voltage transmission lines, would create enough capacity to take 3,500 megawatts of wind power from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota to Illinois and states to the east.

via Renewable Energy Advances in the U.S. Despite Obstacles – NYTimes.com.

Over Half of Germany’s Renewable Energy Owned By Citizens & Farmers, Not Utility Companies : TreeHugger

8 Jan

Germany now produces slightly over 20% of all its electricity from renewable sources.

The thing that got me though, other than the huge lead in solar PV installations Germany has over the US … is what slightly over half of renewable energy being owned not by corporations but by actual biological people means—obviously a democratic shift in control of resources and a break from the way electricity and energy has been produced over the past century.

A good thing: Decentralized power generation, more relocalization and reregionalization of economic activity, the world getting smaller while more connected and therefore in a way bigger at the same time… taking a step backwards, and perhaps sideways, while moving forwards.

via Over Half of Germany’s Renewable Energy Owned By Citizens & Farmers, Not Utility Companies : TreeHugger.

Japan to build floating wind farm near Fukushima nuclear plant ‹ Japan Today

17 Sep

Japan plans to build a floating wind farm near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as part of the country’s disaster reconstruction effort, a government official said Thursday.

Tokyo is seeking ways to reduce its reliance on atomic energy following the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and is eying the Pacific coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the official said.

via Japan to build floating wind farm near Fukushima nuclear plant ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.