People attending the session — called “The HVDC Supergrid” — were told there are a number of studies and concepts exploring the idea of an expanded, inter-connected and much more efficient grid system for Europe. Currently, European offshore wind power uses Alternating Current (AC) transmission.
Transparency, administrative procedures of a known length and a low risk of changes to the legal framework are amongst the most crucial elements for emerging wind energy markets. That’s according to results from a study by Germany’s Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), presented on Tuesday at the EWEA 2011 Annual Event.
Christian Friebe, who presented the findings, said it was elements like these, which “don’t appear on cash flow statements”, that are as important as the financing side for wind power developers in emerging markets, defined as everything other than Europe, North America, India and China.
“A 20 MW wind turbine is calling for new solutions, thinking outside the box,” Henning Kruse, Chairman, Wind Energy Technology Platform, said at the panel session which looked at how wind power technology will develop in the coming decades.
The session acknowledged the publication earlier Tuesday of a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project, which found that 20 MW turbines — which would likely be used offshore — are feasible.
“The industry will not collapse but it will decay from an innovation perspective without a new regulatory framework,” warned Vice-President – Renewables of GE Energy, Victor Abate at a CEO vision panel on ‘after 2020’.
Other panellists agreed that predictability and stability were necessary to ensure investments in the European wind energy sector.
On the same day that EWEA2011 opened in Brussels, environment ministers from seven European nations urged Member States to endorse a 30% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 instead of the current target of 20%.
Lykke Friis, Denmark’s Minister of Climate and Energy, and six other EU environment ministers meeting for the EU Environment Council released a letter Monday asking for tougher climate targets to ensure emissions are reduced by 80% by 2050.
“Now is the right time to discuss the most cost-effective route to achieving our 2050 goals, maximising growth, jobs and prosperity throughout Europe,” Friis and the six other ministers wrote. “We are not starting from scratch; the EU has already cut emissions by 17% from 1990 levels by 2009.”