9 Comments

Summary:

Britain today unveiled plans to massively expand their offshore wind power generation capacity, with hopes for an installed capacity of 33 gigawatts by 2020, or enough to power all the homes in the UK. British Energy Secretary John Hutton made the announcement in Berlin, following the […]

Britain today unveiled plans to massively expand their offshore wind power generation capacity, with hopes for an installed capacity of 33 gigawatts by 2020, or enough to power all the homes in the UK. British Energy Secretary John Hutton made the announcement in Berlin, following the previous week’s European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Conference at the German capital. The UK currently gets less than 2 percent of its energy from renewable sources and has less than a gigawatt of wind generation capacity.

Offshore wind power has suffered a significant number of setbacks, most of which continue to persist. Technical limitations in building the infrastructure to anchor towers to the seabed and wire electricity back to the mainland are still prevalent. Consumer hypocrisy in the form of NIMBYism has left numerous offshore wind projects dead in the water. Still, the prospect of harnessing the persistent and powerful gales on the open ocean is alluring, and Britain now seems set on becoming a world leader in offshore wind.

Ma

Jerome a Paris attended the EWEA Conference and has a picture and graph-filled post on The Oil Drum. This map shows the current installations of offshore wind farms. A Paris speculates that although the German government just voted to support offshore wind, “the UK market is still seen as likely to be bigger than the German one over the next 10-15 years.”

Still, not all in the U.K. are in agreement over this. A strong NIMBY situation is developing in Scotland, along whose shoreline many of the turbines would be placed, as many as two turbines for every mile of coast line. “The risk is that Scotland will end up looking like a hedgehog with wind turbines all over some of our most beautiful areas,” said David Bruce, chairman of Views of Scotland, a pressure group dedicated to preserving the Scottish landscape.

And some doubt whether or not Britain can actually meet that massive 33 gigawatt goal. The AP says the wind trade body, the British Wind Energy Association, thinks it will be difficult to raise Britain’s wind power production by that much, and given the limited supply of wind turbines, predicts a goal of 20 gigawatts in that timeframe would be more realistic.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. So Brazil leads in ethanol, Germany in solar and the UK will lead soon in wind. What will the US lead in by 2020? I guess it is important to take the global view and say that every bit helps in terms of reducing the ecological and geopolitical impact of fossil fuels.

  2. Second Wind Gets Funds For Wind Data « Earth2Tech Thursday, December 20, 2007

    [...] which wind sites are assessed. There has been a great deal of news in wind energy recently — Britain is looking to significantly expand its wind generation, and GE just broke ground on a new plant that will be making fiber glass [...]

  3. Clipper Wind Sells Gigantic Turbine « Earth2Tech Friday, April 18, 2008

    [...] used to tap Britain’s offshore wind in an attempt to meet Britain’s ambitious goal of generating 33 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2020. Currently, only 300 megawatts of wind capacity are operating in [...]

  4. Wind Energy Roundup: From Ethiopia to Brooklyn, Big Investments & Buyouts « Earth2Tech Thursday, October 9, 2008

    [...] Vattenfall Acquires AMEC Wind Energy for $216.5M: Swedish utility Vattenfall has acquired British wind energy developer AMEC Wind Energy for £126 million (roughly $216.5 millon). AMEC Wind has a portfolio of 540 megawatts of potential wind development. Vattenfall recently made an offer to acquire Eclipse Energy, another British wind developer. The Swedish company currently operates 90 megawatts of offshore wind turbines and is looking to expand in the British market. It’s a good bet since the British government wants to see 33 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy come online by 2020. [...]

  5. Wind Energy Roundup: From Ethiopia to Brooklyn, Big Investments & Buyouts Thursday, October 9, 2008

    [...] Own Energy Aiming for $100M: One-year old Own Energy completed an undisclosed Series A round of funding yesterday but is reportedly already looking to raise $100 million to fund the 51-megawatt wind farm it has planned in Texas for 2009. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company wants to put wind farms of the 10- to 80-megawatt size on actual farmland. Instead of outright buying or leasing land, Own Energy plans to partner with landowners and split the energy revenues. EnerTech Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners and the New York City Investment Fund participated in the first round of funding. Vattenfall Acquires AMEC Wind Energy for $216.5M: Swedish utility Vattenfall has acquired British wind energy developer AMEC Wind Energy for £126 million (roughly $216.5 millon). AMEC Wind has a portfolio of 540 megawatts of potential wind development. Vattenfall recently made an offer to acquire Eclipse Energy, another British wind developer. The Swedish company currently operates 90 megawatts of offshore wind turbines and is looking to expand in the British market. It’s a good bet since the British government wants to see 33 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy come online by 2020. [...]

  6. Wind Energy Roundup: From Ethiopia to Brooklyn, Big Investments & Buyouts | Eco Friendly Mag Friday, October 10, 2008

    [...] Vattenfall Acquires AMEC Wind Energy for $216.5M: Swedish utility Vattenfall has acquired British wind energy developer AMEC Wind Energy for £126 million (roughly $216.5 millon). AMEC Wind has a portfolio of 540 megawatts of potential wind development. Vattenfall recently made an offer to acquire Eclipse Energy, another British wind developer. The Swedish company currently operates 90 megawatts of offshore wind turbines and is looking to expand in the British market. It’s a good bet since the British government wants to see 33 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy come online by 2020. [...]

  7. Wind Energy Roundup: From Ethiopia to Brooklyn, Big Investments & Buyouts Monday, October 13, 2008

    [...] October 9th, 2008 · No Comments The wind energy industry, perhaps the most mature cleantech sector, is truly global in scope. Just look at the wind energy news stories coming across the wire today. Here’s a roundup of recent wind energy plays from all over the world: Ethiopia Signs $285M Deal for Huge Wind Farm: The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) signed a €210 million ($285 million) deal with French wind turbine maker Vergnet today for 120 1-megawatt wind turbines. This is a huge project for the developing country, potentially representing 15 percent of EEPCo’s present capacity. Delivery of the turbines is scheduled to start next year with construction to be completed by 2011. The utility will finance the project with two complementary loans from European banks, including the French Development Agency. Own Energy Aiming for $100M: One-year old Own Energy completed an undisclosed Series A round of funding yesterday but is reportedly already looking to raise $100 million to fund the 51-megawatt wind farm it has planned in Texas for 2009. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company wants to put wind farms of the 10- to 80-megawatt size on actual farmland. Instead of outright buying or leasing land, Own Energy plans to partner with landowners and split the energy revenues. EnerTech Capital Partners, Contour Venture Partners and the New York City Investment Fund participated in the first round of funding. Vattenfall Acquires AMEC Wind Energy for $216.5M: Swedish utility Vattenfall has acquired British wind energy developer AMEC Wind Energy for £126 million (roughly $216.5 millon). AMEC Wind has a portfolio of 540 megawatts of potential wind development. Vattenfall recently made an offer to acquire Eclipse Energy, another British wind developer. The Swedish company currently operates 90 megawatts of offshore wind turbines and is looking to expand in the British market. It’s a good bet since the British government wants to see 33 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy come online by 2020. [...]

  8. Masdar Takes 20 Percent Stake In World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm « Earth2Tech Thursday, October 16, 2008

    [...] The London Array project has been proposed for a 90-square-mile site 12 miles off the coast of England, near the mouth of the Thames. When fully completed, the project could contain up to 271 turbines and produce a full gigawatt of power, representing 10 percent of the UK’s ambitious renewable energy goals. [...]

  9. Masdar Takes 20 Percent Stake In World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Thursday, October 16, 2008

    [...] The London Array project has been proposed for a 90-square-mile site 12 miles off the coast of England, near the mouth of the Thames. When fully completed, the project could contain up to 271 turbines and produce a full gigawatt of power, representing 10 percent of the UK’s ambitious renewable energy goals. [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post