Windpower Monthly: january 2015
WORLDWIDE: In the third year of the Windpower Monthly Turbines of the Year awards, we highlight the ongoing technology advances and product developments of 2014, and award the products that are outstanding in innovation, expertise and truly fit for purpose.
WORLDWIDE: The wind turbine industry ended 2014 in a buoyant mood as better-than-expected performance and raised forecasts dominated the third-quarter earnings season.
CHILE: When Michelle Bachelet took office as president of Chile in 2014 she promised to place energy at the top of Chile's political agenda and to prise open a space for renewables.
EUROPE: To facilitate an informed debate on the functioning of EU energy markets the European Commission has commissioned a study to quantify the extent of public interventions in these markets in all 28 member states.
GERMANY: Enercon's new 4MW turbines were designed for cost-effective manufacture, simple logistics and easy site assembly. Three models make up the platform launch, with the first prototype, a 4.2MW medium-wind speed model -- the E-126 EP4 -- planned for late 2015 and serial production in 2016.2 comments
UNITED STATES: A vote by the US House of Representatives to renew the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy until the end of this year is likely to go through, but its passing may be of limited overall value to the industry.
EUROPE: There have been a number of divestments in the offshore wind sector in 2014, most recently Ballast Nedam to Van Oord, and Hochtief to GeoSea.
UNITED STATES: SunEdison's blockbuster $2.4 billion purchase of US developer First Wind gives its TerraForm Power yieldco subsidiary all-important visibility into future growth prospects in addition to a solid foothold from which to launch itself into the global wind energy sector.
EUROPE: E.on has taken the dramatic decision to split its renewables, distribution networks and customer solutions from its conventional energy business by 2016.
This time last year, I wondered whether 2014 would lift the industry out of the doldrums that 2013 inflicted upon it. On the surface, it would appear that it has. Installations are up, the job cuts and factory closures have stopped, Europe is holding firm and the emerging markets are ticking along nicely.
EUROPE: If wind energy has a spiritual home, it is in Europe. From Scottish engineer James Blyth's experiments with converting wind into electrical energy in the 1880s to the first steps towards electricity markets that are sustainable in the long term, Europe has led the way.
WORLDWIDE: Through careful international collaboration between engineers, researchers and technicians, a set of industry standards has been formulated that will take turbine design and the wind industry into the next generation.