Windpower Monthly: September 2014

Top Features

What technology will cut costs next?

What technology will cut costs next?

WORLDWIDE: Which technological improvements will make the biggest near-term contribution to cutting wind energy costs? Industry answers include open-source tools, shared condition-monitoring data and better weather forecasting.

Wind gains strength in water shortages

Wind gains strength in water shortages

WORLDWIDE: One of wind energy's most overlooked benefits is that it requires virtually no water to produce electricity. In an increasingly water-constrained world, this quality will only grow in importance.

Big brands push for access to wind power

UNITED STATES: Twelve of the biggest corporate names in the US have got together in a bid to simplify and improve their access to energy from renewable sources.

New German law puts people power to the test

GERMANY: Germany's impressive record of wind-power growth has largely been driven by local cooperatives rather than international utilities. But new legislation threatens the future for this hitherto successful ownership model.

Looking skyward for a logistics solution

UNITED STATES: A radical new design of aircraft capable of lifting the biggest and heaviest wind turbine components and transporting them directly from the factory to the wind project site is now being tested by a US airship manufacturer.

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Analysis

Analysis: Patent trolls target wind power

UNITED STATES: One of the biggest "patent trolls" is moving into American wind technology for the first time. Intellectual Ventures (IV) of Bellevue, Washington has quietly applied for at least five high-quality and widely applicable patents for reducing noise and birds strikes at utility-scale wind projects.

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Analysis: Prokon managers under suspicion of fraud

GERMANY: It could take a year for a decision to be made on whether to charge managers at insolvent developer Prokon Regenerative Energien with delayed filing of insolvency and fraud, according to the public prosecution of the German city of L├╝beck.

Analysis: Is China's Fit scheme designed to fail?

CHINA: In June China's National Energy Administration (NEA) published its long-awaited offshore wind power feed-in tariff (FIT) - CNY 850/MWh ($130) for offshore wind and CNY 750/MWh for intertidal installations.

Russia may relax local-content requirements

RUSSIA: The Russian government may ease its stringent local-content requirements relating to wind developments.

Comment

Marginal gains will get us everywhere

When Sir David Brailsford was running the British cycling team, he developed the philosophy of marginal gains. It was easily explained in cycling terms -- if you break down everything that goes into the rider and bike and improve it by just 1%, the increase is significant when you put it all back together.

Viewpoint: The high cost of the lowest energy prices

WORLDWIDE: We are living in straitened times. The financial crisis and ensuing austerity programmes have raised the status of cost-saving above that of a means to an end: often it has become a virtuous end in itself.

On Reflection: Monitor many, but analyse as one

WORLDWIDE: The technology exists for wind-farm operators to make substantial cuts to O&M bills, yet too many firms are not making best use of it.

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