Australia ends clean energy target plans

The government rejected the recommendation by chief scientist Alan Finkel to create a CET made in a review of Australia’s energy sector in July.

Finkel’s report said the CET would allow all electricity generators to receive incentives, based on the emissions produced and in a technology-neutral way.

The CET was Finkel’s suggestion to replace the current federal renewable energy target (RET), which expires in 2020. The RET aimed for 33TWh of renewable generation. It was previously cut from 41TWh in 2015.

Instead, Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government has formed another technology-neutral system by removing levels of support or tax, “creating a level playing field for all energy sources”.

“The guarantee is made up of two parts that together will require energy retailers and some large users across the national electricity market to deliver reliable and lower emissions energy generation each year,” the government said in a statement.

The two parts of the new arrangement include a “reliability guarantee” to ensure the correct level of “dispatcahble energy… such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries”. The Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator will set the level.

The second promise is an “emissions guarantee” to “contribute to Australia’s international commitments”.

“This two-part guarantee will deliver affordable and reliable energy for households and businesses without subsidies, taxes, emissions trading schemes or carbon prices,” the government explained.

It hopes the new system will put lower consumers’ bills and reduce spot price volatility.

In addition to the new “guarantees”, Turnbull’s government has also arranged a new package supporting the domestic supply of gas.

The nation’s renewables trade body, the Clean Energy Council, has heavily criticised the proposals, claiming the government has blown a “golden opportunity”, and warned of another slowdown, like the one that crippled Australia’s renewable growth in 2015 and 2016.

“The federal government’s decision to walk away from a CET is likely to result in a substantial slowdown in new clean energy investment, meaning power prices will keep rising and voters will continue switching off,” the Clean Energy Council said.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said: “The CET was the best opportunity in years to lock in the long-term bipartisan energy policy needed to encourage investment in cleaner energy while improving system reliability and pushing down power prices.”

“A company which is thinking about investing in a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars needs to have confidence the goal posts won’t be moved halfway through the game,” Kane added.

“As the New South Wales government has noted, the state’s old coal and gas power stations struggled to deal with the heatwaves at the beginning of the year and the focus on reliability is welcome.

“We believe energy storage and demand management can provide much-improved reliability at times of high stress compared to the current system, but many people will be watching the final policy settings very closely.

“As an industry we will continue to push for the effective energy policy most Australians agree is urgently needed.”

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Vattenfall Gets Things Moving on 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard OWF

Vattenfall has commenced its official autumn consultation on the anticipated environmental impact of the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind project.

The company has published a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) and announced a period of formal statutory consultation to be held between 7 November and 11 December 2017.

In addition, Vattenfall has set out its latest thinking on onshore infrastructure in a newsletter to around 30,000 Norfolk households. The newsletter also invites communities along the 60km onshore cable corridor to eight drop-in sessions.

The developer confirmed that no part of the 60km export cable will run under any house, from landfall south of Happisburgh and along the cable corridor to the substation near Necton.

“What we are setting out in detail in our statement of community consultation is our engagement plan to discuss and get feedback on what is called preliminary environmental information [PEI]. The PEI report sets out our latest layout of the offshore and onshore parts of the project, what we think will be the impacts and how we will go about minimising them,” Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard Project Manager said. “We will consult according to the SoCC, which means we will do what we say we will do.”

Lean further said that Vattenfall has already received a high volume of detailed feedback, from residents’ concerns to their thoughts on the project’s positive economic impact on the region.

The preliminary environmental information report provides environmental information on a potential offshore wind farm with 90-257 turbines of up to 350 metres tall (tip height).

Also, onshore infrastructure which includes a proposed landfall site, two cable relay station location options (one will only be selected for the DCO, if required), a 60km cable corridor and a project substation, as well as modification to overhead transmission lines and an extension to the existing Necton 400kV National Grid substation so that power can be exported to the National Grid.

Norfolk Boreas, Norfolk Vanguard’s sister project, is in an earlier phase of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning process with its environmental impact assessment still ongoing.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

BOEM Puts Avangrid’s Kitty Hawk Lease Into Effect

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) signed Avangrid’s offshore wind lease for the 122,405-acre Kitty Hawk site off North Carolina on 10 October. The lease will go into effect on 1 November 2017.

Avangrid Renewables, Iberdrola’s U.S. renewable energy arm, won the lease at a competitive sale held on 16 March by placing a winning bid of USD 9,066,650 and beating three other bidders: Wind Future LLC, Statoil Wind US LLC, and wpd offshore Alpha LLC.

“Executing this lease with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) not only begins the formal process of studying these 122,000 acres in more detail, it means building long-term local and regional partnerships as we explore the opportunity to develop reliable, homegrown, clean energy using just the ocean breezes as fuel,” Laura Beane, CEO & President of Avangrid Renewables, said in a statement.

“Even at this very early stage, we have a lot of work to do as we seek to better comprehend a number of variables that will inform our understanding of the wind farm development. That process will take time, is highly technical, and will involve many stakeholders, but we are confident in our ability to leverage our experience in order to deliver a competitively priced product to our eventual customers,” Laura Beane explained.

Kitty Hawk is the first offshore wind lease area to be secured off North Carolina. The area begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nautical miles in the north to .6 of a nautical mile in the south.

“As the first company to bring wind energy to North Carolina, and with a track record of developing and operating renewable wind and solar plants from coast to coast, we’re excited to extend that expertise into the waters off North Carolina. We’ll bring to bear the substantial experience of our majority shareholder, Iberdrola Group, who develops, builds, and operates offshore wind in Europe. Now we get to work undertaking an enormous task in bringing this project to fruition, but confident in its completion,” Laura Beane said.

According to the procedure information available, to finalise the lease after the auction had been completed, the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission needed to carry out a review of the lease sale and Avangrid had been required to pay the winning bid and provide financial assurance to BOEM.

The lease will now have a preliminary term of one year, followed by a five-year site assessment term.

After BOEM’s approval of the Site Assessment Plan (SAP), Avangrid will work towards submitting the Construction and Operations Plan (COP), which will provide a detailed proposal for the construction and operation of the project within the lease area.

If BOEM approves the COP, Avangrid will then have 25 years to construct and operate the project.

Offshore WIND Staff

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

UK Supply Chain Companies Explore Offshore Wind Links with Taiwan

The UK Department for International Trade and NOF Energy will take 38 delegates from 24 companies from UK’s offshore wind supply chain to Taiwan, aiming to build relationships between the two countries’ companies and organisations.

On 19 and 20 October, the UK delegation will connect with a network of businesses, suppliers and organisations from Taiwan’s offshore renewables sector.

As part of the trade visit, the group will attend a renewable energy conference and exhibition, which incorporates a UK-Taiwan showcase event that will allow UK delegates the opportunity to promote their businesses and importantly share offshore wind experiences with local industry. Delegates will also tour Changhua Port, which is a significant strategic resource for the Taiwan offshore wind market, and will meet with local contractors operating from the facility.

Offshore wind opportunities in Taiwan are expected to generate GBP 14 billion of investment and installing 3GW by 2025, with the total offshore wind capacity planned to reach 4GW by 2030.

The country’s ambitious plans are creating export opportunities for British companies that have established themselves in the UK and European renewables markets.

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Rona Fairhead said: “Britain is a world leader in energy and innovation and we welcome the chance for UK businesses to share their expertise with the Taiwan’s growing offshore renewables sector. We are committed to forging a new culture of exporting and building ever-closer partnerships with businesses across Taiwan.”

“South East Asia and Taiwan, in particular, are increasingly successful players in the offshore wind market. The UK has developed significant expertise in offshore wind, and many NOF Energy members are keen to partner with companies in Taiwan to mutual advantage,” Joanne Leng MBE, deputy chief executive of NOF Energy, said. “The business opportunities are significant for local and international supply chain companies. Along with offshore wind, wave and ocean energy are also included in Taiwan’s national renewables strategy with plans to set up development guidelines and a major pilot programme. This strategy presents positive export opportunities for UK companies with offshore wind experience and expertise that can help Taiwan deliver on its renewables ambitions.”

Taiwan plans to increase its overall wind power capacity, for both onshore and offshore wind, from 530MW to 5,200MW by 2030 as part of a renewable energy plan unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Fugro Plans to Appoint Øystein Løseth as New CEO

Fugro’s Supervisory Board has decided to nominate Øystein Løseth as the company’s new CEO after Paul van Riel, who currently holds the position, retires in April 2018.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled to be held on 14 December 2017, the Supervisory Board will nominate Løseth for appointment as member of the Board of Management and subsequently as CEO.

If Øystein Løseth is appointed at the shareholders meeting, he will join the Board of Management starting 1 January.

After a transition period, Løseth will succeed Paul van Riel who will retire as planned at the end of his term at the Annual General Meeting due to take place on 26 April 2018.

Øystein Løseth said: “After several years in a non-executive role, I was ready for a new, challenging and exciting executive role in an international environment again. I feel that in this phase of my life I can contribute more in such a role. I am therefore excited about being given the opportunity to succeed Paul van Riel as CEO of Fugro.”

Løseth has management experience at board level in major companies. From October 2014 until recently he was on the board of directors of Statoil AS, of which the last two years as Chairman of the Board. Previously he was CEO of Vattenfall AB and of NUON.

“I have come to know Fugro as a company with very strong market positions and an excellent reputation, based on the skills of its people and innovative technologies, and look forward to interacting with Fugro’s clients. Also I look forward to returning to the Netherlands as I have enjoyed working there for many years. I am strongly committed to work with the Board of Management and Fugro’s staff to restore profitability, grow the markets outside oil and gas and to create value for all stakeholders,” Løseth said.

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Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

RP Global sells majority stake in Croatian portfolio

Mirova, which owns the fund, had previously acquired a 49% stake in RP Global’s 43.7MW Danilo and 34.2MW Rudine wind farms on the Adriatic coast.

It has now invested an additional 46% of the two sites, bringing its total stake up to 95%.

Raphael Lance, head of Mirova Renewable Energy Funds said the investors’ decision was encouraged by the Croatian government last month raising energy prices and increasing quotas for eligible green energy producers.

“The recent renewed support of the Croatian government to green energy has been instrumental to comfort our investment decision,” he said.

Minority shareholder RP Global will remain responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the wind farms. It stated the transaction would enable it to further develop its international pipeline.

The Austrian developer has constructed more than 35 renewable energy plants — the majority of which are either hydro or wind projects.

RP Global CEO Jorge Rodriguez said: “We are now able to reinvest our funds while securing the wind farms’ smooth, long-term operation, which represents just the kind of ‘win-win’ business structure the industry needs to achieve Europe’s renewable energy targets.”

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

Dutch Strengthening Offshore Wind Cooperation with China

An offshore wind delegation from the Netherlands is currently visiting China to intensify Sino-Dutch offshore wind cooperation and knowledge exchange.

Besides Dutch companies, three experts from the Netherlands are accompanying the delegation and holding masterclasses throughout China. René Moor and Ruud de Bruijne of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are invited by the National Energy Administration of China to give a masterclass on the Dutch offshore wind policy and tender system, while Arjen Schutten of the Holland Home of Wind Energy (HHWE) export organisation will talk about the Dutch offshore wind supply system and market.

The dependency on fossil fuels cannot last, therefore demand for renewable energy continues to rise worldwide, according to Arjen Schutten, who added that over the next twenty years 36% more energy will be consumed than it is now. Wind energy – particularly offshore wind farms – is fast gaining ground in the Netherlands and worldwide, Schutten  pointed out.

However, the Chinese market is challenging for Dutch and foreign companies.

“Offshore wind energy is a high risk, high reward sector. There are many risks involved and we learned a lot from our mistakes in the past. However, most Chinese companies prefer to be certain of the success of projects. But the only way to really develop and further improve is to start and learn from the mistakes and problems that we have encountered. The Chinese still need to adapt to this way of thinking. Accepting support is also an important part of this different mindset,” Schutten explains.

Schutten said he hopes that China and the Netherlands can utilise the full potential of offshore wind energy together. “The Netherlands has unique knowledge and expertise that China can use, for example, when it comes to the installation and operation & maintenance of offshore wind farms.”

China plans to raise its non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15% by 2020. At the same time, the Netherlands aims to cut CO2 emissions by half to generate some 40% of its electricity from sustainable sources like offshore wind and biomass by 2050.

With this future, Schutten emphasized that there are opportunities for this sector in both countries. There is a large market for offshore wind energy in the Netherlands with yearly at least 700MW of capacity being built in the next years to come. Our aim for this mission is also to point this out to Chinese participants of the masterclasses and get them interested in the Dutch market. We want to diversify our market by also having companies active in for instance wind turbine manufacturing or cable manufacturing. So if Chinese companies can supply or produce high quality wind turbines or cables for competitive prices, there is a large market waiting for them.”

The Dutch delegation is visiting Beijing, Fuzhou and Guangzhou from 16 to 19 October, as a follow-up to Dutch Minister Henk Kamp’s visit from June and on the occasion of the China Wind Power (CWP) fair

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Delaware Uni: USD 1.6 Billion Could Be Saved with Turbine Assembly at Port

The University of Delaware has determined that assembling offshore wind turbines in a port is the most cost- and time-effective method in the construction of offshore wind farms, since it would cost up to USD 1.6 billion less per project than conventional approaches and would take half the construction time.

The UD-led research team announced this as a result of a five-year research project, done in cooperation with industry partners and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The project’s principal investigator, Willett Kempton, professor at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), said: “In planning for offshore wind power, the big question is how we generate electricity cost-competitively, and at a scale that is both a relevant replacement for aging power plants and also applicable to climate change. We’re the first people who have shown the engineering details, step-by-step, how to achieve that.”

The reference design used 10MW turbines with support structures. The key insight that allowed the team to make such optimizations in cost and deployment speed was that the entire structure, from seafloor mounting to the top of the turbine, can be assembled in one piece in port, moved as a unit, and in one step placed into the sea floor.

“Instead of today’s method, carrying out parts separately and individually assembling each in the ocean, we have an assembly line on shore,” Kempton said. “We spend more money in the port, but we spend far less money at sea.”

In addition to cost savings, shifting more of the assembly to land enables construction to proceed regardless of the weather and reduces time at sea from three days to ten hours for each turbine installed. Integral to the method is to anchor the turbines by suctioning large buckets to the seafloor rather than pounding piles. This also means that the foundation does not penetrate as deeply into the seafloor, which reduces costs for everything from the attachment process to the surveying. Without pile driving noise, installation has no acoustic impact on marine mammals.

However, as every study, this one also showed certain drawbacks. Research on turbine bearing wear and failure led the team to conclude that transporting turbines with installed blades would reduce lifetime. Transport with attached blades is also unstable. Therefore, the researchers developed a mounting for transport and a method to attaching the blades in place at sea.

To remind, the turbine assembly on the shore (at a port) has been often highlighted as one of the main advantages of floating offshore wind turbines.

Source: Test from Offshore Wind News

Vestas' V120 turbine available in China

The manufacturer introduced the new 120-metre model to the market in response to customer demand for low- and ultra-low wind conditions, which are especially prevalent in the south east of the country, it said.

Vestas said the prototype of the V120-2.0/2.2MW will be installed in the first quarter of 2018, the company said.

The turbines to be used in the Chinese market will be produced locally in Tianjin, Vestas said, with first deliveries expected in Q1 2018.

It is also available in India, and the company had previously said the turbine would also be on sale in the United States.

Vestas introduced the turbine to the Chinese market ahead of the country’s annual trade fair, China Wind Power 2017 (17-19 October).

The V120-2.0/2.2 has a rotor swept area 19% larger than that of Vestas’ V110-2.0MW, and has an annual energy production (AEP) 13% greater than the 110-metre turbine, Vestas said.

“To meet customer demand and support the continued development of China’s wind power industry, Vestas is offering its most advanced products to China,” said the company’s group senior vice president and Vestas China president Kebao Yang. 

Vestas has installed more than 5.4GW in 16 provinces across the country, the company said.

Globally, the manufacturer has installed more than 19,000 turbines from its 2MW-class, spreading across 45 countries on six continents.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly

SGRE downgrades 2017 forecast

SGRE now expects its financial year, which closed on 30 September, will record underlying earnings before interest and taxes to be €790m, down from the €900m forecasted.

“This disclosure relates to the regular assessment of the carrying value of certain assets in inventory mainly for the United States and South African markets, which affect certain subsidiaries of Siemens Gamesa, to mark them down to their current estimated realisable value,” CEO Markus Tacke said in a note to shareholders.

“The current market conditions and pricing pressure has resulted in the write–down of such inventories,” Tacke added.

In August, SGRE recorded a fall in sales and revenues in its first financial quarter results since the merger. Revenues fell 7% year-on-year to €2.69 million in the results. Sales reached 1.96GW-equivalent, a drop of 25% compared with the same period last year, SGRE reported.

The manufacturer added it had made a minimum of €230 million in synergies following the merger of Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa earlier this year.

Speaking at the blade factory opening in Morocco last week, the group’s onshore CEO Ricardo Chocarro said the integration of the two firms could be completed a year earlier in the third year of operation, instead of the fourth year as originally planned.

SGRE will report its full-year financial figures on 6 November. The manufacturer’s share price opened 5.25% lower this morning (16 October) at €11.90/share.

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Source: Test from Wind Power Monthly