Offshore wind farm for Japan’s Fukushima province

In Japan, a new floating wind turbine is being trialled off the coast of the disaster-struck Fukushima province. About this time last year, as many of us were still in shock from the footage of the terrifying tsunami – and chilled by the unfolding catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant – Japan’s wind farms were still producing energy; in fact they were basically unaffected by the tsunami and earthquake. The following is from The Denki Shimbun, a daily energy newsletter. Floating offshore wind farm demonstration project in Fukushima Mar. 09, 2012 TOKYO –The demonstration research project of a floating … Continue reading Offshore wind farm for Japan’s Fukushima province

New turbine research shows potential for jobs, efficiency and noise reduction

We refer to wind turbines as a mature technology – they are, and they are well proven as a reliable energy source as many countries, and even South Australia, prove by integrating 20% wind energy into their grid. That doesn’t mean further innovation is possible, any more than the “mature” (century-old) automobile design relying on an internal combustion engine can’t be surpassed (as they now are, by electric vehicles). As the renewable energy industry grows, we could see a huge creative engineering potential unleashed. Here’s three innovations currently being projected for turbine design, starting right here in Victoria – Geelong. … Continue reading New turbine research shows potential for jobs, efficiency and noise reduction

‘US wind farm shows green jobs future’

The following comes from the Weekly Times, original reporting by AAP. US wind farm shows green jobs future CONSTRUCTION and operation plans have been approved for America’s first offshore wind farm. The wind farm, which could create up to 1000 jobs, is part of the tens of thousands of jobs promised by a nationwide wind power industry in the US. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar yesterday announced the approval by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement for the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast. It clears the way for work to begin on the proposed 130-turbine … Continue reading ‘US wind farm shows green jobs future’

‘Offshore wind power to explode to 17 times its current capacity in just six years’

Offshore wind will reach 70.1 GW of capacity by 2017, says Pike Research. That’s 17 times its current capacity, which is 4.1 GW, and amounts to several times the current maximum solar capacity of the most solared-out country in the world, Germany. Europe is currently in the lead on offshore power, but by 2017, China will pull even. (The U.S. will be in the mix somewhere too, if we can get those Nantucket swells to settle down.) We’re mostly talking about ocean wind farms, but a portion of this new capacity will come from freshwater offshore installations, such as in … Continue reading ‘Offshore wind power to explode to 17 times its current capacity in just six years’

Germany, Italy shift focus from nuclear to renewables

The following is taken from the Platts Renewable Energy Report (May 2011). It has been edited for brevity. An interesting quote about wind energy: “Wind energy is considered to have the greatest potential for swift, cost-efficient expansion of renewable electricity generation”. Germany, Italy shift focus from nuclear to renewables A month after the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan crippled  the Fukushima nuclear complex and triggered fears of a catastrophe, Germany and Italy have taken steps to swiftly move from nuclear energy to renewable resources. Germany’s government plans to have new legislation drawn up as early as June to … Continue reading Germany, Italy shift focus from nuclear to renewables

An underwater grid for offshore wind, funded by Google

This article comes from Grist, and is written by David Roberts. I have a feature story in the latest issue of Popular Science: “Hundreds of Miles of Wind Farms, Networked Under the Sea.” It’s about the Atlantic Wind Connection, a new project (funded, in part, by Google) that would lay high-voltage transmission lines beneath the sea floor along the mid-Atlantic coast, opening the area up to offshore wind developers. I managed to get through the article without using the tired term “game changer,” but … this is a Big Deal. Here’s how the story begins: During the last ice age, … Continue reading An underwater grid for offshore wind, funded by Google

Wind power surges forward around the globe

Recent commentary from Lester Brown, published in Grist. Wind power surges forward around the globe For many years, a small handful of countries dominated growth in wind power, but this is changing as the industry goes global, with more than 70 countries now developing wind resources. Between 2000 and 2010, world wind electric generating capacity increased at a frenetic pace from 17,000 megawatts to nearly 200,000 megawatts. Measured by share of electricity supplied by wind, Denmark is the leading nation at 21 percent. Three north German states now get 40 percent or more of their electricity from wind. For Germany … Continue reading Wind power surges forward around the globe

Imagine an Australian government initiative to drive new investment in wind energy

Wind Powering America is a nationwide initiative designed to increase the use of wind energy across the United States by working with regional stakeholders. What is more remarkable about it is that it is driven by the U.S. government, through the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program. Imagine a similar, government-driven initiative here! It must be working, as it is driving a number of conservative writers and commentators crazy …. From their website: Wind Powering America is a commitment to dramatically increase the use of wind energy in the United States. Through its state Wind Working Groups, programs … Continue reading Imagine an Australian government initiative to drive new investment in wind energy

Major funding boost for offshore wind projects in USA

DOE Announces Major Funding For Offshore Wind Projects Government officials today announced major steps forward in support of offshore wind energy in the United States, including new funding opportunities for companies interested in offshore wind energy deployment. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu released a joint statement that announed the availability of up to $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment. Salazar also identified several high priority wind energy areas in the mid-Atlantic that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource. Offshore wind development became much more attractive … Continue reading Major funding boost for offshore wind projects in USA