Category: PES Essential

Countdown to an internal energy market

A recent report by the European Wind Energy Association argues that EU electricity market rules must reflect the energy generation mix of the future, and help usher in a flexible power system with a large-scale uptake of wind power and other renewable energy sources. A number of recommendations have been made – many of which… Read more »

Last Word

As we head full-speed into 2013, who knows what the next 12 months will bring? Growth? A return to profitability and a stable European market? Here’s hoping. All we can be sure of is that, as far as the wind sector is concerned, there are some very strong and visionary views around… “What politicians are… Read more »

Wind from the East

The recently-unveiled RUSTEC project is set to change the face of the European wind energy market, but can Russia’s Arctic farm plan really plug Europe’s energy gap? We weigh-up the project – and consider the impact of giving Russia control of both traditional and renewable energy sources. There is no renewable energy market in Russia… Read more »

A revolution in wind turbine safety

Wind farms are an increasingly common landscape element in many regions. And with good reason. After all, wind turbine generator systems are one of the cleanest sources of energy available. However, just like other machinery, they too must adhere to strict safety requirements. Progressive safety solutions from B&R give wind turbine manufacturers all the tools… Read more »

Residential buffer zones for wind turbines: the evidence

A bill attempting to set minimum distances from residential premises has been put before legislators across Europe on a number of occasions, yet it has not progressed beyond initial reading stages. However, it has been widely publicised and some local authorities have proposed policies with similar criteria. In this feature, PES sets out the current… Read more »

Exploring new frontiers

Taking place for the very first time in Vienna at Messe Wien Congress Center on 4th-7th February 2013, EWEA 2013 Annual Event will unite the wind industry once again and return with a new theme that fosters progress and industry growth; EWEA 2013 will focus on significant opportunities for the industry. EWEA – The European… Read more »

The cost of wind

Like other renewable energy technologies, wind is capital intensive, but has no fuel costs. The key parameters governing wind power economics are the investment costs; operation and maintenance costs; capacity factor; economic lifetime; and the cost of capital. We take a closer look at the latest figures, courtesy of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Although… Read more »

Editors Note

Perhaps it’s because the European Wind Energy Association’s Annual Event is being held early this year, or just because the last 12 months have been tumultuous in the wind energy arena, but it seems as if 2012 came and went in a flash. Nevertheless, we have entered into 2013 with a sense of optimism, and… Read more »

Paper backs wind

More press support for PTC extension The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday became the most recent major newspaper to endorse an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), calling the revival of the shuttered U.S. Steel plant in Bucks County the “best case” for renewing the vital incentive. Added the editorial, “It’s at… Read more »

A coastal view

America has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, particularly along the Atlantic coast where over 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of energy generation potential has been identified. Harnessing just a fraction of our offshore wind resource – 52 GW – could power about 14 million U.S. homes with local, pollution-free energy while creating… Read more »

Offshore economics

Tapping America’s offshore wind energy resources will greatly benefit our economy. A vibrant offshore wind industry in the U.S. will produce hundreds of thousands of new, high quality careers while revitalizing manufacturing opportunities and spurring economic development along the Atlantic Coast. At the same time, plugging hundreds of gigawatts of clean, local power into the… Read more »

The big debate

For many, 2012 will go be defined as a watershed year for the wind industry in North America – and yet we’ve still got a couple of months to go! With that in mind, we’ve brought together a roster of some of the finest minds in the industry, and pitched them a selection of challenging… Read more »

Wind for wildlife

Dramatically cutting carbon pollution – by replacing dirty energy with clean alternatives like offshore wind – is the best path forward if we are to protect coastal and marine wildlife from these dangers of a warming world. But even renewable energy must be designed with nature in mind. PES looks at recent reports that suggest… Read more »

Market forces

The U.S. wind power industry is facing uncertain times. With 2011 capacity additions having risen from 2010 levels and with a further sizable increase expected in 2012, there are – on the surface – grounds for optimism. A new report; published recently by the US Department of Energy, looks at complete data from 2011 to… Read more »

Editors Note

There is certainly something in the air. Come November, after all the uncertainty and excitement of an election, there may be a wind of change that ushers Republican candidate Mitt Romney into the White House, and the inevitable expiration of the Production Tax Credit, which has driven remarkable green energy and economic growth. Or, should… Read more »

A case for wind

Society continues to demonstrate its insatiable appetite for products that place increasing demand on our energy resources. Despite repeated calls to conserve, the increasing adoption by consumers of computers, PDAs, iPhones, iPads, tablets and other wireless devices, coupled with economic progress in developing countries suggests that the demand will not relent anytime soon. One need… Read more »

Precision forecasts will help utilities harness wind and lower production costs

The utility industry in the United States has been changing significantly due to statewide renewable portfolio standards requirements. 38 states now require a portion of their electricity to be generated from renewable or alternative energy sources as a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. And as the… Read more »

Whats In Store For Tomorrow

One of North America’s most pressing challenges is meeting its ever increasing demand for energy while responding to environmental concerns. It’s no secret that our current power grid infrastructure does not provide a long term solution to meet our needs. Aging infrastructure, increasing pressure due to climate change, and a vulnerable supply chain has lead… Read more »

Deepen your knowledge of offshore wind

Designed with direct input from the industry leaders who are shaping this emerging market, the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition offers unmatched networking opportunities with manufacturers, suppliers, project developers, policy makers, utility representatives, and thought leaders in the wind energy industry. PES takes a sneak peek at the upcoming show… A landmark year2012 is… Read more »

Costing AC for BC

The cost of developing clean wind energy has dropped significantly in the past three years while technology improvements have increased productivity, an analysis by renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan has found. PES looks in more detail at the findings, which suggests that wind energy points to a cost-competitive, sustainable choice for the energy needs… Read more »

Right to reply

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) recently filed comments with respect to a proposed Health Canada study, “Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment”, to be undertaken in collaboration with Statistics Canada. Here, PES looks in detail at the issues raised by the proposed study, and the association’s… Read more »

Vote wind

As the US Election campaign reaches its thrilling climax, it’s been fascinating to see just how high wind power is on the political agenda. We examine the power of wind as a vote-winner, and look ahead to what we can expect from the new Administration. Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of energy… Read more »

Global Status Report

Established in 2005 to convene international leadership and a variety of stakeholders to enable a rapid global transition to renewable energy, the REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) is perhaps the world’s most accurate snapshot of the solar/PV industry. PES is proud to present this exclusive extract – essential reading for every European executive in… Read more »

Towards a safer smart grid framework

The European solar/PV industry of the near future will live and die by the strength and effectiveness of smart grids, and the organisation charged with ensuring its longevity is the European Network and Information Security Agency. The organisation’s Ulf Bergstrom talks us through some security recommendations for the public and private sector involved in the… Read more »

Industry Insider

A visionary figure in the solar/PV sector, Jochen Schneider is one of our industry’s most recognisable ambassadors. We headed to Germany to catch up with the CEO of Schmid Silicon Technology and ask him a handful of questions about his background, the current state of the solar energy arena and his future ambitions. PES: Welcome… Read more »

PV: driving the machine manufacturing sector

The worldwide stop on production capacity extension for solar modules is proving to be a heavy burden for the solar machine manufacturers. Nevertheless, no company wants to quit the PV sector, because the solar energy market is already set to pick up again in the medium term. Until this happens, the equipment suppliers are strengthening… Read more »

Storing solar

Energy storage facilities are indispensable for a revolution in energy production, as they add predictability to the fluctuations of eco-power. The German government has therefore started to sponsor the development and launch of storage technologies, and have used expertise of solar equipment manufacturers to explore the possibilities. PES explains. Any conversion to renewables is hard… Read more »

Editors Note

When I sit down to write these editor’s notes, I do so at the end of the issue; at a time when all the content is in and done, and I can get a feel for the ‘temperature’ of the magazine. I’m glad – very glad – to say that this is the first issue… Read more »

New laboratory intends to boost PV efficiency

With 13 partners from all over Europe, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has launched an EU-funded project to develop affordable, more efficient solar cells. With an overall budget of 10 million Euro, the SCALENANO project aims at achieving breakthroughs in the cost-efficiency of photovoltaic devices and modules based on advanced… Read more »

Solar PV needs more PR power in light of subsidy cuts

As governments across Europe slash subsidies for small-medium scale renewable energy generators, the industry needs to rethink its approach to communications strategy if solar PV is to continue to shine, says Kate Garratt, head of energy at Aspectus PR.When the UK Government introduced its Feed-In-Tariffs (FiTs) in April 2010, solar photovoltaic (PV) quickly became an… Read more »

Big Power Investment Decisions Demand More Than A Wing A Prayer And A Consultants Report

Twan Vollebregt, CEO of Energy Fundamentals, investigates the current perils and pitfalls of investing in renewables… For anyone who has to make major investment decisions about power generation in Europe, we live in difficult times. What use are ten year forward curves when Germany decides to abandon nuclear power overnight? How can you make sensible… Read more »

The big debate

For many, 2012 will go down as a watershed year for the solar/PV industry – and yet we’ve still got a couple of months to go! With that in mind, we’ve brought together a roster of some of the finest minds in the industry, and pitched them a selection of challenging questions. Their answers are… Read more »

European PV: the fightback has begun

Listen to some commentators and you could be forgiven for thinking that the solar/PV industry in Europe was on its knees, decimated by tariff cuts, economic crises and cheap imports. However, experts on the cutting-edge of the industry tell a different story, with many claiming that the ‘green shoots of recovery’ are well-established, while some… Read more »

Another record year, another superb show

After another record year of growth in 2011, PV now represents 70 GW of cumulative installed capacity globally, and produces up to 4 per cent peak demand in Europe. It’s no wonder that EU PVSEC is also going from strength to strength – as this year’s show will doubtless testify. Even if the PV sector… Read more »

Wind farms: certified grid compatibility

The number of wind farms connected to the electricity grid is steadily rising, and proof of grid compatibility is mandatory for grid connection. But what criteria do wind turbines and wind farms have to meet for certification in Germany, for example? PES investigates… Before wind farms can be connected to the German electricity grid, they… Read more »

Connections to steel: non-weld post-paint solutions

Wind energy infrastructure, be it onshore or offshore, relies heavily on the use of steel for most of its key components, whether it be turbines, towers, foundations or transformer stations… the list goes on. As a result there is a significant amount of work required to transform ‘bare’ steel into something able to produce the… Read more »