Wind energy

Written by  //  December 14, 2010  //  Canada, China, Cities, Clean energy/renewables, Public Policy, U.K., U.S.  //  No comments

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To Conquer Wind Power, China Writes the Rules

… With their government-bestowed blessings, Chinese companies have flourished and now control almost half of the $45 billion global market for wind turbines. The biggest of those players are now taking aim at foreign markets, particularly the United States, where General Electric has long been the leader.
… an industrial arc traced in other businesses, like desktop computers and solar panels. Chinese companies acquire the latest Western technology by various means and then take advantage of government policies to become the world’s dominant, low-cost suppliers.
29 April
(NYT) After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light on Wednesday to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a fiercely contested project off the coast of Cape Cod … the decision is expected to give a significant boost to the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, which has lagged far behind Europe and China in harnessing the strong and steady power of ocean breezes to electrify homes and businesses. More
November 2009

Truly Eco-Friendly Wind Turbines 
… one of the major issues many take with wind energy is their appearance. Tall, unwieldy and ugly, many communities simply find the turbines unseemly and would rather not have them built. While the windfarms in Cape Cod were finally built, there was a huge struggle between environmentalists and Cape Cod residents over the creation of Cape Wind. Denizens of North Carolina have gone a step further and want to ban any wind farms built on the Appalachian Mountain that are over 1,000 feet because they are “too ugly”. While the majesty and beauty of the mountains are nothing to scoff at, this ban would effectively make 2/3 of North Carolina closed to wind energy [Source: Treehugger].
There is a solution for both problems. The Helix Wind Savonious 2.0, main offices located in San Deigo, is a “2kW rated turbine that can be tower-mounted between 14 and 35 feet or roof mounted just 2 feet above roof line. The rotor measures 6ft by 4ft (1.8m by 1.2m) and utilizes long helical blade scoops to maximize energy performance in turbulent, gusty or multi-directional wind conditions” [Source: Inhabit]. Not only is this new wind turbine much smaller than traditional ones, it also moves at a much slower speed, so both birds and bats recognize the rotor as a solid object. And compared to other wind turbines, the Helix is also operates at less than 5 decibels above background noise [Source: Helix Wind]. These turbines can also be used for various uses from home to industrial.

23 July 2009
Wind power plan blown off course
(The Independent) The Government was facing a growing credibility gap over green jobs last night as environmental campaigners and trade unionists united to fight the closure of Britain’s sole major wind turbine plant. Vestas, a Danish company which is the world’s biggest wind energy group, announced in April it was pulling out of the UK, citing the difficulties of getting wind farms built in Britain in the face of local “Nimby” opposition campaigns and the slowness of the planning system.
11 June
NYC Water Towers Seen As Ground For “Wind Farms” – (Reuters/Planet Ark) New York City could become the grounds for a new kind of urban wind farm if a Cleveland-based mechanical engineer has his way.
31 March
George Monbiot
: James Lovelock says the government’s enthusiasm for wind farms approaches fascism. What is he on about?
Renewable power is drifting away on the wind like thistledown. The credit has gone; the price of fossil fuels has fallen; it is impossible to work in a country whose people treat wind farms like the Black Death. The investors have blown overseas or put their cash back into coal.
13 March
Wind energy grew by 113% in Canada in 2006, but it still accounts for merely 0.5% of the country’s total installed capacity. Aware that the growth rate will probably reach 10% within ten years and perhaps even 20% in the mid-term, it is clear that entrepreneurs are keeping a close eye on this industry as it evolves.

The governments have created a legislative and financial framework to foster the harmonious development of wind power in Québec. Here is a detailed description of these measures. Wind Energy TechnoCentre
Green winds blow in to Alberta from Ireland
Alberta will need an additional 5,000 megawatts of capacity by 2017, Mainstream said in a statement, citing a forecast by Alberta’s Electric System Operator.
CALGARY — Ireland’s green energy developer, Mainstream Renewable Power, chose for its first Canadian deal the country’s leading province in fossil fuel production with an $850-million wind power investment with Alberta Wind Energy Corp.
9 March 2009
Regional wind-energy proposal gets mixed reaction
MINNEAPOLIS – A proposal for a high-voltage power line that would transmit wind energy from sparsely populated areas of the gusty Midwest to some less-windy parts of the country is getting mixed reaction in Minnesota.
ITC Holdings of Novi, Mich., wants to build a 3,000-mile, 765-kilovolt power line that would stretch from the Dakotas through Minnesota to Chicago. The line, estimated to cost $10 billion to $12 billion, would help the Midwest feed the nation’s appetite for renewable energy. The project has been dubbed “The Green Power Express.” But while wind power is seen by some as a jobs-producing, renewable source of energy, transmission lines have drawn opposition from local landowners, environmentalists and even some renewable-energy advocates.
23 January 2009
New wind energy projects could spur $72 billion in investment, 52,000 new jobs
(FP) The Ontario government announced a gust of fresh air for clean technology Friday, revealing it had signed long-term contracts for six new wind energy projects in the province.
The announcement brings Ontario’s installed wind energy capacity to 1,500 MW. Currently, the province sits at 782 MW of capacity, enough to power 230,000 homes.
August 20, 2008
A Win(d)-Win(d) Proposition
Can you imagine New York’s skyline topped off with wind turbines? Well start trying, and imagine the waters off the city’s shores dotted with them too. If Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg gets his way, that’s in our future. According to an article written by Michael Barbaro in today’s New York Times . . .
Bloomberg Offers Windmill Power Plan
(NYT) In a plan that would drastically remake New York City’s skyline and shores, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking to put wind turbines on the city’s bridges and skyscrapers and in its waters as part of a wide-ranging push to develop renewable energy.
The plan, while still in its early stages, appears to be the boldest environmental proposal to date from the mayor, who has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his administration.
Mr. Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city, with the aim of weaning it off the nation’s overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts in New York over the last decade.
Mr. Bloomberg did not specify which skyscrapers and bridges would be candidates for windmills, and city officials would need to work with property owners to identify the buildings that would best be able to hold the equipment.
But aides said that for offshore locations, the city was eyeing the generally windy coast off Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island for turbines that could generate 10 percent of the city’s electricity needs within 10 years.
July 8
T. Boone Pickens: A man with an energy plan
Oil mogul and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens launched an energy plan and social-networking campaign on Tuesday that calls for replacing Middle Eastern oil with Midwestern wind.
The so-called Pickens Plan would exploit the country’s “wind corridor” from the Canadian border to West Texas to produce 20 percent of the country’s electricity.
Transmission lines would be built to transport the power to places in the U.S. where the demand is. The natural gas, now used to fuel power plants, would instead be used as a transportation fuel, which burns cleaner than gasoline and is domestic.
He proposed that the private sector finance the investment, which would result in a one-third reduction, equal to $230 billion, in the U.S.’ yearly payments to foreign countries.
Pickens has already invested heavily in wind, notably a planned 4,000-megawatt wind farm in his native Texas.

 

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