Windpower Monthly: July 2014

Top Features

Use data to boost output over entire portfolio

Use data to boost output over entire portfolio

WORLDWIDE: Wind-farm operators are looking to new, ever more sophisticated approaches to better manage their existing projects, using data analytics and software upgrades as well as predictive maintenance to improve the productivity and availability of their turbines.

Cable cartel fine is not the end of the story

WORLDWIDE: The offshore wind sector's drive to cut costs has been undermined by a cartel among high-voltage cable suppliers, now punished by the European Commission with fines exceeding EUR 300 million. But are the fines sufficient to clean up competition in the industry?

Do PPAs still offer the best deal for wind?

WORLDWIDE: Signing a power purchase agreement used to be the best way to secure finance for wind projects across the globe, but in today's uncertain climate their long duration and fixed costs can damage suppliers' credit ratings.

Windicator: Best quarter for turbine manufacturers in years

Worldwide: The first quarter of 2014 was the most upbeat in recent memory for wind-turbine manufacturers as all five companies that are followed by the Windicator posted impressive results.

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Analysis

Analysis: Alstom plumps for GE deal

FRANCE: The tussle to take over Alstom's power business has seen GE emerge victorious after the French manufacturer's board voted unanimously to accept its offer.

Analysis: Brazilian wind sector avoids potential blow

BRAZIL: Brazil's wind power industry has sidestepped an attempt to blow it off track. A clause in legislation being debated in the Brazilian Congress would have exempted wind farms from the 50% discount on transmission fees enjoyed by other renewable sources.

Analysis: Russia's local sourcing requirement scares off investors

RUSSIA: Russia's recent tender for 1.6GW wind only attracted one bidder, Czech fund Falcon Capital, which applied to build a mere 51MW. The tender to build wind power projects in Russia over 2015-2018, was notable for Russia's local sourcing conditions.

Analysis: Qualified approval for Obama's aim to maintain states' renewables mandates

UNITED STATES: The Obama administration's bid to cut power plant emissions in the US aims to provide an impetus for states to preserve and expand their renewable energy mandates, even though critics say its proposed new greenhouse gas rules could have done more to accelerate the deployment of zero-emissions technologies such as wind.

Comment

Local sourcing - handle with care

One would think the industry would be happy about a country with a 20GW pipeline. However, it's nearly impossible to cover the Brazilian market without mentioning its restrictive local-content requirements.

Viewpoint: The offshore sector is set to get in shape

WORLDWIDE: Like an out-of-condition boxer on the comeback trail, the offshore wind industry is embarking on a crash diet to fight the flab and shed the kilos (or euros).

On Reflection: Look after your staff so they are fit to climb

WORLDWIDE: The wind industry needs to do more to ensure wind technicians remain healthy, starting with research into the links between vertical climbing and musculoskeletal disorders. And with future skills shortages likely, keeping existing staff fit to work will be crucial.

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