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Wind Power Drives Initiatives And Investments

By Countercurrents.org

01 October, 2012

Wind power is attracting investments in countries. Plans for tapping wind energy are being formulated and implemented. The following reports show the prospects of wind energy, an emerging market.

Malawi 's move towards wind energy

Jan Dodd's report [1] in Windpower Monthly on September 26, 2012 said:

Malawi has invited expressions of interest from firms to identify promising wind farm sites and carry out wind measurements.

The purpose of the work is to increase reliability and quality of electricity supply.

Malawi has exceptional wind resources along the shores of Lake Malawi , according to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

The country relies on hydropower for 94% of its electricity supply and suffers frequent black-outs. As well as seeking to diversify its generation resource, Malawi also needs new capacity to cope with a rapidly growing population (expanded from 9 million in 1998 to 15 million 2010) and increasing demand.

New wind project sites in Denmark

In another report [2] on Sept. 27, 2012 Windpower Monthly said:

Martin Lidegaard, Denmark 's climate, energy and building minister, has named the locations of eight small-scale offshore wind projects to be built close to the Danish shore.

The projects represent one element of Denmark 's offshore wind strategy, which also includes the construction of two further large-scale wind farms – another 400MW at Horns Rev and 600MW at Kriegers Flak. These are in addition to the 400MW Anholt project, which is currently being built.

"It is important to me that we get the cheapest solution with the greatest possible local support," said Lidegaard, releasing the names of the locations.

The terms set out by the government for the projects prohibit turbine construction within 4km of the shoreline. The eight locations were chosen following a review of 16 potential sites conducted by a working group representing several government ministries with maritime and/or energy interests.

Half of the chosen sites lie on the west coast of Jutland . "Westerly winds off the Atlantic are dominant and promise a quicker return on investment," noted economist, Lisbeth Nielsen, a special adviser at the Danish Energy Agency, speaking with Windpower Offshore .

There is a possibility that five projects with a capacity of 100MW each will be built, rather than all eight projects with a cumulative capacity of 500MW.

It is also possible that local communities could hold minority stakes in nearby projects.

The Danish government is considering a new subsidy scheme for near-shore projects as well as specific regulations.

UK wind finance doubles in 1H 2012

James Quilter's report [3] in Windpower Monthly on Sept. 28, 2012 said:

Project finance for UK wind projects reached $1.4 billion in 1H 2012, almost double the level of the same time last year.

A combination of the finalization of a $656 million project debt finance package put together for 270MW Lincs offshore wind project and a burst in finance activity in onshore wind made the increase.

Around $749 million was allocated to UK onshore wind farms in 1H 2012, a 65% increase on the $445 million recorded in the previous six-month period.

Onshore wind accounted for 30% of all financing for renewables in the first half of the year, with biomass receiving 35%.

Lloyds Banking Group was the most active project finance bank for renewables projects in 1H 2012, allocating around $239 million on three projects, including the Lincs offshore wind farm and the 17.1MW Roos onshore wind farm in Yorkshire .

The analysis, by Clean Energy Pipeline VB, suggests that the mix of sub-sectors securing project finance in the UK will change significantly in the next two years. Around 716MW of offshore wind capacity gained permitting approval in 1H 2012.

Chinese investments in Netherlands wind power

On September 28, 2012 Wu Qi reported [4] in Windpower Monthly :

XEMC, a leading Chinese wind turbine maker, is to invest €20 million in its European subsidiary XEMC Darwind with the aim of increasing its turbine R&D.

XEMC's the new investment will increase the registered capital of Netherlands-based Darwind from €90,000. The aim is for Darwind to use the money on the development of offshore turbines.

In July 2009, XEMC purchased Darwind for €10 million. Darwind started to develop 5MW direct drive permanent magnetic offshore wind turbines for XEMC in 2007. In May 2011, it delivered the prototype to the Netherlands . In September 2011, XEMC connected the 5MW prototype to the grid in Medemblik, northern Netherlands . In March 2012, XEMC installed another 5MW prototype in Fuqing , Fujian province, China .

In face of heavy competition in the Chinese market, XEMC, like other leading Chinese wind turbine makers, are looking to overseas markets.

In March this year, XEMC Darwind BV signed an agreement with Windcraft Fit of Germany to sell the latter 10 units of 5MW wind turbines.

Norwegian company to invest in UK wind

Windpower Monthly reported [5] on Sept. 28, 2012 :

Norwegian energy company Statkraft is hoping to invest in an additional offshore wind farm, preferably in UK waters. Its first such project, the 317MW Sheringham Shoal, is now fully commissioned.

Statkraft would like to complement its hydro and onshore wind assets with more offshore capacity, acknowledges CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen. "We're actively looking for another offshore wind project," said Rynning-Tønnesen. He added that the company's preference would be to invest in a UK project.

Statkraft is one of four companies awarded the right to build within the 9GW Dogger Bank zone, part of the UK's Round 3 program of offshore wind development.

Realising Dogger Bank's potential will take time and, in the interim, Statkraft would like to co-develop another offshore wind farm.

Statkraft describes itself as Europe 's largest renewable energy company. It generated 16.4GW in 2011, with the vast majority derived from Norwegian hydropower plants. The company has been investing globally in onshore wind for some time.

The opening of Sheringham Shoal has confirmed its ability to move offshore — in collaboration with Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil.

Offshore turbine revolves  

Paul Garrett [6] reported in Windpower Monthly on August 4, 2011 :  

Electricity is now being produced from the first turbine commissioned at Statoil and Statkraft's Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm 17km off the northern coast of Norfolk , England .

Source :

[1] “ Malawi looks to wind for energy solution”, http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1151953/Malawi-looks-wind-energy-solution/

[2] http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1152196/Denmark-annouces-new-offshore-sites/

[3]“ UK wind finance doubles in 1H 2012”, James Quilter http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1152449/UK-wind-finance-doubles-1H-2012/

[4] “XEMC invests EUR20 million in Darwind”, http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1152492/XEMC-invests-EUR20-million-Darwind/

[5] Erin Gill, “Statkraft in hunt for UK offshore wind investment”, http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1152516/Statkraft-hunt-UK-offshore-wind-investment/

[6] “317MW Sheringham Shoal switches on first offshore turbine”, http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/login/1083611/





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