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.
Support for the onshore wind industry in France has blown hot and cold in recent months, but government backing for offshore was reinforced in April by its decision to award tenders to build offshore wind farms to produce 2 GW of energy. French company Nass&Wind Offshore, is taking full advantage of this momentum and investing in LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) measuring devices – a move it believes will give it a competitive advantage when the government decides to release a second offshore tender later this year.
LiDAR is an optical remote sensing technology that Nass&Wind is using to measure the speed of wind and turbulence up to an altitude of 200 metres – higher than the nacelle generally located 100 metres above sea level, says the company. Nass&Wind has now installed two of these devices off the coast of western France to try to accurately determine the power production potential of planned offshore wind farms.
Scotland continues promoting its very aggressive pro-wind position as a way of driving increased energy security, a green economy and mitigating climate change.
The latest development occurred last week when First Minister Alex Salmond and more than 30 senior energy industry leaders met in Aberdeen to talk about the oil and gas industries and the renewable power sector collaborating to advance Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy.
“Scotland already, per head of population, has ten-times the renewable energy of England but as the industry moves offshore we have even more potential,” Salmond told the summit Friday.
Although still in its infancy, the idea of a future offshore North Sea supergrid might benefit by experiencing regulated financing through national transmission tariffs as well as having a single planner, code, and regulator.
Those are some of the preliminary answers that the Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) have raised to deal with important issues that still need to be addressed, people attending the Grids 2010 conference in Berlin were told today.
Ana Aguado, the Chief Executive Officer of FOSG, said during a conference session called “Planning a North Sea Supergrid” that the creation of such an entity also needs to have an efficient supply chain and an adequate number of properly trained workers.
South Korea has confirmed it intends to become a major player in the offshore wind sector with an announcement last week that an $8.2 billion (€5.9 bn) wind farm will be built in the Yellow Sea.
With an eye to reducing its dependence on expensive imported fossil fuels, the nation will begin testing 20 5-MW wind turbines from various South Korean manufacturers by 2013. This will be followed by the installation of an additional 180 5-MW machine three years later and 300 more similar sized turbines by 2019.
“The plan is to make South Korea the world’s third-largest country in terms of offshore wind power generation,” Kang Nam-hoon, head of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy’s energy and climate change policy division, was reported as telling a press briefing.