No big drop in performance as turbines get older

Published by Wind Power Monthly. View original article.

WORLDWIDE: Denmark’s first offshore wind farm, at Vindeby, has now accumulated over 20 years of operation and generated 217TWh of electricity. Tunø Knob, the second offshore wind farm, is not far behind, having been generating since 1995.

An article in the autumn 2010 issue of WindStats looked at the performance of these — as well as some Swedish and British — wind farms, and found that their outputs were generally in line with expectations. However, a recent analysis by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) in the UK has suggested that the productivity of the Danish offshore wind farms has been declining significantly with age and also concludes that “few wind farms will operate for more than 12-15 years”.

This analysis therefore updates the earlier WindStats review and examines the basis for the claim that wind-turbine performance declines with age. An analysis of data from the Danish Energy Agency finds no evidence to support the claim of an age-related performance drop. Performance generally appears to be maintained at a consistent level, with only a slight decline with age — one in line with other types of power plants. Some turbines even delivered improved performance with increasing age. Continue reading “No big drop in performance as turbines get older”

Solar future for Seymour?

On November 16, BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group and Yes 2 Renewables will present a Energy Futures Forum in Seymour. The event is already sparking interest. The following article appeared in The Seymour Telegraph. BEAM President Richard Telford points to the potential community-owned solar in the Mitchell Shire region. View original article.

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Imagine 1000 solar panels on a large rooftop in Mitchell Shire, community owned and run.

BEAM Mitchell Environment Group will be hosting an Energy Futures Forum in Seymour on November 16 where a grand idea like this will be featured.

One of the key speakers will be David Robinson, from the group LIVE — Locals Into Victoria’s Environment.

Mr Robinson is spearheading a push to install up to 1000 solar panels on the roof of the South Melbourne Market, adding to about 150 already in place there.

The sharp decline in the cost in panels, as much as 80 per cent cheaper in recent years, has made community-owned solar economically viable. Continue reading “Solar future for Seymour?”

Whipping up fear about wind farms: The property value stigma

Published in Renew Economy. View original article.

By Ketan Joshi, Research and Communications Officer at Infigen Energy, interested in scientific, technical and community issues surrounding renewable energy development. The views expressed above are his own, and not those of his employer.

You have three apples on your kitchen counter, nestled amongst various other fruit. Two are red, and one is green. Can we safely conclude that 66% of all apples are red? If you answered yes, then you’ll relish this article in the Australian Financial Review:

“Rural landholders across Australia may face a disappearing pool of buyers and plummeting values of up to 60 per cent because of neighbouring wind farms, a new, independent report has established.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe article references a mysterious report, which seems impossible to find anywhere online. I asked the author of the article where the report is published, but haven’t had a response. Reports that claim to demonstrate a reduction in property values from wind farms crop up a few times a year, and they invariably feature strong conclusions drawn from extremely weak evidence. Continue reading “Whipping up fear about wind farms: The property value stigma”

Waubra Wednesday #5 – The Stupefaction Gambit: “Community Acceptance Will Fuel Community Division”

Published by Etwas Luft. View original article. By Ketan Joshi, Research and Communications Officer at Infigen Energy. These views are his own.

Picture this: A man sits nervously in the witness stand, his hands bound by cuffs, his every move watched closely by a jury. A lawyer slowly steps up to him, and says:

“Sir, the evidence is irrefutable. You murdered Mr Wales, in cold blood”.

The accused smiles at the corner of his mouth.

“Hear this, my good man: you are wrong. It is Mr Wales who murdered me, and I shall avenge his crimes, mark my words!”

I call it the Stupefaction Gambit. If you stand accused of some wrongdoing, steel yourself, swallow your self-awareness, point at your accuser and accuse them of that same folly. In the ensuing chaos, the irrationality of your claim sneaks quietly past the other parties.

Recently, Neil Barrett, a film-maker from Victoria with an interest in renewable energy and a small share in the Hepburn community wind farm (also in Victoria) released a set of videos (condensed version below) interviewing residents near the Waubra Wind Farm.   Continue reading “Waubra Wednesday #5 – The Stupefaction Gambit: “Community Acceptance Will Fuel Community Division””

Big data ideas promise improved wind and solar forecasts

Published by Windpower Engineering & Development. View original article.

Big Blue says its advanced power and weather modelling technology will help utilities around the world improve the reliability of their renewable energy resources. “The solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy,” says Michael Valicchi, IBM’s Global Energy and Utility Industry Leader. He says the effort will let utilities combine more renewable energy into the power grid, helping to reduce carbon emissions.

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Valicchi says HyRef can predict the performance of each wind turbine and estimate the amount of generated renewable energy by using local weather forecasts. “This level of insight will let utilities better manage the variable nature of wind and solar, and more accurately forecast the amount of power that can be redirected into the power grid or stored. It will also let energy organizations combine other conventional sources such as coal and natural gas,” he adds. “We have developed an intelligent system that combines weather and power forecasting to increase system availability and optimize power grid performance.” Continue reading “Big data ideas promise improved wind and solar forecasts”

What will it take for facts to overcome fear about wind turbines?

Published by Environmental Law & Litigation. View original article by Dianne Saxe. People who actually live with and host wind turbines on their properties are rarely heard in the emotional debate on wind farms and health. Australian filmmaker and researcher Neil … Continue reading What will it take for facts to overcome fear about wind turbines?

Wind Economics: Case for wind energy strengthens further

Published by Wind Power Monthly. View original article.

WORLDWIDE: A new report comparing generation costs for different technologies on a global basis confirms wind’s competitiveness.

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In its Renewable Energy Medium-Term Market Report 2013, the International Energy Agency (IEA) compares all electricity-generating technologies and suggests that the minimum global price for onshore wind is about $50/MWh, which can only be bettered by geothermal and hydro in favourable locations, and coal and gas in some locations with cheap access. The IEA suggests the generation cost range for onshore wind is $50-160/MWh, with offshore wind at $150-340/MWh. Coal is placed at $40-90/MWh and gas at $40-130/MWh. This confirms once again that the cheapest wind can now compete with both gas and coal. Continue reading “Wind Economics: Case for wind energy strengthens further”

Lomborg’s criticism of current renewables is years out of date

Published in The Conversation by Andrew Blakers. View original article.

climate changeThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report paints an authoritative picture of the dire consequences if we fail to rapidly curb our greenhouse gas emissions.

Solving this will require many different actions in parallel: to curb energy demand, reduce the greenhouse intensity of electricity production, shift transport to renewable electricity and renewable fuels, move heavy industry away from fossil fuel, curb land clearing, and reduce the greenhouse intensity of agriculture.

Mechanisms to achieve this include research and development (R&D) funding, sector targets, carbon pricing, liberal capital investment funding and authoritative information. Australia presently has these mechanisms, although the new government plans to abolish the latter three. Continue reading “Lomborg’s criticism of current renewables is years out of date”

Dutch Wind Turbine Purchase Sets World Crowdfunding Record

Published in Renewable Energy World. View original article.

LONDON — Raising €1.3 million in just thirteen hours, 1700 Dutch households that came together to buy shares in a wind turbine have set a new world record for crowdfunding.

All 6,648 shares in the electricity from the Vestas V80 2-MW wind turbine were sold, at a share price of €200. Each household bought single shares or blocks of shares, with each share corresponding to an output of around 500 kWh/share per year.

The purchase was organised by Windcentrale, a company that facilitates cooperative wind turbine purchases. Windcentrale says it has enabled more than 6,900 Dutch citizens to buy shares in wind turbines, and according to co-founder Harm Reitsma there is a growing list of several thousand people who have expressed interest in future purchase options. Continue reading “Dutch Wind Turbine Purchase Sets World Crowdfunding Record”

Wind farms: What we can’t hear, can’t harm

Published by Renew Economy. View original article.

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In a new analysis, the Australian Energy Market Operator estimates Victoria will have 4,090 MW of new wind energy capacity installed by 2020. Those who support more renewables in the energy mix will welcome the forecast, yet it may be optimistic.

Today (Friday September 27), the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal (VCAT) will resume the decision making process on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for central Victoria. Despite meeting the world’s strictest wind farm planning laws and laying outside the multitude of no-go zones imposed by the Baillieu government, the project could be thwarted. By what? The self interest and pseudo-science trumpeted by anti-wind farm groups.

The fate of the Cherry Tree Range wind farm is a test case for wind energy in Victoria. If it’s approved then there’s hope Victoria will achieve the high-penetration of wind energy AEMO predict by the end of the decade.

VCAT adjourned with an interim determination in April, finding the permit application was in accordance with all the planning considerations that the Mitchell Shire had contested. However the Tribunal decided it would await the outcome of an EPA SA study into alleged noise complaints at Waterloo wind farm, and also a new review by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

VCAT left us to ponder the question: whether there is a causal link between sound pressure emissions from wind turbines and adverse health effects of a physiological nature. Continue reading “Wind farms: What we can’t hear, can’t harm”