Spain’s #1 Power Source in 2013? Wind Power!

by Cynthia Shahan.

  • In Spain, power generation from wind farms and hydroelectric plants has spiraled upwards, escalating in the last year.
  • The renewable power sector is a leading cause of Spain’s recent 23.1% drop in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Wind farms moved for the first time front and center in Spain’s energy mix by furnishing the greatest amount of Spain’s annual electricity supply in 2013.

The UK’s Business Green reports:

Red Eléctrica de España (REE) released a preliminary report on the country’s power system late last month, revealing that for “the first time ever, [wind power] contributed most to the annual electricity demand coverage.” According to the figures, wind turbines met 21.1 per cent of electricity demand on the Spanish peninsular, narrowly beating the region’s fleet of nuclear reactors, which provided 21 per cent of power.

In total, wind farms are estimated to have generated 53,926GWh of electricity, up 12 per cent on 2012, while high levels of rainfall meant hydroelectric power output was 16 per cent higher than the historical average, climbing to 32,205GWh.

“Throughout 2013, the all-time highs of wind power production were exceeded,” the REE report stated. “On February 6, wind power recorded a new maximum of instantaneous power with 17,056MW at 3:49 pm (2.5 per cent up on the previous record registered in April 2012), and that same day the all-time maximum for hourly energy was also exceeded reaching 16,918MWh.”

James Murry of Business Green also points out that clean energy from neighboring Portugal progressed in the last year as well, generating over 70% of its power from renewables during the first quarter of the year, driven by a surge in wind and hydro power output.

The report considers that there is continuing challenges heading into 2014. However, Spain is above average with “electricity prices compared to the rest of the EU.”

Kudos to Spain for leading the world in renewable energy despite tough economic times.

Keep an eye on the hottest wind energy news on our wind energy channel or via our wind energy newsletter.

Image Credit: Wind turbines in Spain via Shutterstock

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About the Author

Renewable Energy. Cynthia Shahan.Cynthia Shahan is an Organic Farmer, Classical Homeopath, Art Teacher, Creative Writer, Anthropologist, Natural Medicine Activist, Journalist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

Dept. of Energy Data: Wind States Have Lower Electricity Rates

Guest Contributor AWEA Michael Goggin.
Originally published on Into The Wind.

A new white paper report finds that wind energy is keeping electric bills low for American homes and businesses, thanks to plummeting wind energy costs driven by technological improvements. The report was compiled by staff at the American Wind Energy Association and uses publicly available data and more than a dozen studies from government, utility, and other independent sources to explore how wind energy affects consumers’ energy bills.

A major highlight of the report pulls from just-released Department of Energy data showing consumers in the states that use the most wind energy have fared much better than consumers in states that use less wind energy.

American consumers in the top wind energy-producing states have seen their electricity prices actually decrease by 0.37 percent over the last 5 years, while all other states have seen their electricity prices increase by 7.79 percent over that time period. The following chart summarizes how consumers have fared in states that produce more than 7 percent of their electricity from wind (Texas, Wyoming, Oregon, Oklahoma, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa) relative to other states.

Electricity Price Changes, 2008 – 2013

Renewable Energy. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Renewable Energy. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) report displays reduced electricity prices in U.S. states with significant wind power 2008-2013 time frame — while states without significant wind power saw their electricity rates rise in the 2008-2013 time frame. Information drawn from U.S. Department of Energy data.

“During last month’s cold snaps, we saw very high wind energy output play a critical role in protecting consumers across the country from skyrocketing energy prices. This study confirms that wind energy is providing that benefit every day,” said Michael Goggin, Senior Electric Industry Analyst at the American Wind Energy Association.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

  • The  ways wind energy protects consumers by displacing the use of more expensive and polluting sources of energy.
  • How wind energy costs have fallen by 43 percent over the last four years, as documented by DOE data.
  • A section that links to 15 studies by independent grid operators, state governments, academic experts, and others confirming that wind energy reduces energy costs for consumers.
  • Dozens of U.S. utilities that are locking in record low wind prices that will protect their consumers from fuel price fluctuations for decades.

As Mr. Goggin explains, “With the drastic cost declines over the last few years, wind energy offers consumers a great deal today. That deal will only get better with time because that low price is locked in for the life of the wind project, as the fuel will always be free. No other major source of energy can offer that kind of price stability. Diversifying our energy mix with zero fuel cost, zero emission wind energy is a win-win for consumers and the environment.”

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Renewable Energy. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).AWEA The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Keep up with all the latest wind industry news at: http://www.aweablog.org/blog/

Massive Offshore Wind Farm Takes Shape Off Rhode Island

by Tina Casey.

Renewable Energy. Turbine for Rhode Island offshore wind farm. Image courtesy of Alstom
Renewable Energy. Turbine for Rhode Island offshore wind farm. Image courtesy of Alstom.

When it comes to tapping into America’s vast offshore wind power potential along the East Coast, the notorious Cape Wind project has been hogging  the spotlight, but creeping up right on its heels — and maybe even passing it in the home stretch — is the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, which apparently will sport the world’s largest offshore wind turbines installed to date.

The Block Island Wind Farm is a 30 megawatt pilot project, but if all goes according to plan it will be the first step in the 1,000 MW, utility-sized Deepwater Wind Energy Center offshore development, which will hook into a wind power transmission grid linking Rhode Island with other southeastern New England states and New York State, including Long Island.

For those of you keeping score at home, Cape Wind will *only* be 468 MW when completed.

The Rhode Island Block Island Wind Farm And Green Jobs

The Block Island Wind Farm, though a pilot project, is no small potatoes.  When completed in 2016, its five turbines will generate about 125,000 MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity annually. That’s enough to power about 17,000 typical homes.

The developer, Deepwater Wind, notes that since Block Island will become one of the first offshore wind farms on the East Coast, the pilot project will draw talent (and turbines — more on that later) from around the US and overseas. However, the idea is to recruit and train local talent as offshore wind farm development scales up.

Here’s a juicy green jobs tidbits from Deepwater: The company expects to generate more than $100 million in economic activity in Rhode Island from the Block Island Wind Farm alone.

That includes 200 local construction, turbine assembly, and cable installation jobs. The company also has ten full time workers on top of the “dozens of” high value consultants in wind power fields including electrical, civil and mechanical engineers, and surveyors, as well oceanographers, marine scientists, fishermen, and biologists whose skills come into play for environmental assessments and site planning.

World’s Largest (Installed) Offshore Wind Turbines

The Block Island project just passed a major milestone yesterday, when it signed an agreement with the French multinational company Alstom for delivery of five of its 150-6 MW Haliade™ turbines (150 meters is the rotor diameter), which the company bills as “the largest turbine installed in offshore waters today.”

Like other next-generation turbines, the Haliade eschews a conventional gearbox in favor of a permanent magnet generator, which translates into higher efficiency and improved lifespan.

About That Cape Wind Project…

As of this writing, Deepwater expects Block Island to beat Cape Wind in the race to plant the first commercial wind farm turbines on the East Coast, but it’s not for Cape Wind’s lack of trying. The project was obstructed early on by local organizations. That includes a heavy lift from certain wealthy Cape Cod residents and — no surprise here — the Koch brother that you usually don’t hear too much about, Bill Koch.

However, Cape Wind has been sailing along of late. In March 2013 it announced an important financing milestone, and in April 2013 the Energy Department approved its construction plan.

An important legal hurdle was also cleared in January 2014, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld an FAA decision approving the project.

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This article, Massive Wind Farm Takes Shape Off…Rhode Island?, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Renewable Energy. Tina CaseyTina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Wind Power Provides 55% of Denmark’s Electricity, December 2013

by Zachary Shahan.

Renewable Energy. Wind Power in Denmark.
Renewable Energy. Wind farm near Copenhagen, Denmark in the early morning, via Shutterstock

In December, wind power provided the country of Denmark with about 55% of its electricity. This is the first time that the wind-leading country (or any major country) has received over 50% of its electricity from wind power in an entire month.

Of course, wind power provided well over 55% of the country’s electricity during certain periods throughout the month. On December 1, it provided ~136% of the country’s electricity needs. During the week of Christmas, it provided 68.5%.

Denmark has a target of receiving 50% of its electricity from wind power on an annual basis by 2020. It looks like the country is well on its way to achieving that. The country also has a 2050 target of getting 100% of its energy from renewable resources.

For years, Denmark has led the world in wind power capacity per capita. Nonetheless, it doesn’t sit on its laurels. It added a great deal more wind power in 2013, including at a standout 400 MW offshore wind farm, Anholt offshore wind farm.

Source: Energinet.dk, via Wind Power Monthly.

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This article, For 1st Time, Wind Power Provides Over 50% Of Denmark’s Electricity For 1 Month, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Renewable Energy. Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Wind Power Growth in Emerging Markets Set for Double Digit Rise

by Joshua S Hill

Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets. Navigant research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit wind power growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for wind markets in 10 'Emerging economy' nations -- from 2013 to 2023 -- will be 21.9%.
Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets. Navigant research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit wind power growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for wind markets in 10 ‘Emerging economy’ nations — from 2013 to 2023 — will be 21.9%. Pilot Wind Farm in South Africa. warrenski/Flickr

New research from Navigant research predicts that demand for renewable energy in Africa and the former Soviet Union, as well as across the developed world, will see wind power experience fastest growth in emerging markets.

Several factors are hampering the growth of the market across the developed world, including austerity measures in a number of European countries, and a boom-and-bust cycle in the United States. These halts come at the same time that the emerging world are looking for technologies able to generate enough energy to support their burgeoning populations while at the same time creating less of an environmental impact than traditional generation techniques.

“Amidst the slowdown in the established markets, the demand for wind power in certain emerging markets will make these regions critical to the global wind market,” says Feng Zhao, research director with Navigant Research.

“The opportunities arising in these underserved regions will not only help reduce the exposure of wind turbine manufacturers to ups and downs in the mainstream wind power markets, but will also hold the key for current leading turbine suppliers to maintain their leadership in the future.”

Navigant’s research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate for a chosen set of 10 emerging wind markets in Africa and the former Soviet Union from 2013 to 2023 will be 21.9%.

The 10 countries in question are South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. A summary of the report can be found on the Navigant Research website.

The emerging world is probably the most likely to benefit most from renewable energies like wind. Russia is the world’s largest country by area, and approximately two-thirds of the country’s hinterland is unreachable by centralised power grids, which means that isolated communities must rely on expensive fuel for power generation. Over time, situations like this will likely be remedied by the spread of wind and solar power, allowing individual communities to find environmentally friendly and economically healthy means to generate their own power.

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This article, Wind Power Growth To Sharpen In Emerging Markets, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Renewable Energy Joshua S HillJoshua S Hill I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.