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Anti-wind power lobbyists have long contested claims by the wind industry that wind power is competitive with fossil fuels. But technological advances, making wind turbines bigger, smarter, and more competitive in all situations, mean the wind is fast being taken out of the naysayers’ sails.
Both EWEA and GWEC, the Global Wind Energy Council, agree that “onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources – like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in”. Taking CO2 costs alone, “if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe,” states EWEA. Moreover, wind is already “directly competitive with conventional sources in many places around the world, such as Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, parts of China and the US,” according to GWEC.
Australia also seems to have been added to this list after a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in February stated that wind is now cheaper than fossil fuels in producing electricity in Australia, a story reported on this blog at the time. continue reading »
Wind power generated more electricity than nuclear power in China last year and will likely continue to do so in the future, according to a new report by the influential Earth Policy Institute (EPI).
The report, released last Tuesday, added nuclear power generation in China has risen by 10% annually since 2007 but wind power during the same period experienced “explosive growth” of 80% per year.
“China’s overall wind energy resource is staggering,” the report said. “Harvard researchers estimate that China’s wind generation potential is 12 times larger than its 2010 electricity consumption.” continue reading »
Johanna Lehner stands on top of a wind turbine in Austria
Part two of a new series of “wind energy stories” from around the world, in association with Global Wind Day. Today, Gerhard Scholz from the Austrian Wind Energy Association, speaks to Johanna Lehner, a service technician at Windkraft Simonsfeld in Austria.
What exactly does a wind turbine service technician do?
Essentially, we go on a wind turbine patrol. The main task is the regular visual inspection of the condition of all our sites – from the tower to the nacelle. The aim is to guarantee the highest possible availability of all our wind turbines.
What maintenance activities do you do?
We oil components, exchange filters if necessary, measure the performance of the turbine, test and replace electrical components if necessary and test the hydraulic system.
How did you end up in wind energy and what training did you do? continue reading »
It’s not easy to measure wind turbine noise as background noise from rainfall to traffic interferes with the results, says the latest Wind Directions based on a recent EWEA workshop. In fact, that background noise – including the wind itself – is usually louder than the sound of the turbines.
At least 17 peer-reviewed studies have found that there is no adverse effect on human health linked to turbine noise.
However, people’s concerns about wind turbine noise must be taken seriously. “Developers must also show respect by answering questions and listening to fears,” said Jeremy Bass, Senior Technical Manager at RES.
Read the full article in Wind Directions now.