News & in-depth analysis of wind power and renewable energy policy, legislation & regulation, pricing, tariffs & incentives, permitting and environmental issues.
WORLDWIDE: Windpower Monthly's annual review of wind energy costs show offshore wind installation costs falling for the first time, bringing down generation costs
UK: The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is proposing to reduce the feed-in tariffs for small-scale renewable-energy sources. Decc commissioned a report from consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff that analysed the costs and performance of small-scale systems.
Wind power in the US is winning the fight against fossil-fuels on economic and environmental grounds, says Chris Brown of Vestas North America, with growing efficiency and rapidly falling costs.
UNITED STATES: In a significant setback for President Barack Obama's climate change agenda, the US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked his plan to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants.
EUROPE: Developers added 12.8GW of new wind capacity in 2015, a 6.3% increase on 2014 thanks to a doubling of offshore additions and despite a 7% fall in onshore installations.1 comment
UNITED STATES: A 600MW request for proposals (RFP) for clean energy generation in New England has attracted bids from more than 2.7GW of wind projects, with at least two including storage.
FRANCE: The French government has taken steps to simplify the complex appeal process for offshore wind and cut the number and length of court cases.
Windpower Monthly Events
We don't yet have all the relevant installation and generation figures for last year, but everything we do have points to 2015 having been a good year for wind power.
WORLDWIDE: The question I posed at end of my last column was: "Will the renewables revolution happen fast enough to save the climate?" Although the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris did not definitively answer the question, the possibility of a positive answer seems much greater now than it did before the event, even after a few weeks of sober reflection.
If you are looking for one explanation why the UN climate change talks in Paris last December ended in agreement, while those in Kyoto in 1997 failed, the Noordoostpolder repowering project in the Netherlands provides a pertinent example. Constructed in 1991, its 50 old turbines are now being replaced by just 12 new ones, but with a six-fold increase in installed capacity.
WORLDWIDE: Climate change has risen up the agenda to its highest level since Copenhagen in 2009. As I write this, the United Nation's COP 21 climate summit is about to take place in Paris, and despite the terrible events in the city in November, expectations for a positive outcome are high.