News for March 2011

News Archive

Aiming for 20 MW offshore wind turbines

The European Union’s High Power, High Reliability Offshore Wind Technology (HiPRWind) project is looking into the development of up to 20 MW offshore wind turbines.

Funding for biodiesel raw material R&D

Neste Oil has been granted a €50 million loan from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for R&D into extending the range of raw materials for biodiesel production.

Tidal energy test project approved in Wales

Tidal Energy Ltd has been granted permission to test its 1.2 MW tidal power device in Wales for a period of 12 months.

Scotland approves two 69 MW wind farms

The Scottish Government has approved a 69 MW extension to the Black Law wind farm and the 69 MW Blackcraig wind farm.

PLG Power builds 40 MW solar PV plant in India

PLG Power Ltd has started construction of its 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Patan, Gujarat in India.

Vestas 7 MW offshore wind turbine Vestas 7 MW offshore wind turbine

Vestas has unveiled its 7 MW V164 offshore wind turbine, which could see the first prototype developed in 2012.

Q-Cells: 13.4% efficiency for mass produced CIGS solar thin-film module

Q-Cells SE has achieved a 13.4% efficiency record for mass produced copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar thin-film modules manufactured via monolithic integration.

SMA Solar doubles 2010 profit

SMA Solar Technology AG’s profit soared 127% in 2010 to €365 million, but the company warns of growth stagnation in 2011.

PNE Wind ups 2011-2013 EBIT forecast

PNE Wind is upping its cumulative EBIT forecast for the period 2011-2013 to €60-72 million as offshore wind activities increase.

GE buys Converteam

General Electric (GE) is acquiring 90% power conversion specialist Converteam for approximately US$3.2 billion.

Scottish plan for 5 GW of offshore wind

The Scottish Government has published a plan for offshore wind development in Scotland's seas, confirming that offshore wind power developments are viable in at least 6 sites that could total nearly 5 GW by 2020.

Vestas confirms negotiations for 400 MW wind contract

Vestas has confirmed it is in negotiations with a consortium planning a near 400 MW wind farm in Mexico.

Danish pension group invests in offshore wind farm

PensionDanmark and PKA will acquire 50% of the Anholt offshore wind farm for DKK6 billion from DONG Energy.

REpower sells logistics subsidiary

REpower Systems AG is selling the major assets of its logistics subsidiary Windenergie Logistik GmbH (WEL) to Universal Windkraft Logistik GmbH (UWL).

Road-legal fuel cell black cabs make first appearance on London’s roads Road-legal fuel cell black cabs make first appearance on London’s roads

In the UK, the first Fuel Cell Black Cabs – developed by a consortium led by Intelligent Energy – have taken to the roads of London for the first time since being awarded 'road legal' status by the national Vehicle Certification Authority.

Belgian solar boom over, but small installations still promising Belgian solar boom over, but small installations still promising

Accumulated solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in Belgium is estimated at 740 MW at the end of 2010, but growth rates have deteriorated since the 2009 boom.

Tax deduction for Australian geothermal

The Australian Government has announced a tax deduction for the exploration of geothermal energy sources from 1 July 2012.

ECN conducts large meteorological measuring of North Sea wind ECN conducts large meteorological measuring of North Sea wind

The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is to conduct a four-year meteorological measuring programme in the Dutch North Sea zones to aid the planning of offshore wind farms.

Germany installed 1073 MWp solar PV in December 2010 Germany installed 1073 MWp solar PV in December 2010

December was the second strongest month for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Germany in 2010, reaching 1073 MWp, according to EuPD Research.

EWEA 2011: Alstom upgrades its 3 MW ECO 100 wind turbines

Alstom has upgraded its 3 MW ECO 100 wind turbines with a capacity factor increase of 8-15% across wind classes.

First wind turbine installed at Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm

The first REpower 5M 5 MW offshore wind turbine has been installed at the 150 MW Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Cumbria, UK.

SeaGen tidal turbine passes UK criteria

Marine Current Turbines Ltd’s (MCT) 1.2 MW SeaGen tidal turbine has passed the UK’s operating performance criteria for wave and tidal technologies.

UK budget 2011 – upping carbon price and Green Investment Bank

The UK budget for 2011 has been released setting a floor price for carbon and upping the initial capitalisation of the Green Investment Bank. Although largely welcomed by the industry, some point out that it could be too little, too late.

Foresight and Our Generation to roll out £50m of solar PV

Alternative asset manager Foresight Group and Our Generation Ltd have agreed a £50 million programme of sub-50 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the UK over the next 12 months.

Saltire Prize Medal goes to wave power pioneer Saltire Prize Medal goes to wave power pioneer

Professor Stephen Salter MBE has won the Scottish Saltire Prize Medal for his role in the development of wave power.

First Solar builds solar PV factory in Vietnam

First Solar Inc has broken ground on a 250 MW four-line solar photovoltaic (PV) module plant near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Scottish 47.5 MW wind farm gets planning approval

E.ON has been granted planning permission to build a 47.5 MW onshore wind farm near Garve in the Scottish Highlands.

German BELECTRIC tops global solar PV system integrators

BELECTRIC developed over 300 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in 2010, bringing it to the top of IMS Research’s 2010 Global PV System Integrator Rankings.

Abengoa and Wavebob to partner on wave energy technologies

The deal will see the two companies work together on the research, development and commercialisation of wave energy systems.

UK Government solar criticism sustained UK Government solar criticism sustained

Fallout from the UK Government's decision to massively curtail the growing solar PV industry in the UK continues, with criticism coming from many quarters.

Doosan invests £170m in Scottish offshore wind industry Doosan invests £170m in Scottish offshore wind industry

Doosan Power Systems will invest up to £170 million in the Scottish offshore wind industry over the next decade, which includes an R&D centre of excellence for renewables.

HyRaMP regional initiative to promote battery electric and fuel cell vehicles in Europe

HyRaMP, the European Regions and Municipalities Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, is broadening its support of fuel cell vehicles to also include battery electric vehicles.

Screen printed cells achieve lab breakthrough Screen printed cells achieve lab breakthrough

The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) says it has increased the conversion efficiency of screen-printed silicon solar cells from today’s 17%-18.5%, to a new record value of 19.4%.

Sino-Danish cooperation on wind turbine blade materials Sino-Danish cooperation on wind turbine blade materials

The Materials Research Division at Risø DTU will develop the scientific basis and computational tools for the microstructural optimisation of wind turbine blade materials with the China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing.

Platina unveils Cyprus’ First Wind Farm

The €170 million project will reportedly provide 8% of the island’s electricity generation capacity.

Could a new technique enable faster production of a-Si solar cells?

A researcher from TU Delft has reportedly demonstrated that the speed at which inexpensive solar cells are produced can be increased by a factor of ten – and that this can be achieved without any detriment to the energy yield of the cells.

India on course for large share of US$2.2bn clean tech market

Senior figures from Indian Government and business have backed a new report by international NGO The Climate Group, which describes how a low carbon development path is the only one that will guarantee future prosperity for India.

AMSC pays Euro 190 million for power technologies company

"The Switch" is a leading supplier of megawatt-class permanent magnet generator and full-power converter packages that capture power from sources such as wind and solar.

Trina Solar signs licensing agreement with Zep Solar Trina Solar signs licensing agreement with Zep Solar

The agreement will enable Trina to use Zep Solar's patented auto-grounding, drop-in mounting solution, and incorporate a platform for module-integrated installation hardware.

REA wrath over UK solar subsidy reductions

The Fast Track consultation on the UK feed-in tariffs have been published, sparking anger among the industry with warnings that it could leave UK solar “strangled at birth.”

Tidal stream array approved for Scottish Sound of Islay Tidal stream array approved for Scottish Sound of Islay

The Scottish Government has approved the building of the 10 MW tidal stream array planned for the Sound of Islay.

Changes to UK Renewables Obligation

The UK is making changes to its Renewables Obligation scheme to “ensure that the RO stimulates deployment of new renewable generation to meet our 2020 targets.”

Few shadow flicker issues from wind turbines in the UK

A study has found that there have not been extensive issues with shadow flicker from wind turbines in the UK.

EWEA 2011: 4.1 MW GE offshore wind turbine

GE introduced a 4.1 MW direct drive offshore wind turbine at EWEA 2011 in Brussels this week.

EWEA 2011: Turmes on wind, nuclear and low-carbon

Claude Turmes took the opportunity at EWEA 2011 in Brussels to attack the lack of binding policies, the use of nuclear power and the lobby of the “low-carbon gang”.

Korea to demo hydrogen from waste processing with Ballard fuel cell systems

Canadian fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems is partnering with GS Platech in South Korea to demonstrate waste-to-energy power generation using fuel cell technology with hydrogen produced from processing of municipal solid waste.

EWEA 2011: From scrap metal to wind turbines – the 2011 Poul la Cour Prize

The 2011 Poul la Cour Prize for pioneering wind energy work, was presented at EWEA 2011 to Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Officer at Siemens Wind Power, who built his first wind turbine from scrap metal in the late 1970s.

EWEA 2011: What does low-carbon mean?

At EWEA 2011 in Brussels, Belgium, the wind industry raised the question of what politicians mean when they talk about low-carbon energy as opposed to renewable energy.

EWEA 2011: Europe needs renewable energy targets beyond 2020

The EU needs to adopt binding renewable energy targets for 2030 to ensure long-term investment, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Wind turbine blades based on ASA resin Wind turbine blades based on ASA resin

Dutch company EverkinetIQ International has developed its first small wind turbine based on a glass fibre reinforced ASA resin from BASF.

EWEA 2011: China could surpass 70 GW installed wind by 2015

China could surpass 70 GW of installed wind power in 2015 under the country’s new Five Year Plan, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

UK Batteries to distribute storage solutions in UK

UK Batteries will distribute storage, including renewable energy storage, solutions for US-based Trojan Battery Company in the UK.

EWEA 2011: Vestas’ 6 MW offshore wind turbine to Gode Wind III

Vestas’ 6 MW offshore wind turbine, which will be presented later this month, will be deployed by PNE Wind at Gode Wind III of the German coast.

EWEA 2011: Alstom Wind goes offshore

Alstom Wind is going offshore with its new 6 MW permanent magnet direct drive wind turbine.

SGS provides quality control for Goldwind wind towers

SGS Industrial Services will provide quality control services of wind towers for Goldwind, based in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China.

Renewable Energy Focus at EWEA 2011

The Renewable Energy Focus team is at the European Wind Energy Association's annual conference and exhibition EWEA 2011.

Research predicts waste-to-energy market growth

A study by SBI Energy shows that the thermal and digestion waste-to-energy market is to be unaffected by the global economic downturn, forecasting the annual global market for all technologies combined are to exceed US$27 billion by 2021.

Robin Rigg offshore wind transmission owner announced

The operation of the transmission link for the 180 MW Robin Rigg offshore wind farm in the UK has been licensed.

French reduce solar PV funding

French solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff is being reduced to €0.12/kWh.

UK carbon price floor not enough?

The proposed UK carbon price floor is not enough to create investor confidence, according to Climate Change Capital (CCC).

38 MW Polish wind project gets underway

ACCIONA Energy begins construction of its first wind farm in Poland which is to be situated at Golice in the west of the country.

More industry reactions to UK renewable heat incentive

Following yesterday’s announcement of the UK renewable heat incentive (RHI), comments from across the industry has been flooding in – most of them positive.

Moventas strikes Canadian wind deal with GDF SUEZ

GDF SUEZ will install Moventas’ wind turbine condition management system at three wind farms in Canada.

Fraunhofer ISE unveils large-scale dye solar cell

Solar energy researchers have produced what could be the world’s largest dye solar cell on a continuous substrate material.

UPS Systems to lease three new Air Liquide hydrogen fuel cell systems to UK customers UPS Systems to lease three new Air Liquide hydrogen fuel cell systems to UK customers

UPS Systems has signed an innovative distributor agreement with Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy, to offer three new hydrogen fuel cell systems to end-users in the UK. This is a first for the UK market, and part of UPS Systems’ approach to broaden the use of fuel cells in the UK.

Online marketplace for solar PV projects

ProjectForum4t2 has launched an online international marketplace for solar photovoltaic (PV) project rights and existing systems.

SunPower delivers 48 MW of solar panels to Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation is ordering 48 MW of solar panels from SunPower Corporation to support its residential solar offering in Japan.

SSE and Marsh to save Skykon wind turbine tower plant

A joint venture between Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Plc and Marsh Wind Technology Ltd seeks to save the Skykon wind turbine tower manufacturing and assembly plant in Campbeltown, Scotland.

UK launches renewable heat incentive

The UK Government has launched a £860 million renewable heat incentive (RHI) making payments to household available from October 2012.

Middle East renewables market stimulated by new venture

International clean technology asset management group I2BF has opened an office in Dubai with the aim of facilitating further investment in the region.

EU publishes 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap

An ambitious vision for Europe’s energy sector over the next 30 years has been published by the European Commission.

Gamesa invests in Indian wind power market

Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa is expanding its presence in India by building new manufacturing plants and a wind power technology centre.

ITM Power launches Hydrogen On Site Trials at Stansted, first of 21 partner trials ITM Power launches Hydrogen On Site Trials at Stansted, first of 21 partner trials

The UK-based hydrogen generator company ITM Power has got its wide-ranging Hydrogen On Site Trial (HOST) program under way, with a well attended launch event yesterday at its inaugural partner, Stansted Airport.

Hoppecke partners with ReliOn to sell fuel cell products for backup power

Hoppecke Batterien GmbH, a leading German manufacturer of industrial batteries, charging equipment and energy systems, has announced a partnership with US-based ReliOn, a leading provider of high reliability fuel cell solutions for backup power applications.

Smarter Grid Solutions technology to Low Carbon London project

Smarter Grid Solutions’ grid management technologies will be used as part of the Low Carbon London project with UK Power Networks.

Suntech net income tripled in 2010

Suntech saw a tripling in net income in 2010 compared to the year before, reaching US$262.3 million.

Statkraft opens 9.2 MW wind farm in Sweden

Statkraft has opened the 9.2 MW wind farm, Em, the company's first wind farm in Sweden.

German biogas project set in motion

Germany-based biofuel company VERBIO has received approval for its second biogas plant to be built in Schwedt/Oder, Germany.

ETI shows viability of vertical axis offshore wind turbines ETI shows viability of vertical axis offshore wind turbines

Vertical axis offshore wind turbines could provide an alternative to conventional horizontal turbine designs, according to the Energy Technologies Institute.

UK feed-in tariff rise ‘will help fuel solar PV demand’

Mitsubishi Electric has welcomed an increase in the UK’s feed-in tariff for solar technology to take into account inflation.

Varied industry responses to UK Carbon Plan

The UK renewable energy and associated industries have voiced varied reactions to the UK’s Carbon Plan, from calling it a “positive first step” to criticising Government for not listening to the industry.

Cathelco anti-fouling equipment for Pelamis wave device Cathelco anti-fouling equipment for Pelamis wave device

Cathelco will supply seawater pipework anti-fouling equipment for the Pelamis wave power device.

China could have 26.7% renewable energy by 2030 China could have 26.7% renewable energy by 2030

Renewable energy could supply 26.7% of China’s energy consumption by 2030, although the more probable middle scenario sets the share at 20-22%, according to the Centre for Renewable Energy Development (CRED).

UK action plan for low-carbon energy and climate change measures

The UK Government has published a Carbon Plan setting out action points and deadlines to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of low-carbon and renewable energy sources.

Global wind market to resume growth in 2011

A new report predicts that the global wind turbine market will expand in 2011, with an estimated growth of 18%, after the global growth in new grid connected wind capacity slowed in 2010.

Huhne: Renewable energy key to UK’s energy future

The UK’s Energy Minister has outlined a low-carbon plan for the UK but will not back a specific renewable technology.

Latin America and Caribbean poised for renewable growth

Delegates at a renewable energy conference for Latin America and the Caribbean have called for investment into the region.

WINDSPEED roadmap for North Sea offshore wind

EWEA 2011: A roadmap defining an ambitious, but realistic target and development pathway to 2030 for offshore wind in the Central and Southern North will be presented at EWEA 2011 in Brussels next week.

Strong support for wave and tidal funding call

A funding call for wave and tidal power by RenewableUK has received widespread support from MPs and leading industry figures.

SkyFuel constructs 50 MW CSP plant in China

SkyFuel will construct a 50 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough plant near Huludao in China.

Neste Oil increases waste use in renewable diesel

The production of NExBTL renewable diesel will involve more waste as a raw material.

Italian solar PV feed-in tariff agreement postponed

Feed-in tariffs for the Italian solar photovoltaic (PV) industry will only remain stable until the end of May but the solar market will not be capped.

UK certification for green gas

A group of UK energy providers have supported the launch of a scheme to certify to customers that green gas supplies are in fact green.

Environmental implications of sugarcane bioethanol

Biofuels produced from crop biomass has long been seen as an environmentally sustainable source of renewable energy, but a study now questions whether the potential climate benefit of sugarcane ethanol is diminished when emissions from land use management are considered.

REpower intros 3.2 MW wind turbine at EWEA

REpower Systems AG will introduce a 3.2 MW wind turbine with a hub height of 143 m at the European Wind Energy Association’s EWEA 2011 in Belgium this month.

Going to Hannover Fair? Get your free ticket

As part of a media partnership deal with the forthcoming Hannover Fair, we have managed to secure complimentary tickets for our readers...

Flexible French FiTs: Higher biogas - lower PV tariffs coming

In late February, the French Government proposed to substantially raise feed-in tariffs for biogas, while dropping tariffs for solar photovoltaics (PV) by an equivalent amount.

Good Energy refits Delabole wind farm

The UK’s first commercial onshore wind farm has reopened following a £11.8 million investment.

Converteam wins 1 MW tidal power contract

Power conversion specialist Converteam will supply electrical components for a tidal turbine in Scotland.

PowerWind sells 10 wind turbines to Bulgaria

PowerWind GmbH has sold 10 of its 900 kW wind turbines to Bulgaria for projects around the Black Sea and inland.

UK wave and tidal industry fights for funding

The UK wave and tidal industry represented by RenewableUK is launching a campaign for financial support for the sector.

Dongfang orders AMSC electrical control systems for its wind turbines

China’s Dongfang Turbine Co Ltd has ordered wind turbine electrical control systems for its 3 MW and 5 MW wind turbines from American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC).

Evoco achieves MCS small-scale wind accreditation

Evoco Energy’s 10 kW small-scale wind turbine has achieved Microgeneration Certification Sceme (MCS) accreditation becoming one of 7 wind turbines to be currently MCS-accredited in the UK.

EU experts focus on renewable heating and cooling

The Smart Cities initiative emphasises the importance of heating and cooling with renewable energy in Europe.

SSE Kintyre offshore wind farm halted

Scottish and Southern Energy has decided to focus on the development of the Islay wind farm site instead.

Hexcel prepregs GL approved for wind blades

Two further Hexcel HexPly® unidirectional carbon fibre prepregs have been certified by Germanischer Lloyd (GL) for use in the manufacture of wind turbine blades.

Q-Cells polycrystalline solar module reaches 17.84% efficiency

Q-Cells has reached an efficiency rating of 17.84% and an output of 268 W with a polycrystalline solar photovoltaic (PV) module.

Narec invests £200,000 in tidal turbine blade testing Narec invests £200,000 in tidal turbine blade testing

The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) is investing £200,000 in tidal turbine blade testing at its existing wind turbine blade testing facility in Blyth, Northumberland.

Trina Solar and Zep cooperate on installation hardware

Trina Solar Ltd and Zep Solar Inc have entered a licensing, sales and marketing partnership agreement for Zep’s platform for module-integrated installation hardware.

Nexans awarded Danish offshore wind cabling contract

Nexans is due to start the production of 160 km of medium voltage cables for Denmark’s biggest offshore wind farm.

BlackRock launches renewable investment group with NTR

The two companies have agreed to form a specialist infrastructure development team for renewable energy.

New global investment in renewable energy hit US$243bn in 2010

Global offshore wind and solar energy markets continued to grow steadily last year, according to Ernst & Young.

Oerlikon Solar deliver thin-film coating equipment to China

Oerlikon Solar will deliver its solar thin-film silicon coating equipment to photoelectric glass manufacturer Dong Xu Ltd in China.

Minesto gets Carbon Trust grant for tidal kite Minesto gets Carbon Trust grant for tidal kite

Minesto UK Ltd is receiving a grant of up to £350,000 from the Carbon Trust for testing of a prototype tidal energy kite.

TEP Solar acquires two BP Solar plants in Abruzzo

TEP Solar is buying two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Italy from BP Solar.

Siemens gets follow-up solar PV order for Italy

Siemens Energy has received a follow-up order for the turnkey construction of 8 solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Italy totaling 14 MWp.

Gaelectric secures approval for Irish wind farm

Planning for Gaelectric’s 42 MW wind farm in Londonderry has been approved.

Electronics giants swell Asian solar PV market

The Asian share of solar photovoltaic (PV) production could reach nearly 85% by the end of the year, according to IMS Research.