EWEA warns off offshore slowdown. Something that happens when more than 6GW of offshore projects are cancelled, mostly in the UK. The trade body blames "unclear political support" for delays to projects.
Enercon investigates E126 blade failure. Problems for what was once the biggest turbine in the world.
Elsewhere, 2014 starts badly for turbine manufactures as Enercon and Vestas are forced to investigate blade breaks in Germany and Denmark respectively. A blade snapped on a Vestas V90 3MW turbine, which had only been installed in December. Also this month, GE replaces blades at a project in the US, following another blade break in November.
Gamesa loses out over Enercon ‘storm patent’. More patent wars between manufacturers. The patent, owned by Enercon founder Aloys Wobben, was infringed on several types of Gamesa turbines, including the G97. Gamesa was ordered to pay €7 million in damages by a Spanish court.
Spain plans end to all pre-2004 subsidies. As part of deep austerity cuts, the Spanish government ends all subsidies for wind projects that went online before 2004. Support for newer developments are also reduced. Spanish wind association AEE brands the cuts as "retroactive looting".
GE develops space frame tower. GE launches a new type of turbine tower designed to use less steel. The "space frame" tower uses 30% less steel than a traditional tubular tower by using a lattice-style structure and architectural fabric. The tower comes in eight parts, allowing for easier transportation.
Siemens to drop regional structure. Siemens drops its region-based structure in favour of setting up simple onshore and offshore businesses, headed by Jan Kjaersgaard and Michael Hannibal respectively. Kjaersgaard will leave the company later in the year.
Senior managers depart Vestas CE division. Vestas vice president of sales for Central Europe Andreas Eichler quits the company with four other employees. Vestas was unable to give a reason for their departure.
Four killed in US turbine plane strike. The plane they were travelling in struck a turbine in South Dakota, US. The pilot of the single engine aircraft and three cattle ranchers lost their lives at the 40.5MW South Dakota Wind Energy Centre in Hyde County. The plane struck the tower of a GE 1.5MW turbine, installed at the project in 2003.
Enercon to launch new high-wind turbines. In the first of two turbine launches by Enercon this year, the German manufacturer unveils two high-wind models. The E101 3.02MW and E82 2.35MW turbines are upgrades on the original class II wind speed turbines.
Alstom denies GE buyout reports. French manufacturer Alstom denies medias report that US conglomerate GE is lining up a takeover bid for the group’s energy division. A company statement says: "In response to recent speculation in the economic press, Alstom is not informed of any potential public tender offer for the shares of the company." GE will go on to agree a takeover deal in June.
The Alstom-GE deal becomes the biggest story of the year as Siemens enters the frame. Unsurprisingly, the deal excludes wind.
There's relief for one of wind's smaller turbine manufacturers as Swiss investment firm Business Creation Investments agrees to acquire bankrupt Finnish turbine manufacturer WinWind.
Vestas looks to beef up its offering in the US market by launching a new range of technology upgrades aimed at improving the performance of its installed turbines. According to Windpower Intelligence the company has over 6GW installed in the US.
GE-Alstom continues to rumble on, with Mitsuibishi coming in as a possible partner with Siemens. A week later it is joined by Hitachi. Although both Japanese companies have interests in wind, it is Alstom's conventional power assets that appear to be of more interest.
Germany's new renewable energy law passes through parliament in the second and third readings, in parallel with a law allowing each federal state to independently set the distance of wind turbines to the nearest houses.
At the same time, Spain's right-wing People Party government passes the decree ratifying deep retroactive cuts to renewables power. Capacity online before 2005 — 8.4GW, or 37% of the cumulative total — is stripped of all subsidies.
Keep an eye out for part 2, which will be appearing before New Year. Before that, Windpower Monthly would like to wish you a happy Christmas.