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Windpower Monthly's roundup of 2013

WORLDWIDE: As the end of the year draws near, Windpower Monthly leaves you with a look back at the big events of 2013 through the most-read articles.

Developments in super-size turbines such as the V164 proved popular in 2013
Developments in super-size turbines such as the V164 proved popular in 2013

As in previous years, many of the most popular stories with visitors to the website in 2013 have been about major technological developments, particularly in offshore wind. Product performance has also drawn a great deal of interest, with turbine faults featuring high on the list as well as the jostling of positions of the major manufacturers on the global stage. The arrival of new players in the sector also continues to attract attention.

January

Apple's moves to follow Google into the wind energy sector through the development of an energy storage solution grabs many readers' interest in January. Typical of the Silicon Valley innovator, the design is unique.

After a difficult 2012, Sinovel's woes continue as it loses share in its Chinese home market. Vestas also sees its fortunes wane in the world's leading wind installer.

February

Vestas features again in February, as the Danish manufacturer loses its status as the world's number one turbine manufacturer to GE, according to BTM.

A ship collides with a turbine foundation at the Bard Offshore 1 wind farm. The offshore service vessel suffers serious damage while the turbine was unharmed.

Hyundai Heavy Industries introduces its new 5.5M turbine, co-developed with AMSC Windtech. The turbine will be marketed for both onshore and offshore use.

March

A small wind farm in Ireland sees one of its Vestas V52 turbines collapse in high winds. The manufacturer reveals later in the year that an error in the pitch system caused the incident.

Lindoe Offshore Renewables Centre (Lorc) hands GE the contract to build its 10MW turbine testing centre. The facility is set to go online next year.

April

A rotor blade that snapped off a Siemens SWT-2.3-108 turbines at a new US project in Iowa drew a lot of attention from the Windpower Monthly visitors. The manufacturer launched an investigation into the cause.

Vestas features again, but this time with an upbeat story about the company's affairs. Windpower Monthly technology correspondent Eize de Vries looks into the manufacturer's increasing focus on O&M, finding that nearly a fifth of the company's revenue is expected to come from this division.

May

After another SWT-2.3-108 blade break, Siemens takes the drastic action of curtailing all of its turbines worldwide using its B53 blade. The manufacturer warns it could not rule out similar breaks at other wind farms.

First pictures of MHI's SeaAngel turbine blade is too good to resist for many readers, as Windpower Monthly produces a picture gallery of the first completed 81.6-metre offshore blade.

June

German firm Nordex scoops a deal in South Africa, as it pips Suzlon to win the contract to supply 134MW of turbines for one project. Nordex was chosen to provide its best-seller N117/2400 turbine at the run-up to financial close.

More offshore turbine development proves popular in June, as Gamesa reveals images of its 5MW turbine being installed in the Canary Islands.

July

Safety issues with offshore wind development is a running theme for 2013. A diver death at Riffgat wind farm raises significant concerns about the safety of installations in the German North Sea.

Ming Yang makes another move in the race for bigger offshore wind turbines, with the Chinese manufacturer installing its first 6MW turbine.

With Repower continuing to make global cutbacks, the Indian-owned firm closes its Danish research and development offices. In April the company said it would cut 750 jobs by the end of the financial year.

August

As China struggles to bring its home market back to full health, Windpower Monthly reports on moves by the Asian giant to build its power and influence in Ethiopia.

In a break from its purely onshore focus, it is reported that Enercon plans the installation of a new E126-7.5MW prototype with offshore potential. The manufacturer is said to be in discussions with the Le Havre Development Agency to install a prototype at the WIN I testing site on the French coast.

September

A Chinese typhoon knocks out 17 wind turbines in southern China. The storm is said to have caused $16 million of damage to wind farms.

A close-up of the Vestas V164 drew many visitors to read about a visit to the company's facility in Jutland and a close look at the machine's hub and nacelle.

October

Despite continuing financial troubles, Chinese manufacturer Sinovel announces that it has almost completed the design of its monster 10MW turbine. However, the company is unable to give a timetable for the installation of a prototype.

Health and safety inquiries are launched in Northern Ireland after lifting equipment overturned in Belfast Harbour while lifting a Siemens turbine tower section.

November

As most manufacturers move into the low-wind turbine market, Vestas surprises with the release of a turbine designed for high-wind sites. The V105-3.3MW has been envisioned specifically for the UK and Irish markets which both have tip-height restrictions.

Windpower Monthly reveals that Aerodyn is launching an 8MW turbine with a 168-metre rotor. The two-bladed turbine is based on the company's 6MW turbine, which has been in development since the beginning of the year.

December

Always keen for news on the enigmatic Enercon, the report on the German manufacturer installing its E115 prototype proves popular. The 3MW turbine, which is designed for medium-wind high-turbulence sites, is installed on a 135-metre tower, giving a tip height of 206.5 metres.

After five years of legal wranglings MHI and GE finally bring their US patent dispute to a close. The surprisingly amicable agreement lays out provisions for the cross licensing of product patents.

2014

Once again, eyes will be on the US to see if a new subsidies regime will be brought in to replace the expiring PTC and ITC. It will be another big year for super-sized offshore turbines, with more prototypes epxected and the commercial operation of the leaders in the race. Can the breakneck momentum be maintained in the Latin American market? Will sub-saharan Africa make further moves towards being a major player? Keep reading Windpower Monthly to find out.

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