One of the major trends in wind power is ever larger turbines for offshore use. This raises many technical challenges, including how to transport and install such large components at offshore sites.
Lately, China has dominated any renewable energy news that comes out of South East Asia and not without good reason. However, while China is busy surging forward into a future populated in part by renewable energy, other South East Asian nations have been working on
As renewable energy moves steadily into the future, the possibilities that exist thanks to tidal and wave energy are becoming more and more widely accepted by countries hoping to adopt such technologies. While tidal and wave based projects are found around the
The US wind power industry is facing huge problems that have led analysts to forecast a 60% drop in installations this year. This will be the first year since 2004 that the industry will not grow. The main reason for this set back is that we have nearly run out of high wind areas with easy access to transmission. This combined with extremely low prices for natural gas have led the industry back to the drawing board.
The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico has been portrayed as a one-of-a-kind disaster, a perfect storm of bad equipment, bad planning and bad luck.
But it’s far from the only spill that’s taken place this year – or even the only spill occurring in the Gulf right now.
On June 7, the Mobile Press-Register reported that the Ocean Saratoga rig has been leaking into the Gulf since April 30. Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff confirmed the next day that “small amounts of oil” were leaking from the wells beneath the rig, about 10 miles from Louisiana’s southeastern coast.
The word from MSNBC and The AP is that Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the offshore drilling regulator Minerals Management Service, has been fired.
Birnbaum has only been head of the agency since July 2009—that’s less time than her boss, Ken Salazar, has been at his post as Secretary of the Department of Interior, which oversees MMS. We’ve put in a call to MMS to confirm these reports.
It’s also worth pointing out that just yesterday, The New York Times ran a profile on Birnbaum, calling her “the oil spill’s invisible woman.” The Times noted that her background is mostly with environmental organizations, and when she took the MMS’ top job, she “had virtually no experience with the oil and gas industry, but that was seen as a plus.”
News of Birnbaum’s departure from MMS follows the resignation of MMS associate director Chris Oynes, announced earlier this month.
To date not a single offshore wind turbine been built in the United States. Meanwhile Europe, China and Japan are far along in developing a water-based wind power industry. All one needs is a strong and steady wind as well as a relatively easy way to connect o the power grid so as to transmit the power gained from the wind. Most people think of wind power from various land based operations. However, it can be done by basing the wind turbine in the sea.
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electric power. Individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage power collection system and communications network. At a substation, this medium voltage electrical current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage transmission system.
Near shore turbine installations are on land within 5 miles of a shoreline or on water within ten miles. These areas are good sites for turbine installation, because of wind produced by convection due to differential heating of land and sea each day. Wind speeds in these zones share the characteristics of both onshore and offshore wind, depending on the prevailing wind direction.
China’s offshore oil and gas company CNOOC agreed in early April to buy 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year until 2030. The Australian LNG energy project is operated by BG Group. Though the precise value for the deal is confidential, Australian officials confirmed estimates its worth about AU$80 billion (S$103 billion) — the country’s biggest single company-to-company contract ever.
The latest CNOOC deal now makes China the world leader of investments in clean energy. For 2009, China spent $35 billion, double what the U.S. did at $18.6 billion ranking second. China plans to spend even more in the year ahead, ramping up projects in renewable energy, including wind power and solar PV manufacturing, clean water and non-renewable energy sources, such as natural gas and oil. In total more than $162 billion was invested in clean energy worldwide, reports the Pew Research Center Trust.
China’s surging wind power industry will increasingly move offshore, experts say, as the nation’s first offshore wind farm reaches full power this month and government officials push several additional projects.
The 102-megawatt Shanghai wind farm is the first of several offshore wind projects planned by China, which last month opened bids for three to four large-scale offshore wind farms that officials say could generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
Beijing-based energy consultants Azure International predict that by 2020 China will have invested $100 billion to install 30,000 megawatts of capacity off the Chinese coast.
Global investments in alternative energy projects will rise nearly 50 percent in 2010, climbing from $130 billion this year to $200 billion next year.
In a survey of the green energy market, Bloomberg News reports that despite the dim prospects of forging a climate treaty in Copenhagen this month, companies and governments are moving rapidly ahead to build wind power farms, large solar arrays, and other green energy projects.
Thanks in large part to state-funded economic stimulus programs, government spending on green energy will more than double in 2010 to about $60 billion, according to the report.
Analysts said that with China, the European Union (EU), and individual U.S. states aggressively adopting regulations and incentives promoting green energy, the field will continue to rapidly develop even if a global climate treaty is not signed.
An amazingly high percentage of people who live down the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard from New York to Virginia want wind turbines off their coast.
Even if they can be seen from the shoreline, 67 percent support off-shore wind power, according to a new poll of coastal residents of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia .
If the turbines are out of sight, the level of support goes up to an astounding 82 percent.
Vincent’s post from the The European Wind Energy Conference got me thinking about U.S. offshore wind potential.
Wind on the water has been all the buzz in Michigan. The state’s portion of the Great Lakes has the potential to produce an astounding 322,000 megawatts of electricity from wind, according to a study earlier this year from the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University.