Friday, March 31, 2006

Ontario's Commercial-scale Wind Project Well Under Way

Ontario's Commercial-scale Wind Project Well Under Way
March 31, 2006

More than 25 Ontario area companies participated in the completion of the Melancthon I Wind Plant, which is online one month ahead of schedule.

Shelburne, Ontario [] Ontario is increasing its use of clean, renewable energy with the startup on March 4, 2006, of the 67.5 MW Melancthon I Wind Farm. The $126 million project is one of the first in a number of new wind farms in Ontario that will supply clean renewable energy to the electricity grid.

"It takes teamwork and combined passion, commitment, resources, and above all, perseverance from an extended team of stakeholders to move low-impact renewable energy projects forward from concept to completion."

-- John Keating, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., CEO, in a statement on the website dated March 21, 2006. "Two years ago, Ontario only had 15 megawatts of wind power capacity. The McGuinty government has set the wheels in motion to bring online over 1300 megawatts [MW] of wind power capacity by the end of 2007, an 80-fold increase," said Energy Minister Donna Cansfield. "The government is continuing to deliver on its promise to support renewable energy as part of its overall plan to build a sustainable energy future for Ontario."

This first phase of the Melancthon I Wind Farm, located in Melancthon Township near Shelburne, is expected to provide enough power for 25,000 homes annually. Phase II of the project will provide an additional 132 MW of power, or enough to power 40,000 homes.

The startup of the Melancthon wind farm is one of several wind energy milestones occurring across the province. EPCOR's Kingsbridge I is a 39.6 MW Wind Power Project near Goderich that has 21 of 22 turbines in place, six of which are online and producing power. In addition, the Clean Power Fund's 99 MW Erie Shores Wind Farm is nearly half completed on the north shore of Lake Erie where 27 of the project's 66 turbines have been erected.

These three wind farms are some of the 18 new, renewable energy projects the province has supported to date. Combined, these will help Ontario reach its goal of generating five percent of its electricity capacity through renewable generation by 2007 and ten percent by 2010.

"We have achieved commercial operation ahead of schedule," said John Keating, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc., about Melancthon I. In his March 21, 2006 statement on the website, Keating wrote, "It takes teamwork and combined passion, commitment, resources, and above all, perseverance from an extended team of stakeholders to move low-impact renewable energy projects forward from concept to completion. These "team players" include Canadian Hydro employees and directors, landowners, the surrounding community, consulting engineers, local contractors, equipment suppliers, as well as ongoing support from the federal, provincial and municipal governments."

The value of the area contracts from more than 25 area companies that were employed getting Melancthon I under way, and referred to as "notable milestones" by Keating, exceeded $15 million. He added that the annual average long-term generation is expected to be approximately 195 gigawatt hour (GWh).

"With the Melancthon I Wind Plant now in operation we are continuing to advance the planning and permitting aspects of the Melancthon II Wind Project," Keating concluded.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wind Energy Demand Booming

Wind Energy Demand Booming
Cost Dropping Below Conventional Sources Marks Key Milestone in U.S. Shift to Renewable Energy
by Lester R. Brown

March 27, 2006

When Austin Energy, the publicly owned utility in Austin, Texas, launched its GreenChoice program in 2000, customers opting for green electricity paid a premium. During the fall of 2005, climbing natural gas prices pulled conventional electricity costs above those of wind-generated electricity, the source of most green power. This crossing of the cost lines in Austin and several other communities is a milestone in the U.S. shift to a renewable energy economy.

"A decade from now, there may be thousands of ranchers who will be earning more selling electricity than they do selling cattle."

- Lester R. Brown Austin Energy buys wind-generated electricity under 10-year, fixed-price contracts and passes this stable price on to its GreenChoice subscribers. This fixed-price energy product is quite attractive to Austin's 388 corporate GreenChoice customers, including Advanced Micro Devices, Dell, IBM, Samsung, and 3M. Advanced Micro Devices expects to save $4 million over the next decade through this arrangement. School districts are also signing up. Round Rock School District, for example, projects 10-year savings to local taxpayers at $2 million.

Facing a Texas-style stampede of consumers wanting to sign up for the current remaining supply of green electricity, Austin Energy has resorted to a GreenChoice raffle that will be held on March 23. All its customers-both residential and business-were invited to participate in the drawing.

A similar situation has unfolded in Colorado with Xcel Energy, which is the state's largest electricity supplier. Xcel's 33,000 Windsource customers, who until late 2005 were paying $6 more each month for their electricity, are now paying slightly less than those using conventional electricity, which comes mostly from natural gas and coal. To meet fast-growing demand, Xcel is currently soliciting proposals from wind developers for up to 775 megawatts of new wind power generation, enough to supply 232,000 Colorado homes with electricity.

Austin Energy and Xcel Energy are among the first utilities to pass on the falling cost of wind energy to their customers. In the short run, the price advantage of wind over conventional electricity may disappear as the surging demand for wind electricity from climate-conscious customers outruns the supply, driving up the price, and as natural gas prices fall from their late 2005 highs. Over the longer term, however, as reserves of natural gas are depleted, its price is projected to rise, giving a strong advantage to wind.

Interest in wind energy is rising as production costs fall. Although media attention focuses on communities with a not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) response to wind turbines, such as the large, off-shore wind farm planned off Cape Cod, in most of the country wind farms are enthusiastically welcomed. Here, it's the PIIMBY syndrome-put-it-in-my-backyard.

When Xcel announced it would develop several hundred megawatts of additional wind-generating capacity, it got the attention of ranching communities throughout wind-rich eastern Colorado. In tiny ranch-country towns like Grover, near the Wyoming border, ranchers welcomed a proposed 300-megawatt wind farm that would span some 30 ranches.

With a large, advanced-design wind turbine generating easily $100,000 worth of electricity per year, even a 3-percent royalty would earn ranchers $3,000 a year from leasing a quarter-acre of ranchland. And they can still run cattle on the land. If the proposed project is approved as expected, these 30 or so ranchers will have an average of seven turbines each, yielding roughly $21,000 a year in additional income. A decade from now, there may be thousands of ranchers who will be earning more selling electricity than they do selling cattle.

In upstate New York, dairy farmers in Lewis County near Lake Ontario warmly embraced the 195-turbine Maple Ridge Wind Farm, and the $5,000 to $10,000-annual royalty offered for each of the turbines on their land. Rural communities welcome wind farms because they provide income to farmers and ranchers, skilled jobs, cheap electricity, and additional tax revenue to upgrade schools and maintain roads.

The growing profitability of wind energy is attracting big-time players. Four years ago, General Electric purchased Enron Wind, one of Enron's few profitable segments, parlaying its advanced wind turbine design into a leading position in the world wind turbine market.

In mid-2005, Goldman Sachs purchased Zilkha Renewable Energy, a small wind farm development company. Now called Horizon Wind Energy, this wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs has under construction or in the planning stages 4,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity, enough to supply electricity to 1.2 million homes.

AES, a leading international player in electricity generation, has used its purchase of SeaWest, another wind developer, to establish a strong position in the U.S. wind sector. It now has under development 1,800 megawatts of wind-generating capacity. Shell, one of the leading bidders for offshore wind rights in the United Kingdom, owns 315 megawatts of wind-generating capacity in the United States and is planning more. And BP is mapping out areas in the United States where it could build some 2,000 megawatts of wind-generating capacity.

Overall, U.S. wind-generating capacity expanded by 36 percent in 2005, reaching 9,149 megawatts. This year it could expand by 50 percent. At the end of 2005, there were commercial wind farms in 30 states.

Wind power generation would grow even faster if it were not constrained by the availability of turbines. General Electric, now supplying 60 percent of the U.S. wind turbine market, is sold out through 2007. Clipper Windpower, a startup turbine manufacturer, is planning to produce 20 of its 2.5-megawatt Liberty turbines per month by mid 2006 and a total of 250 turbines in 2007. Its production is also committed well into the future.

After years of industry uncertainty, when Congress allowed the wind production tax credit (PTC) to lapse several times, the 2005 PTC extension through 2007 has given investors renewed confidence in the future of wind power. The extension of the PTC, which is designed to offset subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power, is leading to record growth in the number of new wind farms planned.

Wind energy is emerging as a centerpiece of the new energy economy, because it is abundant, inexpensive, inexhaustible, widely distributed, clean, and climate-benign. Three of the 50 states-North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas-have enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy national electricity needs. The cost of wind-generated electricity has fallen from 38? per kilowatt-hour in the early 1980s to 4? to 6? today, offering an almost endless supply of cheap energy.

Beyond that, these wells will never go dry. No one can cut off the supply or raise the fuel cost. And wind can supply our energy needs without disrupting the earth's climate.

About the author...

Lester R. Brown, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, has been described by the Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers" and as "the guru of the global environmental movement" by The Telegraph of Calcutta. The author of numerous books, including Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble where he develops a vision for an environmentally sustainable economy, chapters, articles, etc., he helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development. His principal research areas include food, population, water, climate change, and renewable energy. The recipient of scores of awards and honorary degrees, he is widely sought as a speaker. In 1974, he founded Worldwatch Institute, of which he was President for its first 26 years. As President, he launched the World Watch Papers, the Worldwatch/Norton books, the annual State of the World report, the bimonthly magazine World Watch, the annual Vital Signs, and the Institute's News Briefs.

The information and views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of or the companies that advertise on its Web site and other publications.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Record Year for Global Wind Energy | Record Year for Global Wind Energy: "Record Year for Global Wind Energy
Global Wind Power Market Increased by 43 Percent in 2005
February 27, 2006

Brussels, Belgium [] The global wind energy sector experienced another record year in 2005. According to the figures released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) for 2005, the installation of 11,769 megawatts (MW), which represents a 43.4% increase in annual additions to the global market, was up from 8,207 MW in the previous year. The total value of new generating equipment installed was more than Euro 12 billion, or US$14 billion.

"Wind energy offers more than just power: it has the potential to support economic development, improve the security of energy supply, mitigate hydrocarbon price volatility, create jobs and contribute to substantial CO2 reductions. Without political support, however, wind energy remains at a competitive disadvantage due to distortions in the world's electricity markets created by decades of massive financial, political and structural support to conventional technologies."

-- Arthouros Zervos, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Chairman The total installed wind power capacity now stands at 59,322 MW worldwide, an increase of 25% compared to 2004.

"The overall picture confirms that the right political framework is crucial to sustain the growth of wind power around the world and to open new markets. Some 48 governments have already introduced laws and regulations to support the development of renewable energies, but this effort needs to be increased if the benefits of wind energy are to be reaped around the world," said Arthouros Zervos, Chairman of GWEC.

The countries with the highest total installed capacity are Germany (18,428 MW), Spain (10,027 MW), the U.S.A. (9,149 MW), India (4,430 MW) and Denmark (3,122). India has thereby overtaken Denmark as the fourth largest wind market in the world. A number of other countries, including Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, China, Japan and Portugal have reached the 1,000 MW mark of installed capacity.

In terms of new installed capacity in 2005, the U.S. was clearly leading with 2,431 MW, followed by Germany (1,808 MW), Spain (1,764 MW), India (1,430 MW), Portugal (500 MW) and China (498 MW). This development shows that new players such as Portugal and China are gaining ground.

Europe is still leading the market with more than 40,500 MW of installed capacity at the end of 2005, representing 69% of the global total. In 2005, the European wind capacity grew by 18%, providing nearly 3% of the EU's electricity consumption in an average wind year.

"The European market has already reached the 2010 target set by the European Commission of 40,000 MW -- five years ahead of time," said Christian Kjaer, the European Wind Energy Association's (EWEA) Policy Director. "Moreover, growth is now happening in a greater number of countries, including new markets such as Portugal and France. By 2010, wind energy alone will save enough greenhouse gas emissions to meet one third of the European Union's Kyoto obligation."

Despite the continuing growth in Europe, the general trend shows that the sector is gradually becoming less reliant on a few key markets, and other regions are starting to catch up with Europe. The growth in the European market in 2005 only accounted for about half of the total new capacity, down from nearly three-quarters in 2004.

Nearly a quarter of new capacity was installed in North America, where the total capacity increased by 37% in 2005, gaining momentum in both the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. wind energy industry broke earlier annual records of installed capacity by installing nearly 2,500 MW, which makes it the country with the most new wind power.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), this is largely due to the current three-year window of stability in the federal incentive for wind energy, the production tax credit (PCT). "Thanks to the Congress's extending the wind energy production credit before it expired for the first time in the credit's history, the wind industry is looking forward to several record-breaking years in a row," said AWEA's Executive Director Randall Swisher. Previous years had experienced a constant up and down of the market, depending on whether the PTC had been renewed in time to create investor confidence.

The Canadian wind capacity increased by a staggering 53%. "Canada's wind energy industry is growing by leaps and bounds -- and that's great news for Canadians who, research shows, are strongly in favor of wind energy," said Robert Hornung, President of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). "2005 will be remembered as the year Canada first started to seriously exploit its massive wind energy potential."

Asia has also experienced strong growth of almost 50% of installed capacity, bringing the continent up to a total exceeding 7,135 MW. In 2005, the continent accounted for 20% of new installations. The strongest market here remains in India with more than 1,430 MW of new installed capacity, which takes its total figure up to 4,430 MW.

The Chinese market has been boosted in anticipation of the country's new Renewable Energy Law, which entered into force on 1 January 2006. As a result, nearly 500 MW of new capacity was installed in 2005, more than double the 2004 figure. This brings China up to 1,260 MW of capacity, thereby passing the 1,000 MW mark, which is often deemed critical for sustained market growth.

"Thanks to the Renewable Energy law, the Chinese market has grown substantially in 2005. According to the list of approved projects and those under construction, 2,000 MW of wind capacity could be installed by the end of 2006. The goal for wind power in China by the end of 2010 is 5,000 MW," said Li Junfeng of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA).

The Australian market nearly doubled in 2005 with 328 MW of new installed capacity, bringing the total up to 708 MW. "The 2007 implementation of a state-based market mechanism and a commitment by state governments to establish an emissions trading scheme will provide financial incentives to continue this growth," said Dominique Lafontaine, CEO of AusWind.

The relatively young African market saw a steady continuation of its growth, with an installation figure double that of 2004. The main countries experiencing growth are Egypt (230 MW, up from 145 MW) and Morocco (64 MW, up from 54 MW).

"Wind energy offers more than just power: it has the potential to support economic development, improve the security of energy supply, mitigate hydrocarbon price volatility, create jobs and contribute to substantial CO2 reductions," said Zervos, Chairman of GWEC. "Without political support, however, wind energy remains at a competitive disadvantage due to distortions in the world's electricity markets created by decades of massive financial, political and structural support to conventional technologies."

Global wind energy capacity seen tripling by 2014

Technology News Article | "Global wind energy capacity seen tripling by 2014
Tue Mar 7, 2006 3:09 PM GMT

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The global wind energy industry is expected to enjoy continued strong growth in coming years with total installed capacity seen more than tripling from current levels by 2014, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

Over the next eight years, international installed capacity is expected to increase to about 210,000 megawatts from today's installed total of about 59,000 megawatts, a study by the German Wind Energy Institute (DEWI) showed.

The study, conducted on behalf of Hamburg Messe in the run-up to an industry fair in May, identified Germany, France, Spain and the United States as key future markets.

"The international wind energy market, which showed growth rates in 2005 of 16 percent in Europe, and as much as 73 percent outside of Europe, will continue to boom," the report said.

In the world's largest wind power market, Germany, the onshore market is expected to continue to grow, while the offshore market is seen subject to delays.

Total installed power by 2010 in Germany will be about 23,700 megawatts onshore and 1,300 megawatts offshore against current capacity of 18,428 megawatts, all on land, according to the survey.

One megawatt of wind power is enough to provide electricity for several hundred households.

Denmark's Vestas (VWS.CO: Quote, Profile, Research) is the market leader in the fast-growing industry for wind energy, and has been at the center of takeover speculation for several years.

Industrial conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and GE Wind, a subsidiary of General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have been expanding their presence in the sector. Other players include Spain's Gamesa (GAM.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) and Germany's Enercon.

Although still generally considered higher than the cost of fuel-generated electric power, the cost of wind power continues to drop as larger multi-megawatt turbines are developed and improved.

Progressive Investor Releases Report, 'Investing in Wind Energy'

Progressive Investor Releases Report, 'Investing in Wind Energy': "03/13/2006: Press Release from Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia
Progressive Investor Releases Report, 'Investing in Wind Energy'

(CSRwire) New York - Progressive Investor announces the release of its Special Report, "Investing in Wind Energy."

For over a decade, wind has been the world's fastest growing energy source on a percentage basis. The industry has been growing at 28% a year for the past five years, and if growth trends continue at this pace as is expected, wind capacity will double about every three or four years.

"In the three years since we produced our first report, Investing in Wind, we've seen the complexion of the industry change from a blossoming, mostly regional industry based in Europe, to a worldwide industry that is becoming increasingly corporate, and experiencing growing pains in the process," notes Rona Fried, Editor.

Whereas the industry used to be centered in Europe, and mostly in Germany, now 50 countries are actively installing turbines, employing 100,000 people. Wind turbine manfacturers have become truly global companies, operating worldwide.

The drivers for growth are government support, the advent of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and most notably, the influx of deep pocket, mainstream financial investors and wind park developers, from Goldman Sachs to Babcock & Brown, which are taking the industry to a completely new level.

Renewable energy project finance is rising dramatically, from US$10.8 billion in 2004 to $18.2 billion last year. The preponderance of deals are in wind (72%), with the U.S. leading the world with $3.9 billion invested in 2005.

With the heavy hitters moving in and buying up properties, wind park ownership is rapidly consolidating. A third of the world's wind capacity is now under the aegis of the top 20 wind farm owners.

Spanish utility Iberdrola and U.S.-based FPL Energy ended 2005 tied as the world leaders in wind farm ownership with 3400 MW in service, followed by Spanish Acciona Energia.

Even though the wind industry is growing significantly, our research shows it's not as straight forward an investment as it may seem from the surface. Is the wind industry a good place to park your money? And if so, do you invest in the turbine manufacturers or the wind farm developers? Which ones?

"Wind is more mature than other renewable energy sectors - it has a longer history and track record. Publicly traded wind companies have been growing very quickly and are feeling the growing pains now," says Paul Klegg, an equity analyst with Natexis Bleichroeder.

Commenting on the turbine shortage, currently a major problem for the industry, Mark Cox, Managing Director of New Energy Fund, says, "Wind has accelerated faster than the wildest dreams of the turbine makers. Because it requires such a huge capital investment, management hasn't added enough capacity in advance and now has to catch up."

The world wind turbine market is dominated by 10 major companies which control almost 100% of the market: Vestas (34%), Gamesa (18%), Enercon (15%), GE Wind (11%), Siemens (6%), Suzlon (4%), REpower (3%), Mitsubishi (2%), Ecot├Ęcnia (2%) and Nordex (2%).

Our analysts continue to believe the two largest wind turbine companies, Vestas (VWS.CO) and Gamesa (GAM.MC) remain good long term investments, along with the smaller companies that have room to grow: REpower (RPW.BE), Nordex (NDX.DE), and Clipper (CWP.L). On the wind farm developer side, they like such companies as Acciona (ANA.MC), Novera (NVE.L) and Boralex (BLX-A.TO).

Says David Shoenwald, President, New Alternatives Fund, "The companies I like best are independent utilities; they develop and own the wind farms and then, rather than selling them, they market the electricity. Canadian Hydro Developers (KHD.TO) is an example."

What does the future hold for wind? Offshore wind will be huge, but there will also be a place for small turbines. "I think we'll see a breakthough in the ability to store wind energy for later use over the next decade." predicts Gerard Reid, Portfolio Manager, Hornet RE Fund. "My vision is that everyone will have a small turbine on the roof of their house the way we used to have TV antennas."

This report is a succinct overview of the industry, the investing landscape, and the main players.

The sections are:

The State of the Wind Industry

Around the World with Wind Energy

Meet the Wind Turbine Leaders

Getting to Know the Wind Farm Developers

Wind Industry Growth Charts & Graphs

Future Trends for Wind Energy

Analyst Conversation: The Experts' View on Wind Investments

The contributing analysts are:

Paul Klegg, Equity Analyst, Natexis Bleichroeder
Mark Cox, Managing Director, New Energy Fund LP
David Shoenwald, President, New Alternatives Fund
Gerard Reid, Portfolio Manager, Hornet RE Fund

Progressive Investor is a monthly newsletter that guides investors and advisors toward sustainable investments. It covers all the renewable energy sectors, healthy lifestyle, green building, sustainable forest investing and much more. http://www.sustainablebusin

Energy - Wind energy grows through on site turbines

United Press International - Energy - Wind energy grows through on site turbines: "Energy
Wind energy grows through on site turbines
UPI Correspondent

BOSTON, March 13 (UPI) -- When it comes to renewable energy diversification, smaller may be better. Wind power is making gains to diversify energy sources through small projects that are being done on-site facilities.

"We are the only ones putting wind turbines at facilities," said Henry duPont of Lorax Energy Systems LLC at last week's Northeast Sustainable Energy Association annual conference. "We put them up at water treatment plants, schools, prisons, and industrial buildings that use the energy on site."

What duPont's company does is place wind turbines behind the meter so the energy generated by the turbine displaces what is coming from the grid.

"Then you're not buying that energy at the meter, and you are saving the cost at the retail value," he said.

Large wind farms generate energy that is sold back to the system at a wholesale value, up to 15 cents less than retail. During windy periods and off-shift times at commercial facilities, the energy that is generated can be sold back to the utility. Lorax sells wind turbines rated from 100kW up to 1300kW.

Because of the inconsistent nature of wind power and the lack of control over the output, wind generators like this can't be used as a source of back-up power. But duPont says wind energy when used in small on-site projects is six to eight times more economic than solar power.

"It costs $1 million in wind investments to generate 2 million kW hours per year," he said. "But for the exact same amount of solar energy costs $2 million. If you want the most bang for your buck, invest in wind."

Another advantage duPont sees in small-scale wind turbine operations is public relations value.

"It's 20 stories high and it's screaming 'We generate green energy,'" he said.

He said one of his clients, a plastic parts manufacturer, actually saw a small increase in sales after putting up its turbine.

One of duPont's most successful clients in terms of positive public relations is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 and their business agent, Martin E. Aikens. The $540,000 wind turbine constructed by the IBEW on its property served as a training tool to educate members in how to do the electrical work in renewable technology. The union chapter paid for half the cost of the turbine and received a grant for the rest.

"The thing will pay itself off in six years," said Aikens. "Everyone wants to know what's the payback, but if we can do it, anyone can do it."

The IBEW training facility in Dorchester, Mass., is now run on almost 30 percent wind energy. But the training experience is another real reason the union decided to take on the challenge of getting a wind turbine.

"The demand is starting," Aikens said. "But first you need the training."

The IBEW project is part of what Jonathan S. Edwards of SmartPower calls "iconic leadership."

"On-site generation is one of the best icons, you can find to tell the public it's real, it's here, it's working," he said.

Yet challenges remain. The nature of government incentives and subsidies is inconsistent.

"Federal production tax credits work on-again, off-again policy," said duPont. "It's not easy to operate in an environment like that."

For Aikens and the brotherhood of 103, it is the local bureaucracy that plagues them. The union wants to continue to train and to incorporate wind power into other facilities, but Aikens said permits for such projects are hard to obtain.

"Permits are tough; you have to get everyone to buy into it."

Aikens himself is sold.

"The price of oil isn't going down," he said. "You want to be energy independent? Let us build a couple more of these things."

Henry duPont believes though the wind industry is headed toward bigger turbines and large wind farms he is confident that wind power, weather farmed or generated on site is the future of renewable energy. He lowers his voice to divulge the best part of wind energy.

"This is just between us," he whispers. "But the wind even blows at night."

Contract for largest windmill powers wind energy

Contract for largest windmill powers wind energy 2006-03-14 12:43:36

BEIJING, March 14 -- Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group has been awarded a clean energy contract by German-based Aerodyn Energiesysteme GmbH to jointly develop the largest windmill in China, in a move to boost the use of wind energy to try and resolve the country's soaring power demand.

The installed electric generation capacity of the windmill could reach 2,000 kilowatts while the length of a single blade is longer than 40 meters and the diameter of the wheel is approximately 80 meters, SEPGG said.

The first wind power generating unit with more than 70 percent of home-made parts will debut in January 2008. Its annual capacity is expected to be 200,000 to 300,000 kilowatts by the end of 2010, according to an official with the wind department at SEPGG.

The contract will also enable SEPGG, the flagship of Shanghai Electric Group Corporation Limited, one of the largest domestic conglomerates making electrical and mechanical equipment, to be the first home-grown firm to participate in the research and development of wind power equipment.

"The Chinese government is encouraging the development of renewable energy, especially wind energy, because China enjoys a large territory to take advantage of wind power," said Li Zhipeng, an energy analyst from Xiangcai Securities Co Ltd.

"Several projects have been approved since last year, which create a growing demand for wind energy generating equipment."

The company also accelerated its development in the wind power sector from this year as it signed a contract with British-based EU Energy Wind Ltd to introduce the technology of a 1,250-kilowatt windmill in January, which will start production early next year.

"However, as the wind power project needs more investment and a longer construction period, it is not expected to solve the energy shortage in the short term," he added.

Several big wind power plants are under construction mainly in Inner Mongolia, Yancheng City in Jiangsu Province, Qingdao in Shandong Province, and Gansu Province in northern China.

Although coal, hydropower and nuclear power are the three major energy sources used in China, accounting for more than 80 percent, wind energy is set to become China's third major power supply by 2020, with a likely installed capacity of 40 million kilowatts, according to China Renewable Energy Industries Association, Greenpeace and the European Wind Energy Association.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

Indian firm taps China's appetite for green energy

Indian firm taps China's appetite for green energy

Pallavi Aiyar

Suzlon holds ground-breaking ceremony for its factory in Chinese port city Tianjin


The factory is scheduled to begin operations in August
Tianjin facility to include a learning and development centre
The company has already two contracts in China

BEIJING: While January's agreements on Sino-Indian cooperation in hydrocarbons have been grabbing the headlines of world-media, real collaboration has begun in another less high profile, but potentially significant area: that of renewable energy.

The Pune-based wind turbine manufacturer, Suzlon Energy, held a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday for its factory in the eastern Chinese port city of Tianjin. The $60 million investment that Suzlon is making in its China factory is the first by an Indian company in the Chinese energy sector and one of the largest by any Indian firms in China.

The demands of China's burgeoning economy have led to a gargantuan appetite for energy. The mainland recently overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest consumer of energy, after the United States. Coal, which, as in India, provides around 70 per cent of China's energy, needs to be phased out if the country is to meet its commitments to the Kyoto Climate Control Protocol.

Faced with a combination of soaring energy needs and endemic air pollution, China has made it a priority to aggressively develop renewable energy technologies. Since January a new law on renewable resources has come into effect aimed at ensuring that by 2020, 10-12 per cent of the country's total energy mix will come from renewable resources.

The goal is to have 130 GW of installed renewable capacity within the next 15 years. At present, China's renewable energy consumption accounts for only three per cent of the total.

The new law obliges grids to purchase the more expensive renewable energy at prices fixed by the government.

The extra costs will be borne by consumers as a result of slightly higher prices for power. In meeting its renewable energy goals the Chinese government is encouraging foreign investments and collaboration, a chance that India's Suzlon has pounced on.

Suzlon is not only India's leading manufacturer of wind turbines, it is the fifth largest such company in the world. "Given China's huge potential in wind and encouraged by the provisions of the new renewable energy law, we decided to enter this market,'' said Paulo Fernando Soares, Chief Representative Officer for Suzlon in China.

China's current installed wind energy capacity stands at some 1,260 MW, but according to government targets this must be scaled up to 5,000 MW by 2010 and 30,000 MW by 2020.

China's potential for on-shore wind energy is, in fact. a weighty 250 GW, compared to India's 45,000 MW. However, India already has an installed capacity of 4,500 MW.

The majority of renewable energy programmes in China, including wind, are now being set up in collaboration with European firms. For India, which started developing its wind energy market much earlier, this is a window of opportunity.

Foreign companies investing in renewables in the mainland are eligible for tax breaks and other benefits. However, there is a 70 per cent localisation clause.

Hence, Suzlon's decision to set up a manufacturing facility in China.

The factory, scheduled to begin operations in August, will manufacture rotor blades, generators and control panels and will have an annual capacity of 600 MW for all components.

Suzlon has already two contracts in China for 50 MW of equipment each, both to be installed in 2006, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Shandong province.

According to Mr. Soares, Suzlon's plans for the Tianjin facility include a learning and development centre that will "facilitate the transfer of the company's experience and knowledge — and help in developing skilled and educated manpower in China."

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

SUZLON Wind Energy in Agreement to Acquire Belgium's Hansen Transmissions

SUZLON Wind Energy in Agreement to Acquire Belgium's Hansen Transmissions
Press Release from Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation

March 17, 2006

The Hansen W4 series consists of planetary gear units for wind turbines in a power range that varies from 500 kW up to 5 MW.

Pune, India / Munich, Germany Suzlon Wind Energy signed a definitive agreement for the strategic acquisition of Hansen Transmissions. Hansen Transmissions is a major wind turbine gearbox manufacturer with state of the art manufacturing facilities in Edegem and Lommel in Belgium. Suzlon gains technological leadership from the integration of research and development, design and production to evolve the next generation of more reliable wind turbines.
In a statement made on this occasion, Mr Tulsi R Tanti, Chairman & Managing Director, Suzlon Energy, said, "The acquisition of Hansen gives us technological leadership and will make Suzlon a leading integrated wind turbine manufacturer in
the world. Although the company will be run as an independent business unit, the acquisition of Hansen will allow us to integrate gearbox technology into the total turbine solution enabling a more reliable and competitive product in the marketplace. We find Hansen's technology, products and production facilities to be of the highest quality. The company has an excellent management team and over a period of time we will work with them in developing supply chain synergies, expanding capacity in Belgium and development of additional capacity in new emerging markets in Asia. We would like to welcome the Hansen team across the World into Suzlon. Hansen's strong presence in the industrial gearbox market is also an important dimension of the business and we see a good opportunity to strengthen it further." Suzlon Energy Limited ("Suzlon") announced today that its subsidiary, AE - Rotor Holding BV based in Netherlands, has entered into definitive agreements to acquire Hansen Transmissions International NV ("Hansen"), based in Belgium, one of the largest wind energy and industrial gearbox manufacturers in the world, for EUR 465 million (USD 565 million) enterprise value, in an all cash transaction.

The transaction is subject to merger control approval and on completion will result in Suzlon acquiring shares of "Eve Holding", the holding company of Hansen from private equity firms Allianz Capital Partners GMBH and its affiliates and funds advised by Apax Partners Worldwide LLP.

Suzlon intends to fund the transaction using a combination of Suzlon's internal cash reserves and credit facilities. Acquisition financing for this transaction is being underwritten and syndicated by Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank AG and ICICI Bank. YES Bank is the sole financial advisor with Linklaters Oppenhoff & Radler, Cologne and Khaintan & Co. as legal counsel to Suzlon for this transaction. UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor and Hengeler Mueller as the legal counsel to the sellers.

In a statement made on this occasion, Mr Tulsi R Tanti, Chairman & Managing Director, Suzlon Energy, said, "The acquisition of Hansen gives us technological leadership and will make Suzlon a leading integrated wind turbine manufacturer in
the world. Although the company will be run as an independent business unit, the acquisition of Hansen will allow us to integrate gearbox technology into the total turbine solution enabling a more reliable and competitive product in the marketplace. We find Hansen's technology, products and production facilities to be of the highest quality. The company has an excellent management team and over a period of time we will work with them in developing supply chain synergies, expanding capacity in Belgium and development of additional capacity in new emerging markets in Asia. We would like to welcome the Hansen team across the World into Suzlon. Hansen's strong presence in the industrial gearbox market is also an important dimension of the business and we see a good opportunity to strengthen it further."

Hansen Transmissions International NV ("Hansen"), headquartered in Belgium is a leading gearbox and drive train manufacturer with strong R&D capabilities and modern manufacturing facilities. Hansen has a focus on the fast growing wind turbine generation sector and is also active in other industrial segments of the gearbox market. The Company was founded in 1923 and its primary manufacturing facilities are in Belgium, with sales, assembly and service centres in the UK, US, South Africa and Australia. It currently employs 1200 engineering and management professionals spread across these establishments. Hansen's current manufacturing capabilities include 3,600 MW of wind turbine gearboxes and 3,000 units of industrial gearboxes per year.

Today, Hansen designs and manufactures its wind turbine gearboxes in association with the leading global wind turbine manufacturers and its product specifications range from outputs of 1.5MW - 3 MW, torques of 700-3500 kNm and weights of 14,000-22,000 kg. It has a proven track record in developing new products with the research and engineering capability needed for the new generation of larger wind turbines. Hansen's product range in the industrial gearbox segment consists of core standardized products covering various applications in the torque range of 6-800kNm. The Company provides customized products and drive package solutions to suit the customer's requirements. For the year ending March 2005, Hansen had total sales of Euro 213 million.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr Matts Lundgren, President and CEO, Hansen said, "The entire management team is very pleased with this opportunity. The deal has the ability to fuel further growth in Belgium and in Asia. At Hansen we will have business as usual, managing ourselves as an independent business unit, and we shall continue to strive to exceed customer expectations. We are appreciative of the trust and confidence shown by Suzlon on the management team's ability to grow the business."

Describing this as a significant milestone, Mr Girish R. Tanti, Director International Business Development and HR, Suzlon Energy, said, "Hansen is an efficiently run business and the quality of team and manpower has been most impressive. Hansen has a healthy order book position for the next two years and we expect the business to be managed in the same manner as the management has very ably done over the last couple of years. We are pleased to have emerged as the successful bidder."

Mr. Aditya Sanghi, Country Head-Investment Banking, YES Bank, said, "With this acquisition Suzlon has truly emerged as a global player with significant market presence, manufacturing base and R&D centres across North America, Europe, India China, South Korea and Australia. With a presence across the entire turbine technology chain, we see Suzlon becoming further cost competitive and providing an efficient and robust wind energy solution to its customers."

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Further financial terms and conditions of the transaction will not be disclosed.

For further information on Hansen: visit

About Suzlon Energy Ltd.

Suzlon Energy Limited is a global wind turbine manufacturer with operations in Australia, China, European Union, India, South Korea and the United States. Suzlon operates R&D centres in the Germany, Netherlands and India to leverage the region's leadership in the wind power arena. SEL is the world's 6th largest wind turbine manufacturer (BTM Consult World Market Update 2004) and the dominant player in the wind industry marketplace in India for the past eight years. Suzlon has installed over 1.5 GW of WTG capacity around the world including India and the United States with more coming up in Australia, China, Europe and Korea. Suzlon's International Business Headquarter is located in Denmark where Suzlon has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Suzlon Energy A/s, which in turn has country headquarters in Beijing - China, Chicago - USA and Melbourne - Australia.
Visit us at

About Allianz Capital Partners GmbH:

Allianz Capital Partners GmbH (ACP), founded in 1998, is responsible for direct investments in the area of private equity within the Allianz Group. As an independent financial investor, ACP focuses particularly on providing individual financing solutions for unlisted companies, company shareholders and management teams for purposes of financing growth, acquisition finance and ownership restructuring.

About Apax Partners Worldwide LLP:

Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups. It operates across the United States, Europe and Israel and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Funds under the management or advice of Apax Partners total $20 billion around the world. These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services.


This press release includes forward-looking statements and we have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in earnings, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in wind energy sector including those factors which may affect our business and the business of our associate companies, results of operation, financial condition and failure to integrate potential acquisitions, [liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which Suzlon has made strategic investments], withdrawal of governmental fiscal incentives, political instability, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, and unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our industry. Suzlon may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward looking statements, including our reports to shareholders. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.

Contact Information:

Hansen Transmissions:
Matts Lundgren,
President and CEO
Tel +32 34501256

Apax Partners:
Siobhan Loftus,
Director of Marketing
Tel: +44 20 7872 6495

Allianz Capital Partners:
Antje Weykopf
Tel: +49 89 3800 17790

Suzlon Energy, Investor Relations:
Samir Shah
GM - Corporate Finance
Tel: +91 22 5639 3219

DOE, General Electric To Develop U.S. Offshore Wind Turbine

DOE, General Electric To Develop U.S. Offshore Wind Turbine
March 17, 2006
Source: Clean Edge News

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has signed a $27 million contract with the General Electric Company (GE) to develop a new offshore wind power system over the next several years.

DOE will share about $8 million of the project’s cost, according to a March 9 DOE press release. The DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado will oversee the effort.

“Wind is one of our most important renewable energy resources and this work will allow us to use our resources more extensively and effectively,” said Douglas Faulkner, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The project’s goal is to design, fabricate and test a multimegawatt- scale wind turbine that could produce clean, renewable electricity at a much-reduced cost. The wind turbine will be located offshore and is expected to produce electricity at a cost of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The NREL and GE-developed advanced wind system will include innovative foundations, construction techniques, rotor designs and electrical components designed for use in the ocean’s harsh environment.

There are now no offshore wind farms in the United States, but several projects are in the permitting process.

Preliminary studies indicate that with sufficient research and development support, offshore wind farms could be commercially competitive with existing energy sources and the U.S. offshore wind electric-generating capacity could grow significantly over the next two decades.

Wind Industry Report Shows Strong Growth in US

Wind Industry Report Shows Strong Growth in US
March 16, 2006
Source: Clean Edge News

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its annual industry rankings of wind energy development in the United States.

The rankings, which include the leading states for wind energy development, the suppliers of wind energy turbines, and owners and purchasers of wind energy, provide a useful measure of the size and breadth of the American wind energy industry. The industry easily broke earlier records in 2005, installing over 2,400 megawatts (MW) or over $3 billion worth of new generating equipment in 22 states. The final tally of 2,431 MW boosted the cumulative U.S. installed wind power fleet by over 35%, bringing the industry's total generating capacity to 9,149 MW, enough to serve the equivalent of 2.3 million homes.

As President Bush stated recently on his Advanced Energy Initiative tour, “areas with good wind resources have the potential to supply up to 20 percent of the electricity consumption of the United States.”

The annual industry rankings tell the rest of the story, providing a standard reference point for the burgeoning growth of the wind industry in the U.S. Wind continues to be one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world and in the nation.

“Wind energy’s continuing expansion, as reflected in these rankings, provides fresh evidence that it is capable of contributing to the nation’s electricity supply near the level of conventional power sources,” said AWEA executive director Randall Swisher. “Wind energy is a clean, safe, domestic, abundant, and affordable energy source, and one of the best options we have for new power generation today.”

The rankings (as of December 31, 2005) include the following:

States with most wind energy installed, by capacity (MW):

#1 California - 2,150 MW

#2 Texas - 1,995 MW

#3 Iowa - 836 MW

#4 Minnesota - 744 MW

#5 Oklahoma – 475 MW

#6 New Mexico – 407 MW

#7 Washington – 390 MW

#8 Oregon – 338 MW

#9 Wyoming – 288 MW

#10 Kansas – 264 MW

As of the end of 2005, California was still the state with the most wind power capacity installed, but Texas gained fast last year, and is expected to overtake California in 2006. California, where the U.S. wind industry began, has been the state with the largest wind power capacity since electricity-generating wind turbines were first installed there in 1981.

Two large projects were installed in Oklahoma in 2005 – the 147-MW Weatherford Wind Energy Center and the 151-MW Blue Canyon II project. Wyoming, which was #5 on last year’s ranking, was overtaken not only by Oklahoma, but also New Mexico (which added 140 MW of wind power in 2005), Washington (added 149 MW), and Oregon (75 MW).

Largest wind farms operating in the U.S. (MW):

# 1 Stateline, Oregon/Washington - 300 MW

# 2 King Mountain, Texas - 278 MW

# 3 Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, Texas – 210 MW

# 4 New Mexico Wind Energy Center, New Mexico - 204 MW

# 5 Storm Lake, Iowa - 193 MW

Wind farms have been getting bigger to take advantage of some economies of scale. The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor County, Tex., joined the ranks of the top five largest single wind farms in 2005. Leading owners of wind energy installations in the U.S. (MW):

#1 FPL Energy – 2,758 MW

#2 PPM Energy – 518 MW

#3 MidAmerican Energy – 360.5 MW

#4 Edison Mission Group – 316 MW

#5 Shell Wind Energy - 315 MW

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says - Yahoo! News

Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says - Yahoo! News: "Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says Tue Mar 7, 6:46 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - Wind turbines may one day replace hydropower as China's second-largest source of electricity, if the country continues with a drive to boost renewable generation, a Chinese energy expert said on Tuesday.

China has the potential to install up to 100 gigawatts of wind power, equivalent to nearly one fifth of its total current generating capacity, said Wang Weicheng, an energy professor at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University.
The turbines will likely provide the country with more energy than its nuclear stations in 20 to 30 years, and may become more important than China's large collection of hydropower dams by the middle of the century, he said.
'By 2020, wind power capacity is predicted to reach 30 gigawatts,' Wang told a meeting on the sidelines of China's annual parliament where he was reporting on renewable energy.
'Around the mid-21st century, wind power is very likely to take the place of hydropower as the second-largest source of electric power generation after coal,' he added, but did not say how he reached these forecasts.
In 2005, China got around 15 percent of its electricity from dams including the world's largest hydropower project, the Three Gorges Dam.
But that year it also added 500 megawatts of new wind power capacity, and leading wind turbine manufacturers are keen to build a presence in the market -- although China needs to focus on developing its own technology as well, Wang added.
'We can buy the facilities from those companies, but to develop our own more important,' he said. "

GE Energy Completes Record Year in Wind Energy Sales

GE Energy Completes Record Year in Wind Energy Sales
February 28, 2006
Source: Clean Edge News

GE Energy delivered 1,346 wind turbines worldwide during 2005, completing the year with revenue exceeding $2 billion, more than a 200% increase over 2004's total, the company reported this week at the 2006 European Wind Energy Conference & Exhibition.

GE's 2005 wind revenue also was more than 400% higher than in 2002, GE's first year of wind operations, underscoring wind energy's continued growth in global popularity.

"We are seeing an incredible growth in demand for wind turbines as more countries seek to expand their renewable energy production to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their energy security," said Robert Gleitz, who was appointed general manager for GE's wind business in the spring of 2005.

Wind energy is a key component of GE's corporate-wide ecomagination initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental needs.

"For example, in 2006 GE is expanding its line of wind turbines by launching its new multi-megawatt turbine platform in Europe, followed by a similar U.S. and Asia commercial roll-out in 2008," Gleitz said.

GE's multi-megawatt units build on the experience learned from the company's global fleet of over 4,000 megawatt-plus wind turbines. Evolving from GE's proven 1.5-megawatt and earlier "2.x"-megawatt series, GE's newest machines introduce a number of industry innovations, including a permanent magnet generator, a modular converter with full power conversion and advanced control technologies.

In the United States, GE delivered 1,005 wind turbines as the industry enjoyed its most productive year. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. industry broke its annual installed capacity record by adding 2,431 megawatts of turbines. GE's turbines accounted for about 62 percent of the U.S. total.

"The extension of the federal wind-energy production tax credit in 2005 helped trigger the record-breaking year and provided momentum that will carry over through 2007," said Gleitz, noting the company is already accepting orders for 2008.