Oregon is fast becoming the North American green tech hub. SolarWorld already operates the continent’s largest solar manufacturing plant just west of Portland, Nano solar cell maker Solexant recently announced plans for a manufacturing plant east of the city, and now Vestas, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, has chosen 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 Turkish Statistical Institute announced that the Turkish economy shrank 13.8% and that the unemployment rate increased to 14.9% in the first quarter. Despite these difficult economic conditions, the Turkish wind industry is still one of the fastest growing industries in the country. One reason is that Turkey may face electricity shortages in the near future, furthermore Turkey has just ratified [the] Kyoto agreement which is going to result in carbon emission reduction targets for the post 2013 period.
Among other renewable resources, wind has been the most popular and most approachable power source in the last four years. The use of wind power started around 1,000-1,200 AD in Anatolia, as early as in other European countries. However, Turkey’s development throughout the centuries has not been as fast as that of its counterparts. At the time when Turkey installed its first 0.5 MW wind turbine in Izmir in 1998, Germany had already installed almost 3,000 MW.
Developing offshore wind farms is clearly for the big guys, so what’s in it for entrepreneurs? With high CAPEX, high risk in the installation phase and then high APEX, this is not for your friendly neighborhood developer. This is still an early stage industry, with high costs and suboptimal technology, but the need and the value propositions are clearly there, and the EU just poured EUR 500m into it.
Allan Jespersen, Sr Sales Manager at Vestas Offshore, detailed to me the constraints to erecting an offshore farm and they are quite daunting. The North Sea being today the main market, Vestas is almost at home. But even then the rough conditions in which the turbines are operated (stronger winds, corrosion), the difficulty to access and the distance from the grid make quite a combination of challenges.
The European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) was held last week in Marseilles, welcoming 7,500 participants over 4 days. The whole industry was there, participating in a massive competition of glossy brochures and freebies, but also hard business.