Off to an EWEA event but this will be it for today. More tomorrow.
More on Alstom:
The results of the French tender, where Alstom secured contracts for three out of four projects, were a critical starting point for the company, Hendrick said. He said the UK and Germany were the company's other immediate targets for expansion, pointing out that Alstom's 6MW offshore turbine was designed specifically for the 9-10m/s wind speeds that are prevalent in the North Sea.
Speaking about Alstom's plans for the UK, Hendrick said his company would want to see a first order and a strong signal from its customers that they have the necessary confidence in Round 3 projects before rolling out a manufacturing facility in the UK. Without the right support from the UK government, he said, "our customers won't put big money on the table and it'll be hard for us to start manufacturing there". But he added that Alstom was preparing to be in a position to simply "press the button" when those signals arrive. A UK manufacturing facility would most likely be located in the north-eastern part of the country, he said, but he did not specify whether Alstom was planning to be in Scotland or England.
My colleague Nadia Weekes spoke with Frederic Hendrick, Alstom vice president of offshore, who again flagged up cost of energy. Its always been an aim but it's come up in every meeting we've had here.
Hendrick affirmed the company's ambition to become a major player in that market. He said the company's 6MW turbine was the optimum size for generating electricity from offshore wind as economically as possible. "The race is for the cheapest energy, not the largest machine," he said.
Here is the (rather noisy) video interview with GE.
Here's is something on the GWEC market figures to come out today, from Windpower Monthly editor Jacki Buist:
Over half of the global wind power growth in the coming years is expected to come from outside the developed countries, said secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council Steve Sawyer, and over half is expected to come from inside Asia. By next year, if not before, China will more than likely overtake Europe in terms of installed capacity, despite China's expected flattening of the market as it gives up on its stack 'em high and sell them cheap to focus on quality and grid issues. GWEC China director Liming Qiao said a recent survey from China Wind Energy Association showed that, over the regions tested, curtailment was averaging 16%. In some provicinces it was as high as 25%. 'These are big challenges,' she said.
Mongolia and Ethopia are the counries of greatest interest to the world of global wind energy, or at least the most exciting to Sawyer. Introducing the council's annual report, he cited the plans of both countries that, if achieved, will see 68GW in Ethopia by 2030, and Mongolia connecting its first wind farm before this year is out. Sawyer hopes this is just the beginning for Mongolia, which has wind potential to provide the country's total electricity supply, and solar power to provide double that. Much effort is being put into getting that potential excess power out of the landlocked country.
- Asia 20.9GW
- Europe 10.3GW
- N America 8.1GW
- Latin America 852MW
- Pacific region 343MW
- Africa and Middle East 31MW
- GWEC cumulative forecast to 2016
- Asia 200GW
- Europe 161.6GW
- North America 103GW
- Latin America 10.9GW
- Africa and Middle East 9.4GW
- Pacific region 8.4GW
Just did video interview with GE European services executive for wind services Ramon Paramio who runs the company's services division.
Also spoke to software provider Mita-Teknik and Sinovel about a new cooperation agreement between the two companies.
More on both later.
Spent the last hour in informal meetings with Repower and Nordex.
Spoke with Nordex CEO Jurgen Zeschky and managing director Jorg Scholle. Among the topics covered were the N117 low wind-speed turbine and the company's high hopes for it in China among other markets. Also looked at offshore and the search for a partner for the company's 6MW offshore turbine and the possibility of exiting it if the right partner could be found.
At Repower, I spent some time with CTO Matthias Schubert. Among the topics covered was the history behind its offshore turbines (going straight in at the deep end with 5MW), onshore trends such as higher towers. He also had a refreshing take on the current trend to create IP banks, describing it as perfectly normal for a "mature industry" to do so.
Off to do video interview with GE soon but will try to drop by the Vestas stand @15.00, where they are having a drinks presentation. Sailed by earlier and it looked like the 50GW figure had something to do with it.
Just attended technology quick-fire session. The audience voted for the presentations they wanted to hear. From offerings including Blade Sensors, A Remote Bolt Monitor, Power Connectors and Turning Old Blades into Artificial Reefs in the Sea, they chose Analysis to Find Best Way to Extend Life of Turbines Beyond 20 Years, Study of Cost of Different Generator Sizes, Rare Earth Elements and A Kite Style Wind Turbine Innovation. JB
Met with RES who were publicising the move by subsidiary Nordisk Vindkraft to move into the Norwegian market (the majority of its projects are in Sweden). It has bought five projects, with a potential 500MW, from Hybrid Tech.
The company also spoke about its involvement in the French 3GW offshore bid with the Iberdrola/Areva consortium, which picked up the 500MW Saint-Brieuc project. Expressed a certain amount of relief that it got the project, following intense press speculation and a recommendation from the regulator that the whole 3GW go to EDF/Alstom.
Separately, NRG Systems has expanded into condition-monitoring. It has produced a system that, it said, utilises aeronautical technology (specifically from helicopters) to diagnose early-stage wear.
Just heard a rumour the Vestas conference for this afternoon is that they have reached 50GW of installed capacity, so not exactly a huge story then. The Windpower Monthly team were wondering whether it was an announcement to do with the V164, maybe a testing agreement.
11.00 CETSpoke with ZF/Hansen about current plans and situation since last year's acquistion of the company by ZF from Suzlon. There's going to be an update on it from tomorrow and presumably ZF's plans for wind market. Although they would say this I got the impression they thought it was a good thing to leave Suzlon behind, not least because it hampered the perception of being seen as an independent. Asked if there was not a concern of overcapacity in the gearbox market and they replied it was the same everywhere. But they said there were a lot of orders going through In the first half of the year principally because of the expiry of the PTC. The second half would be quieter.
There is a press trip to an offshore wind farm off Copenhagen, so this makes it a good time for a walk around the stands. So far I've spoken to AWS Truepower who said there was a lot of interest from clients in offshore and Latin America.
Currently sat at the Envision stand having spoken about their 3.6MW offshore turbine. Essentially, the turbine is going to be targeted at the Chinese offshore market as it's specifically designed for those conditions ie typhoons. Unlikely to be targeted at Round 3 because of size but they are currently looking at the next one up.
Incidentally, GE has released info on the trial of its 4.1 offshore turbine test in Sweden, which should be up shortly.
One of the recurring themes of yesterday's event was the need for manufacturers to innovate to lower the cost of energy. Unsurprisingly, at the same time, there has been a fear that government's will look to cut renewables subsidies in response to the current economic conditions. European energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger warned the countries that did this were not only a danger to their own markets but that a policy of reducing renewables support could be exported to other countries.
In terms of turbine news and launches, GE has launched its 1.6MW machine in Turkey and Gamesa has spoken about its G114 2MW turbine. Siemens is also set to launch a low wind machine while Enercon spoke briefly about its own class 3 machine, the E92.
As for today, one question is what will be the subject of Vestas' announcement this afternoon.