2011 was a year of much political chest thumping but not much progress on the significant issues. Subsidies for wind energy are among the many unanswered questions and are likely victims of the challenging budget decisions. The industry has grown used to generous subsidies for wind generated electricity. The current subsides are going to expire at the end (more…)
Nearing grid parity, wind industry wants to “finish the job”
As much as they wished otherwise, the seemingly annual rite whereby the wind industry trots out all those nifty pie charts and bar graphs explaining why extending the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy (PTC) makes good sense is once again upon us. (more…)
With the rapid growth of the wind power industry in recent years, and the expected continued expansion to meet EU targets by 2050, the sector is in danger of suffering a skills shortage throughout the various types of employment within the industry.
Good news from the wind industry front. According to the latest figures released by the American Wind Energy Association, America’s wind power industry grew by 15% in 2010 and provided 26% of all new electric generating capacity in the United States. With the 5,116 MW added last year, U.S. wind (more…)
Amongst the many oft-repeated arguments against wind power — that it is intermittent, unreliable, expensive, noisy, dangerous to wildlife, or aesthetically unappealing — one argument you will not hear from wind power detractors is that wind uses too much water. Why? Because wind uses a fraction of the water used by every other electrical (more…)
Wind turbine technology has become a fully commercial venture, but the recent rapid growth of the wind industry has strained its supply chain to meet demand in a timely manner. Furthermore, unexpected component failures, especially electronic controls, gearboxes, generators, and rotor blades, have driven up operations and maintenance costs.
During the course of the research for a new report just published by Wind Energy Update, it ultimately became clear that reliable and verifiable data on wind industry operations and maintenance cost trends is quite rare. In fact, there are no current widely available data sets illustrating these wind industry costs.
Proprietary research, reviews of scarce secondary sources and anecdotal evidence obtained through confidential interviews with wind industry owners and operators and component suppliers suggest that operations and maintenance expenses are double or even triple what was originally projected, particularly with the latest class of multi-megawatt machines now permeating the global wind market. (more…)