Windy Weather Carries Britain to Renewable Energy Record

Photograph: Darren Cool/E.On/PA

Storm Diana brought travel chaos to road, rail and airports, but the clouds did have a silver lining: the strong winds helped set a renewable energy record.

Windfarms supplied about a third of the UK’s electricity between 6pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday, a time of peak energy demand. Output hit a high of 14.9GW, beating a previous record of 14.5GW.

The milestone coincides with the official opening on Friday of E.ON’s Rampion windfarm off the coast near Brighton, which is the first in the Channel and can power about 350,000 homes.

Blustery weather has buoyed wind output in the past few days, with National Grid reporting thousands of wind turbines were the UK’s No 1 source of power across Wednesday and Thursday, at about 32% of generation. Gas power stations are usually top. Continue reading “Windy Weather Carries Britain to Renewable Energy Record”

Offshore wind market expected to exceed $60 billion by 2024

According to a new research report by market research and strategy consulting firm, Market Insights Inc., the offshore wind energy market size will exceed USD $60 billion by 2024. The offshore wind energy market has been set ablaze with a number of projects that have recently commenced power production. For instance, following the installation of its first 7-MW turbines, Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm has sent power for the first time to the National Grid.

The Race Bank offshore wind farm in the U.K. and reportedly the fifth-largest wind farm on the planet has also officially opened recently in the month of June. This 91-turbine facility is expected to produce 573 MW of electricity and is capable of powering more than half a million homes every year. Continue reading “Offshore wind market expected to exceed $60 billion by 2024”

Germany’s renewable energy production defies fickle weather

Source: Reuters

The recent unpredictable weather is a reminder of renewable energy’s variability, prompting coal proponents to argue Germany shouldn’t abandon conventional fuels. But heat waves don’t play favorites.

Northern Europe’s summer heat wave showed once again how sensitive wind and solar energy can be to the vagaries of weather. And proponents of the continued use of coal wasted no time calling for a slowdown in abandoning conventional fuels for power generation.

“This unusual summer shows how important a broad energy mix is, in which every type of generation can play to its strengths,” said Rolf Martin Schmitz, chief executive of RWE, Germany’s largest electrical utility. RWE relies exclusively on conventional fuels like coal, gas and nuclear.

It was a bold gambit to seize on weather conditions that are caused by too much carbon in the atmosphere to justify putting even more carbon emissions into the air. Continue reading “Germany’s renewable energy production defies fickle weather”