Wind turbine in Jiangsu Province, China
Hot on the heels of the news that Chinese wind power produced more electricity than nuclear last year, comes the announcement that China’s wind power production grew more than coal power production for the first time ever in 2012, according to statistics from the China Energy Council.
Thermal power using mostly coal increased by only about 0.3% in China last year, the statistics noted, an addition of roughly 12 terawatt hours (TWh) more electricity.
“In contrast, wind power production expanded by about 26 TWh,” according to a blog posted on the Energy Collective written recently about the statistics by Li Shuo, a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia.
“This rapid expansion brings the total amount of wind power production in China to 100 TWh, surpassing China’s 98 TWh of nuclear power.”
North Hoyle offshore wind farm
While this blog frequently focusses on wind power reporting in national-level newspapers, the regional-level or local newspaper does not get as much attention as it perhaps merits.
Last month I was in North Wales – a coastline which is home to the UK’s first large scale offshore wind farm called North Hoyle. It currently has one other operating offshore wind farm – Rhyl Flats, and a massive development is underway further out to sea at Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm which, when completed in 2013, is set to provide electricity to cover nearly one-third of homes in Wales.
There is, of course, local opposition. On this particular stretch of coastline the opposition group is called Save Our Scenery – slightly ironic given that the new offshore farm is 18 km offshore and will be frequently out of vision thanks to the often dense banks of Welsh cloud.
Although many politicians in the US are still in denial about global warming and the nation’s frightening addiction to expensive, imported oil, President Barack Obama’s government continues promoting the development of an offshore wind sector.
The latest evidence of the government’s realisation that wind power can help mitigate climate change, provide increased energy security and be part of a new green economy occurred earlier this week with an announcement that $50.5 million (€37.1 mn) has been earmarked to support the offshore sector.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the money will be used for projects that support offshore wind power deployment and several high priority wind energy areas off the mid-Atlantic coast “that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.”
Numerous reports in the past week indicate that Egypt, concerned about diminishing oil and gas supplies, is getting ready to expand its wind power sector.
Egypt, which is the world’s 16th most populous nation with more than 80 million people, has announced a plan to produce 2,600 megawatts of wind energy this year in collaboration with several EU states and Japan.
Egyptian media organisation Al-Masry Al-Youm reports Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younes as saying that the ministry had already raised funds for several wind farms — each with a capacity of 540 megawatts — in the Gulf of Suez.
There’s no shortage of developments in the US offshore wind power sector these days even though there is still not a single wind turbine generating power off the nation’s eastern coast.
Capturing most media attention last week was Deepwater Wind which announced its plans to construct the Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC), the first of the ‘second generation’ of offshore wind farms in the US.
Deepwater said the new facility would have a capacity of approximately 1,000 megawatts (MW) and the ability to act as a regional offshore wind energy center serving multiple states.