Europe is working towards its 2020 renewable energy targets by xfo14057

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 19

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                                                                                       out the steps they will take to meet the
Europe is working towards its 2020 renewable energy                                    targets until June 2010. But time is mov-
targets. But what happens then? Sarah Azau and Chris                                   ing fast and in 11 years’ time Europe will
                                                                                       – hopefully – have met or surpassed its tar-
Rose take a step forward in time to investigate the                                    gets and be looking into the time beyond.
possible wind energy world of 2020 and beyond.                                             The wind is not going to die out in
                                                                                       2020, or ever for that matter. The 230
                                                                                       GW of capacity EWEA believes will be

A   lmost exactly a year ago, the renew-
    able energy industry was busy cel-
ebrating. On 9 December 2008 the EU
                                            energy mix by 2020 was hailed by many
                                            as historic.
                                               Such memories are still fresh and it
                                                                                       installed in the EU by 2020, providing
                                                                                       14-18% of our electricity, will be added
                                                                                       to in the years afterwards. The European
agreed the Renewable Energy Directive,      may seem that there is still a while to    Environment Agency states that the
the most far-reaching piece of renewa-      go before 2020. National governments       economically competitive potential of wind
bles legislation worldwide. The target it   are not even due to publish the National   energy in 2020 will be three times greater
set of 20% renewables in the European       Renewable Energy Action Plans setting      than expected electricity demand, and in


18                                                                                                 WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
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                                                                                         competition will be brought about through
                                                                                         the proposed new grid infrastructure,
                                                                                         since it will join up the different countries
                                                                                         and allow electricity to be traded across
                                                                                         Europe. It will also come about through
                                                                                         changes in system operation and the de-
                                                                                         velopment of effective electricity markets
                                                                                         throughout the EU, including markets for
                                                                                         balancing power and ‘smart grids’. Such
                                                                                         changes would bring Europe affordable
                                                                                         and indigenous electricity that reduces
                                                                                         citizens’ and companies’ exposure to sup-
                                                                                         ply disruptions, carbon and fuel price risk.
                                                                                             Furthermore, R&D funding must be
                                                                                         made fairer to ensure wind energy technol-
                                                                                         ogy develops as it should - up until 2002
                                                                                         only 1% of EU energy research funds were
                                                                                         allocated to wind energy. And a real price
                                                                                         needs to be put on pollution, following the
                                                                                         EU’s “polluter pays” principle.
                                                                                             It may seem like a long list of “ifs”,
                                                                                         but there are already positive signs.
                                                                                         A blueprint for a North Sea offshore
                                                                                         grid is being drafted by the European
                                                                                         Commission, and if the Commission
                                                                                         takes EWEA’s proposed Network
                                                                                         Development Plan into account in its
                                                                                         work, it will be a very good start. On the
                                                                                         R&D side, the Commission in October
                                                                                         proposed €6 billion of research funding
                                                                                         for the wind energy sector. And 100%
                                                                                         auctioning in the power sector will be
                                                                                         part of the ETS from 2013.
                                                                                             If wind energy develops as expected
                                                                                         in the next ten years, the sector will
                                                                                         look somewhat different. We could be
                                                                                         seeing a completed offshore grid, which
                                                                                         would have a revolutionary effect on
                                                                                         wind energy growth and power prices for
                                                                                         consumers. We could see a planet saved
                                                                                         from its own carbon-choked fate in the
                                                               Photo: DWIA and GWEC      nick of time by a far-reaching UN agree-
                                                                                         ment in Copenhagen this December,
                                                                                         revitalised by the slashing of GHG emis-
2030 seven times greater than expected      have to happen between now and 2020          sions in large part thanks to renewables.
electricity demand.                         to set us on the right track.”               We could even be seeing some floating,
   “The wind could provide over 26%             The 2009 Renewable Energy                two-bladed, gearless, downwind, 20 MW
of Europe’s power in 2030, according        Directive needs to be effectively imple-     wind turbines.
to EWEA’s latest baseline development       mented, with the member states produc-           What is certain above all is that wind
scenario just published in our updated      ing realistic National Renewable Energy      energy, which has already become a
‘Pure Power’ report, which says we          Action Plans next June and starting          mainstream power technology – more wind
should have 400 GW of installed wind        putting them into practice without delay.    capacity was installed than any other type
energy capacity by then”, said Christian       An offshore grid – based on EWEA’s        in the EU in 2008 – will continue to grow
Kjaer, EWEA’s Chief Executive. “This        20 Year Network Development Plan,            up to and beyond 2020. It will continue
would avoid 600 million tonnes of CO2       which it launched in September – must        to provide clean, affordable, home-grown
and €56 billion of fuel costs. If we meet   be built to transport offshore wind power    power for Europe. It will give cause for
our high scenario wind will provide over    to consumers. This should be accompa-        celebration time and time again.
30% of our power. Yet where we are in       nied by improved competition in the inter-
2030 will depend on certain things that     nal energy market. The improvement in                                         By Sarah Azau



WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                    19
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  Looking forward
  to a windy future
  Eddie O’Connor, CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power, has




                                                                                                                                  Photo: EWEA/Ek/Eriksson
  a long-term vision of how wind energy will develop. He told
  Sarah Azau why he believes wind energy will supply 50% of
  Europe’s electricity by 2050, and what EU decision-makers
  and the industry need to do in the next 10 years to put the
  sector on the right path.

                      Do you think EU countries can meet their 2020        The next ten years are the lead-in period. In 2020
                      renewables targets?                                  the offshore infrastructure will have been largely
                      We should significantly overshoot the 2020           laid down – the Supergrid, who manages it, how
                      targets. We’ve constantly overshot our targets       it’s paid for, what bit to build next.
                      for wind energy over the last 10 years and I
                      believe we’ll keep on doing it. The direction that   Do you think the UN Climate Change conference in
                      Europe is going in is clear, and we’ll keep going    Copenhagen will have an impact on this?
                      that way because we don’t have any options.          I do, although I’m not sure it’s going to have the
                      We’re at the peak of oil right now, which is a       impact it should. What we’re talking about here
                      scary place to be, because our economies and         is a new reality which Europe is coping with much
                      population and GDP growth assumed limitless          better than anybody else – in Europe we have the
                      supplies of energy. I was reading a research         broad consensus to take us where we need to go
                      paper today which talks about the discovery of       for the future energy debate.
                      ten billion barrels of oil reserves last year – in
                      the 1970s we were discovering 20-50 billion          How will wind energy technology evolve up to
                      barrels per year. Oil – which countries need to      2020 and beyond?
                      run their economies – is going away. So we need      Offshore is a new industry for us. We have to de-
                      wind energy big time.                                sign a turbine that’s much cheaper than what we
      “Oil – which                                                         have at the moment. We need to think in terms
                      What proportion of the energy mix do you see         of offshore wind fired power stations of about
   countries need     wind and renewables representing in 2050?            500 MW capacity. The big utilities will see such
       to run their   Wind energy could provide 50% of Europe’s            power stations as the natural replacement of the
                      electricity by 2050. This will be supplemented       coal and oil fired power stations of the past.
   economies – is     by solar, which will produce 30%. And 10% from           I can say with absolute confidence that there
going away. So we     other renewables that haven’t come to exist yet      will be 10 MW turbines and probably they will dom-
                      because they’re not yet commercial. But I believe    inate offshore by 2020. Can we make a 20 MW
need wind energy      our big enemy is coal. This world is being de-       turbine? I don’t know – we need to get to 10 MW
         big time.”   stroyed by unbridled CO2 production.                 first. But overall there’s a vast amount of change
                                                                           coming, and it’s all positive.
                      The grid is one of the key criteria for continued        Through renewables there’s vast wealth to be
                      renewables expansion. By 2020 what will it           created in Europe and for export by 2020. There’s
                      look like?                                           a systematic transformation happening that will
                      Grids are the most important thing to tackle to      lead to big winners and losers. It’s going to be
                      make sure we get to 50% wind by 2050. We have        an interesting time to be alive. The conservatives
                      to move to sea with our renewables to allow us       among us will say it will never happen. Good luck
                      to transport electricity from where it’s available   to them – they’re going to lose out. The world
                      to where it’s needed. We can only build about        has to make the transition to sustainability or
                      200,000 MW on land. If you look at Denmark and       there will be no future for humanity. And the key
                      Germany they’ve actually stopped onshore produc-     to all this in the next ten years is building the
                      tion of renewables.                                  Supergrid. That’s the imperative up to 2020.


  20                                                                                            WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
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A renewable energy future
is crucial for a healthy economy                                                                                                  By Chris Rose




M     ore than any other sector, the
      economy is prone to unexpected
ups and downs which even the most
                                               sea change in the nature of world
                                               economies; veering away from quick,
                                               high-risk investments towards more
                                                                                                  technology also creates the possibility of
                                                                                                  technology exports – in 2008 European
                                                                                                  manufacturers had a 60% share of the
seasoned financial gurus are unable to         sustainable, benevolent sectors.                   €36 billion global wind turbine market.
predict. The obvious example is quite             Barroso stressed the world must                 Indeed, the European Commission rec-
clearly the current economic crisis, which     turn its back on the business-as-usual             ognised wind’s economic potential when
appeared to explode out of nowhere.            approach. “It is time for delivery and a           it set aside €565 million in its Economic
Looking back however, observers point          new global order reflecting the reality of         Recovery Plan earlier this year.
out that behind the façade of booming          economic interdependence,” he said.                    Industry figures confirm what wind
wealth, there were signs that the bubble          Certainly, a zero-carbon, renewable             can do. In Europe in 2008, 20 turbines
would burst.                                   energy way of life will be key to a stable         were installed for every working day. By
   Learning from the experience, world         and healthy world economy post-2020.               the end of the year, 160,000 workers
leaders are now talking about putting a        UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said              were employed directly and indirectly in
more stable financial system in place,         that reaching an ambitious agreement               the sector, which saw investments of
one based on international cooperation         in Copenhagen could “catalyse a global             about €11 billion in the EU, avoided fuel
and sustainability. However, they have a       economy based on low-emissions growth              costs of €5.4 billion and CO2 costs of
long way to go before such changes are         that can strengthen sustainable develop-           €2.4 billion.
complete.                                      ment and lift billions out of poverty.”                However, these figures are nothing
   One thing politicians have agreed is           Wind energy has a major role to play            compared with wind’s huge potential.
that the G20 will replace the G8 to be-        in such an economy. As it uses no fuel             If EWEA’s 2020 target of 230 GW is
come the organisation used most often          and produces no CO2, it protects inves-            met, it will represent investments in a
after the UN to discuss the economy,           tors against the unpredictable fuel and            European industry of over €23.5 billion,
development and security issues.               carbon prices that dog coal and oil. The           avoid carbon costs worth €8.3 billion
   “The old system of international            sector provides considerable employ-               and fuel costs worth €27.7 billion.
economic cooperation is over. The new          ment, often in marine areas that had               479,000 people will be employed in
system, as of today, has begun”, British       been suffering from the loss of shipping           the wind industry. Wind energy will have
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on 25         or other industries, such as Bremerhaven           helped haul Europe out of the financial
September.                                     in Germany or Ejsberg in Denmark.                  crisis and put it en route towards a
   Allowing the G20 – which includes           Europe’s leadership in wind energy                 sustainable, zero-carbon economy.
countries as economically, culturally and



                                                                                                                                                  Photo: DWIA and GWEC
geographically diverse as Saudi Arabia,
Japan and Mexico – to become the chief
global economic cheerleader acknowl-
edges that the days of dividing the world
into divisive categories of rich-poor,
north-south, east-west are all but over.
   International cooperation helped
avert a global financial meltdown, ac-
cording to both the G20 leaders’ com-
muniqué and a statement by European
Commission President José Manuel
Barroso.
   “Our forceful response helped stop
the dangerous, sharp decline in global
activity and stabilise financial markets,”
the communiqué said. “Industrial output
is now rising in nearly all our economies.
International trade is starting to recover.”
   This increase in international              Wind energy boosts the economies of industrialised countries as well as those of
cooperation is accompanied by a                rapidly developing ones such as India.



WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                            21
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A new pan-European grid
will help revolutionise
the region’s power needs                                                                      Building a pan-European offshore grid
                                                                                              will have multiple benefits for the
                                                                                              whole of Europe.
By Chris Rose




W      hile Europe continues to receive
       kudos from around the world for
the forward-thinking 2009 Renewable
                                               – needs to be built to replace aging
                                               power plants and meet expected future
                                               demand increases.
                                                                                            plan, which will begin to give an overview
                                                                                            of the next expected grid additions and
                                                                                            renovations.
Energy Directive that provides a regula-           “The next European Commission and            “We at ENTSO-E see it as our task
tory pathway for a massive increase in         the new European Parliament face many        in the ten year plans to make sure
green electricity in the next 12 years,        tough challenges over the coming years:      that the member states’ network
there is still much to do to make the          climate change, depleting indigenous         plans fit together as a whole”, explains
legislation a reality.                         energy resources, increasing fuel and        Konstantin Staschus, Secretary-General
    Onshore wind power is the most ma-         carbon costs and the threat of supply        of the group. “So if you’re thinking about
ture and cost-efficient of the renewable       disruptions”, says EWEA in its recently      offshore wind plans in the Baltic, North
electricity technologies, and it will be the   prepared manifesto for MEPs and the          or Mediterranean Seas, then that by
largest contributor to the Europe’s 20%        new Commission, entitled “Wind energy        definition involves several countries and
renewable energy target. At the same           for a new century”.                          we need to try to make sure that the
time, offshore wind energy is Europe’s             “Over the next 12 years, Europe must     investments in the grid – the sea cables
biggest energy resource – according to         use the opportunity created by the large     and onshore lines – make sense from
the European Environment Agency (EEA),         turnover in capacity to construct a new,     several perspectives.
it has the economically competitive po-        modern power system capable of meet-             “From a market perspective, that it re-
tential to provide our power three times       ing the energy and climate challenges        lieves congestion in an optimal way; from
over by 2020.                                  of the 21st century, while enhancing         a renewables integration perspective, not
    The main stumbling block to the            Europe’s competitiveness.”                   just transporting the energy to the load
continued development of both onshore              Rebuilding the grid will have multi-     centres but us being able to balance it
and offshore wind energy is the urgent         ple benefits for all of Europe. “We have     out when it fluctuates, meaning having
need to rapidly renovate and expand the        to start thinking of electrical grids as     enough hydro or later on perhaps electric
region’s antiquated grid systems.              corridors for trade”, says Justin Wilkes,    car batteries to balance it out.”
    Doing that – as well as creating an        EWEA’s Head of Regulatory Affairs. “A            In September 2009, EWEA published
efficient internal electricity market, ac-     single European grid and effective com-      its own offshore network development
celerating technology R&D and effec-           petition in the European power markets       plan, which showed its recommendations
tively implementing the 2009 Renewable         will benefit all consumers – not only by     for new offshore grids and interconnec-
Energy Directive – will allow wind energy      increasing the amount of non-polluting       tors up to 2030.
to help meet the climate and energy            wind power on the grid – and so also             “We based our plan on the 11 cur-
challenges of the 21st century.                bringing power prices down – but by al-      rently operating grids and 21 proposed
    Europe’s current electricity supply        lowing electricity trading which will have   grids”, explains Wilkes. “To these we
structure is both national in nature and       a dramatic positive effect on Europe’s       added eight offshore grids to be built
long due an overhaul. The European             energy security”.                            by 2020 and six more for 2030. If the
Commission has stated that in the next             The new body of transmission system      European Commission – in its draft for a
12 years 360 GW of new electricity             operators, ENTSO-E, is currently prepar-     North Sea grid blueprint – and ENTSO-E –
capacity – 50% of current EU capacity          ing its first ten year network development   in its ten year plan – both incorporate our




22                                                                                                       WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
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                                                                                            scenario in EWEA’s updated ‘Pure Power’
                                                                                            report shows that wind power could pro-
                                                                                            vide over 30% of Europe’s power by 2030
                                                                                            as long as a pan-European offshore grid
                                                                                            is developed.
                                                                                               For these levels of wind power to be
                                                                                            achieved, leaders also have to make
                                                                                            sure the Renewable Energy Directive is
                                                                                            implemented effectively with preparation
                                                                                            of a post-2020 framework for renewa-
                                                                                            bles; improve competition in the Internal
                                                                                            Energy Market through new infrastruc-
                                                                                            ture, changes in system operation and
                                                                                            development of efficient electricity mar-
                                                                                            kets; develop a legislative framework for
                                                     Photo: Stiftung Offshore WindEnergie   offshore wind power and infrastructure;
                                                                                            and increase R&D in both onshore and
 recommendations, we will see a much      to 230 GW, with 40 GW of offshore wind            offshore wind technologies.
 more efficient and effective European    power, as a result of the adoption of                “There are many things that need to
 grid, with huge amounts of wind power,   the Renewable Energy Directive. When              be done in the next few years”, concludes
 by 2030.”                                reached, the 230 GW of wind power ca-             Wilkes. “But although they are all very im-
    In March 2009, EWEA increased its     pacity will provide around 14-18% of EU           portant, the most crucial thing that must
 2020 wind energy target from 180 GW      electricity demand. Longer term, the high         be addressed rapidly is the grid”.




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Wind in the world –
global projections beyond 2020                                                                                                By Crispin Aubrey




O




                                                                                                                                                  Photo: DWIA and GWEC
     ver 20 times as much wind power
     capacity could be operating around
the world by 2030, according to the
latest projections from expert analysts.
This would be enough to meet 17% of
the world’s electricity supply, more than
nuclear achieves today. These expecta-
tions – for a total of almost 2,500 GW of
operating wind capacity within the next
two decades – reflect the strength of posi-
tive factors pushing the industry forward
to a continuing sequence of record years.
    This latest analysis by BTM Consult,
the Danish consultancy, projects an aver-
age growth rate of 12% between 2014
and 2030, even with a ‘business as
usual’ scenario. The outcome is similar to
that envisaged by the Global Wind Energy       Wind energy workers in Egypt are part of a booming global industry.
Council (GWEC). In an ‘advanced’ sce-
nario produced together with Greenpeace        efficiency measures were also introduced.         regulatory regimes established in Europe
in 2008, GWEC projected a total of                 These figures are justified by the            and around the world. The European
2,375 GW by 2030. This would cover             growth rates witnessed over the past              Union’s 2020 targets for reducing carbon
up to 24% of global electricity demand,        five years – an average 25% annual in-            emissions and increasing renewable
the analysis assumed, if serious energy        crease from 2003 to 2008 – and by the             energy are central to this (see box).




   Europe’s 2020 targets


  I mportant support for wind power’s
    expansion plans over the first decades
  of the 21st century has come from
                                               has reduced to 37% of new capacity in
                                               2008 (from 70% in 2004). All these and
                                               more countries will need to keep up the
                                                                                                 uncertainties, such as rising costs
                                                                                                 and missing transmission links,
                                                                                                 are being resolved – for example
  the European Union’s target for 20%          momentum, however, if EWEA’s outcome              by Germany and the UK’s raising of
  of Europe’s energy to be renewably           is to be achieved.                                payment tariffs and by their proactive
  sourced by 2020. Taking just the elec-           Emerging Energy Research expects              approach to offshore grid connection.
  tricity part, the European Wind Energy       Spain to install the most capacity on             “All the major northern European
  Association has produced its own target      land up to 2020. Other key markets will           utilities are developing large offshore
  for wind to reach 230 GW, providing          be France, eastern Europe, Italy and              parks now,” says EER’s Eduard Sala
  about 14-16% of Europe’s power. Such         the UK. In eastern Europe some large              de Vedruna. Even so, he projects
  an outcome is vital if the overall goal is   projects have recently been announced             30.6 GW offshore by 2020 rather than
  to be met, says EWEA, but where will         after a period when the region’s promise          EWEA’s 40 GW, contributing to a total
  these megawatts be built?                    looked like stagnating. For the UK, EER           of about 220 GW.
      The last few years have seen a           argues, better transmission will be vital,            Meanwhile, backing for wind’s ambi-
  steady increase, reaching a total of         especially an improved interconnector             tious prospects has come from the
  65 GW in the 27 member states at the         between windy Scotland, where the best            European Environment Agency, which
  end of 2008. Four countries – France,        resources are, and England, which has             says that the ‘economically competi-
  Italy, the UK and Portugal – all produced    most of the demand.                               tive potential’ for wind power in the EU
  growth rates of more than 30% over the           Offshore wind will be crucial to the          by 2020 is an output of 12,200 TWh,
  past two years (2007-8), while the pre-      2020 target, and EER is increasingly              three times the total electricity de-
  vious dominance of Spain and Germany         positive. This is because some of the             mand expected by that time.




WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                             25
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Most analysts expect a radical change                    In the Asian continent, China is being        power, Asia and the Pacific region about
in the balance between the different                     driven by a central government deter-         35%, and Europe about 20%. Today
regions of the world over the next 20                    mined to achieve its aim of reducing its      Europe accounts for over half of cumula-
years. Whereas Europe has led up                         80% dependence on polluting coal. The         tive capacity.
to now, and will continue to grow, its                   current target is for 100 GW by 2030,             Although agreeing broadly on the shift-
dominance will be challenged by massive                  but independent observers expect up           ing global breakdown, some analysts are
expansion in both the American conti-                    to 135 GW or more by then. So dynamic         not nearly as positive as BTM Consult.
nent and Asia.                                           has been the development of a domestic        International consultancy Emerging Energy
    The United States has already experi-                industry capable of manufacturing com-        Research, for example, expects less than
enced a period of dramatic growth, with                  plete turbines and other parts that there     700 GW of wind capacity to be operating
individual wind farms now pushing up                     is currently concern that the market may      globally by 2020, the furthest ahead that
towards 1,000 MW. This trend is expect-                  be over-heating. China’s plans include        its projections go. This compares with
ed to continue. The driver will continue                 seven ‘wind power hubs’, each with a          BTM’s 975 GW and GWEC’s 1,080 GW.
to be the Production Tax Credit bonus,                   capacity of up to 10 GW. To encourage a           So why is EER more cautious?
potentially followed soon by a federal                   more secure financial return, the govern-     “Mainly because wind is competing with
Retail Portfolio Standard – a national                   ment also recently introduced a version       other technologies,” says analyst Eduard
obligation on electricity suppliers to meet              of the European feed-in tariff, with a list   Sala de Vedruna. “We are going to have
a rising percentage of their demand from                 of fixed prices variable according to the     cheap natural gas available again and
renewables. This could be linked to the                  wind park’s location.                         nuclear is reviving all over the world,
Department of Energy’s assertion that                        These factors mean that by 2030,          including in Germany, the UK and France.
wind power could provide 20% of US                       according to BTM Consult, the Americas        Then you have CCS (Carbon Capture and
electricity by 2030.                                     will contain 30% of the world’s wind          Storage) technology, which will have an
                                                                                                       impact on the most polluting sources.
                                                                                                       All these can be an inhibitor to the glo-
                                                                                                       bal plans for wind.”
                                                                                                           Although Sala de Vedruna points out
                                                                                                       that the economics of wind power are
                                                                                                       steadily improving, with falling capital
                                                                                                       costs and better reliability, the recession
                                                                                                       is fading and the supply chain bottle-
                                                                                                       necks are fast disappearing, he also
                                                                                                       sounds a note of caution about the issue
                                                                                                       of transmission. “How is this capacity
                                                                                                       going to be connected to the network?”
                                                                                                       he asks, “especially in emerging mar-
                                                                                                       kets and offshore. In some countries
                                                                                                       production is very far from the centres of
                                                                                                       consumption. So there will have to be an
                                                                                                       improvement globally to make the wind
                                                                                                       potential realisable.”
                                                                                                           One feature of recent years, however,
                                                                                                       has been the emergence of new markets
                                                                                                       to push the global market forward faster
                                                                                                       than expected. Just one current example
                                                                                                       is Australia, whose vast potential could
                                                                                                       finally be unleashed by the government’s
                                                                                                       recent commitment to 20% renewable
                                                                                                       power by 2020.
                                                                                                           For those sceptical that wind can
                                                                                                       achieve the large figures expected by
                                                                                                       BTM and others there is one further
                                                                                                       point worth remembering – that histori-
                                                                                                       cally the technology has consistently per-
                                                                                                       formed better than even the industry’s
                                                                                                       own trade associations have predicted.

                                                                                                       For more information:
                                                                                                       www.btm.dk; www.emerging-energy.com.
The Chinese government is aiming for 100 GW of wind energy by 2030.            Photo: DWIA and GWEC




26                                                                                                                   WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
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More than
just a technicality – wind
energy technology                                                                                                        Floating turbines


in 2020 and beyond                                                                                                      may become more
                                                                                                                        common by 2020.
                                                                                                                          Photo: Statoil Hydro
By Sarah Azau




O     nce upon a time, Europe was dotted
      with wind mills. Used chiefly for
grinding grain, they had four or more
                                              Onshore machines may increase slightly
                                              in size to around 3-4 MW, is the general
                                              consensus, but further growth would be
                                                                                              sceptical about anything over 7 MW to
                                                                                              enthusiasts for 10 and even 20 MW off-
                                                                                              shore turbines in the next decade.
wooden shutters that acted as blades.         hampered by the problems of transport-             “The difficulty with offshore turbine
The wind turbines of the 21st century         ing them.                                       growth isn’t the logistical issue we have
are quite different. Tall, white and sleek,       “What’s happened in the onshore             onshore, but a physical problem”, ex-
nearly always three-bladed, made of a         sector is similar to what happened in           plains Henrik Stiesdal from Siemens Wind
complex mixture of fibreglass, carbon,        the aircraft industry in the 1970s”,            Power. “It all boils down to the square
wood and steel, it might seem to a ca-        explains Peter Jamieson from Garrad             cube rule, which means that as the
sual observer that wind turbines every-       Hassan. “Basically planes got bigger            surface area of an object is squared, its
where, from Sweden to Spain, look pretty      and bigger and then around 1975-6, the          volume is cubed. For example, while small
much the same these days.                     growth slowed. It was the same for wind         birds fly easily, larger ones need a run-up,
    Yet although this may be close to         turbines, which grew in size and capacity       because their weight is proportionally
the truth for onshore wind energy,            up to 2003, when we reached a plateau.          much greater. So if an offshore turbine
anyone who keeps half an eye on the           I think some wind turbines larger than at       doubles in size, its blades will be four
latest news from the industry will be         present will appear but further growth in       times longer but its weight is cubed.”
familiar with the rapidity at which new       unit turbine size will slow down a lot or          If there is at least agreement on all
offshore technology is developed and          even stop in the next ten years.”               sides that offshore turbines will get sub-
tested. Perhaps this is why, despite near         The motto of the offshore sector, on        stantially bigger still by 2020, if not by
unanimity from the industry on the likely     the hand, sometimes really does seem            how much, it is less clear how far out to
development of onshore technology in          to be “the sky’s the limit”.                    sea the industry can go by then. Floating
the next ten years, the voices diverge on         “Ten years ago when we started work-        platforms, which would open up deeper
what offshore wind energy will look like.     ing on the Lillgrund offshore wind farm in      waters for development, are currently
    “The offshore sector is going to          Sweden, we put in 1.5 MW turbines and           being tested, although several different
change enormously by 2020”, says              we couldn’t imagine anything bigger”, re-       models are currently available.
Nicolas Fichaux, Head of Policy Analysis      calls Goran Loman from Vattenfall. “If we          “I can see floating platforms begin-
at EWEA. “But the shift in onshore tech-      were to build it today, we would be using       ning to take off around 2020”, says
nology will be more subtle – the turbines     3.5 or even 5 MW turbines.”                     Jason Jonkman of the US National Wind
will look similar but be more efficient.          This rapid offshore turbine develop-        Technology Center. “At the moment the
It’s like cars - ten years ago, cars looked   ment is likely to continue, although            prototypes are all very expensive, but by
like they do now, but their motors were       where we will be in 2020 is up in the           2020 they should be cost-effective.”
much less fuel-efficient. Now you’ve got      air (figuratively and, given the growing           While Stiesdal sees commercial proj-
a similar looking machine that’s much         height of offshore turbines, pretty literally   ects with floating turbines beginning in
safer and more fuel-efficient.”               as well). Estimates range from those            around five years, Loman is less sure.


WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                          27
| focus |


                                                                                                          “Turbines with gearboxes will become
                                                                                                          more reliable and compact, with some
                                                                                                          of the problems ironed out. For turbines
                                                                                                          without gearboxes, the generator will get
                                                                                                          smaller”.
                                                                                                              Stiesdal is convinced there will be
                                                                                                          no more gearboxes in new offshore
                                                                                                          wind turbines by 2020, whereas Wheals
                                                                                                          and Hundleby argue that there will be,
                                                                                                          because “reliability problems are being
                                                                                                          overcome with better design tools and
                                                                                                          with a gearbox you will have the lowest
                                                                                                          tower top mass, which is important as
                                                                                                          turbine sizes increase”.
                                                                                                              Many issues surrounding wind energy
                                                                                                          technology in 2020 and beyond remain
                                                                                                          surrounded by debate. It is a sign of the
                                                                                                          offshore sector’s relatively rude health
                                                                                                          that all these possibilities are open to
                                                                                                          discussion, and it is only to be expected
                                                                                                          that, as with any quickly maturing tech-
                                                                                                          nology, there are diverging opinions on
                                                                                                          which possibilities will be realised.
                                                                                                              Two goals that most industry players
                                                                                                          are unanimous in striving to achieve
                                                                                                          however are greater efficiency and better
Research institutes like this one in Spain help Europe lead the field in        Photo: Wind Power Works   reliability. It seems a commonly held
wind energy technology.                                                                                   conviction that component development
                                                                                                          through R&D – the rotor blade design,
“Although there are full-scale prototypes               components they were creating be-                 the control system, the pitch system –
being worked on, we still have a long way               cause economically available cranes had           will certainly lead to improvements in
to go”, he says, and also mentions the                  a limit on the weight they could carry for        both areas.
possibility of concrete foundations, which              the installation. Ten years later, the crane          If offshore R&D is essential for greater
would be far cheaper than steel.                        companies were making cranes to suit              efficiency and bringing costs down,
    There is a similar range of views on                wind farm installation. The same sort             financing is essential for offshore R&D.
the feasibility of two-bladed offshore                  of change can take place in technology            Via the European Commission’s Strategic
wind turbines, which in theory are much                 for installation and access to offshore           Energy Technology Plan, the wind energy
simpler and lighter than three-bladed                   wind farms.”                                      sector is proposing a €6 billion long-term
ones, with higher tip speeds, but whose                     Jonathan Wheals and Giles Hundleby            research, development and demonstra-
use onshore is restricted because they                  from engineering company Ricardo                  tion programme for wind energy, called
make more noise.                                        mention the possible development of               the European Wind Initiative (EWI). The
    “Two-bladed turbines don’t make                     intelligent monitoring systems in the next        sector has a list of key areas the EWI and
sense – they are too complicated to                     ten years.                                        European R&D must focus on to bring the
build, due above all to the higher tip                       “The idea is that the system can             costs of both onshore and offshore wind
speed and the unbalanced forces in the                  identify a likely failure early and predict       farms down. These include optimised
rotor hub”, believes Jens Gösswein of                   the time to failure, so repairs can be            wind farm design, increased turbine reli-
RePower. “The perfect wind turbine has                  much better planned and costs are                 ability and offshore substructures.
three blades.”                                          brought down”, explains Hundleby. “It                 Ten years ago, in 1999, the first
    One of the most complex issues sur-                 would even allow you to manage the                offshore wind farm – at Vindeby in
rounding offshore wind development at                   operation of the turbines so that three or        Denmark – was just eight years old.
the moment is operations and mainte-                    four turbines could be repaired at once”,         Horns Rev I, the first farm to be built
nance, which is estimated to cost on av-                adds Wheals.                                      more than a few kilometres out to sea,
erage €16 per MWh1, and is dependent                        One of the components that most               was still two years away. Today, there are
on weather conditions and the availability              often presents maintenance issues is              nearly 1.5 GW of installed capacity in
of repair vessels and cranes.                           the gearbox. Currently, the main manu-            Europe. The sector has evolved enor-
    Jamieson is cautiously optimistic. “In              facturer of turbines without a gearbox is         mously in a decade and provided it gets
the mid-1990s, we had onshore wind                      Enercon, although these are only used             enough R&D financing, and that this is
turbine designers being restricted in the               onshore. Fichaux believes that in 2020            spent in the right areas, it will certainly
                                                        both types will still be in circulation.          evolve further in the next one.
1    “The Economics of Wind Energy” by EWEA, page 66.


28                                                                                                                     WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
   | focus |




   Counting down to
   Copenhagen
   All of our futures, up to and after 2020, will be affected
   by the results of the UN climate change conference in
   Copenhagen. Chris Rose asked Steve Sawyer, secretary
   general of the Global Wind Energy Council, for his thoughts.


                        As the UN climate change conference in
                        Copenhagen is only a short time away now, what
                        still needs to be done to secure a new, strength-
                        ened post-Kyoto protocol?
                        There are various issues that need resolving,
                        relating to the four building blocks of the Bali
                        Action Plan.
                            The most critical issue (not least for the wind
                        industry) concerns the level of commitment from
                        some industrialised countries which have not yet
                        stepped up to the level of emissions reductions
                        we need. This concerns the US, Canada, Australia,      The power sector is the single largest sector in
                        New Zealand, Russia and a few other countries.         terms of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting
                        They have to come up with targets that are com-        for about 40% of total CO2 emissions, or about
                        mensurate on some level with those put on the          25% of total emissions.
                        table so far by the EU, Norway, and now Japan.            Wind power is the only power generation
     “Wind power is         The second part is a clear action plan for         technology which can make a big difference in
                        adapting to the impacts of climate change which        power sector emissions in this critical period up
     the only power     are already happening, in particular to support the    to 2020, although hydro power can be upscaled in
          generation    Least Developed Countries who are feeling the          some areas, and solar PV is also starting to grow
                        effects of climate change first, and worst.            very rapidly.
  technology which          Thirdly, there has to be serious cash on the
    can make a big      table from industrialised countries to help finance    Do you think a new post-Kyoto agreement will be
                        green growth and adaptation in poor developing         reached in Copenhagen to deal with greenhouse
difference in power     countries.                                             gases that cause global warming?
sector emissions in         Finally, there needs to be an agreement on         Although the nearly two years of negotiations
                        technology development, deployment and diffu-          (since Bali, December 2007) have not yielded
 this critical period   sion, both to facilitate the maximum uptake of         much progress to date, there is still hope that
        up to 2020.”    existing technology, as well as the RD&D for the       governments will at least come to a clear political
                        technologies of the future.                            agreement including the major outlines and the
                            Any agreement which does not have substance        objectives. It seems unlikely at this stage that any
                        in all of these four areas is unlikely to be agreed.   significant percentage of the ‘details’ (which, as
                                                                               always, contain the devils) will be worked out by
                        What role do you see wind power, both onshore          Copenhagen. That will come afterwards.
                        and offshore, playing in helping to curb green-           Will the Americans sign off on a new post-
                        house gas emissions?                                   Kyoto deal? If they don’t have time to reach a
                        There is a scientific consensus that global emis-      domestic agreement first, what signal can they
                        sions need to peak and start to decline by 2020.       send to the international community that they will
                        Only then can mean global temperature rise be          eventually agree to a new treaty?
                        kept below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, a goal       I think that it is unlikely that any significant por-
                        that is widely shared, and which is hoped to avoid     tion of the major countries involved will agree to
                        the worst consequences of climate change.              something that doesn’t include the US. Given the


   30                                                                                                 WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
                                                                                                                                | focus |




                                                              climate change to which we are already com-            “There is still
                                                              mitted continues to go up, reaching into the
                                                              hundreds of billions of US dollars annually by
                                                                                                                      hope that
                                                              2020. And the costs of mitigation range from net        governments at
                                                              negative costs to equally large billions of dollars,
                                                              depending on how much you want to spend on nu-
                                                                                                                      Copenhagen will
                                                              clear and carbon capture and storage (CCS). So,         at least come to
                                                              by definition, governments will not put in enough
                                                              money. What would make the deal ‘acceptable’,
                                                                                                                      a clear political
                                                              however, would be a number in the range of 10           agreement
                                                              or so billion annually (at the low end) up to 20 or
                                                              even 50 if countries are serious.
                                                                                                                      including the
                                                                                                                      major outlines
                                                              If a new agreement is not reached in Copenhagen,
                                                              what is the next step for nations in Europe and
                                                                                                                      and the
                                                              around the world?                                       objectives.”
                                                              Like my old football coach used to say, ‘you keep
                                                              running that play until you get it right’. Unless
                                                              you’ve discovered a nearby planet to which we
                                                              can evacuate in a couple of decades; or accept
                                                              that we really do live in ‘the Age of Stupid’ and we
                                                              are blithely polluting our way to our own oblivion
                                                              as a civilisation, if not a species.

                                            Photo: GWEC       Has Europe’s goal of promoting wind power and
                                                              other renewables been set back by the ongoing
slow progress (to date) of the passage of US leg-             global recession?
islation, that does not augur well for Copenhagen.            Not really. The legislation is still in place, and
                                                              although it may be pursued somewhat more reluc-
How much money do you think the wealthy, indus-               tantly than it would otherwise be by some govern-
trialised nations will have to transfer to developing         ments, it is also the case that emissions are
nations to deal with their climate change problems            dropping and as a result of decreased economic
in order to reach a treaty in Copenhagen?                     growth which will make the targets easier to reach
The estimates of the costs of adapting to the                 for some countries.




Steve Sawyer (sixth from left) at the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference last year.                             Photo: GWEC




WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                       31
| focus |




Wind power will bring
a healthier world
but politicians must agree
to slay the carbon monster                                                                                                  By Chris Rose




A   s negotiators frantically try to reach
    a new and strengthened post-Kyoto
agreement on global greenhouse gas
                                             Ranging from the detached and scien-
                                             tific to emotional calls for an immediate
                                             green energy revolution, the scenarios
                                                                                            immigrants fleeing environmental degrada-
                                                                                            tion, warfare over scant natural resources
                                                                                            and pandemics of diseases formerly as-
emissions in Copenhagen, a growing ava-      all describe a bleak future if humankind       sociated with tropical climates migrating
lanche of scenarios and visions describe     does not quickly summon the collective         to other parts of the world.
in unambiguous terms what our world          will to drastically reduce our greenhouse          Then there is the kindlier, more
might look like between 2020 and 2050.       gas emissions.                                 manageable post-carbon 2050 world
   While there are differences in outlook,        The apocalyptic visions feature a warm-   vision. Humans are still dealing with
most of the projections say a “business      ing Arctic unleashing dangerous amounts        fallout from global warming but, because
as usual” use of energy will add an          of methane, melting ice in Greenland lead-     greenhouse gas emissions are fall-
untold burden on an atmosphere already       ing to flooding in low-lying lands from the    ing through the use of wind and other
reeling from escalating amounts of CO2       Netherlands to Bangladesh, wide-scale          renewables, temperature rise is limited
associated with 150 years of burning         shortages of food and drinking water,          to 2 °C compared to before the Industrial
fossil fuels.                                massive species depletion, waves of            Revolution. Like dinosaurs before them,


32                                                                                                      WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009
                                                                                                                             | focus |



                                                                                           increase pressure on water, food and
                                                                                           land…. reverse years of development
                                                                                           gains…. destabilise fragile states and
                                                                                           topple governments.
                                                                                              “Some say tackling climate change is
                                                                                           too expensive. They are wrong. The op-
                                                                                           posite is true. We will pay an unaccept-
                                                                                           able price if we do not act now.”
                                                                                              On the other hand, Ban said,
                                                                                           Copenhagen offers a new path if na-
                                                                                           tional leaders act decisively.
                                                                                              “It can catalyse a global economy
                                                                                           based on low-emissions growth that can
                                                                                           strengthen sustainable development
                                                                                           and lift billions out of poverty. Success
                                                                                           in Copenhagen will have positive ripple
                                                                                           effects for global cooperation on trade,
                                                                                           energy, security and health.
                                                                                              “Climate change links us more
                                                                                           directly and dramatically than any other
                                                                                           issue. Now is the moment to act in com-
                                                                                           mon cause. History may not offer us a
                                                                                           better chance.”
                                                                                              Echoing Ban at the same summit was
                                                                                           IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri who
                                                                                           said climate change is already causing
                                                                                           more flooding, droughts and heat waves.
                                                                                              “If we take no action to stabilise the
                                                                                           concentration of greenhouse gases in
                                                                                           the atmosphere, then average tempera-
                                                                                           tures by the end of this century would in-
                                                                                           crease anywhere from 1.1 °C to 6.4 °C”,
                                                                                           Pachauri said.
                                                                                              “The world is increasing its emis-
                                                                                           sions at a rate that may take us to
                                                                                           the upper end of the range projected,
                                                                                           which implies a total increase in these
                                                                                           two centuries of over 7 °C. Yet between
                                                                                           1970 and 2004 global greenhouse gas
                                                                                           emissions increased by 70% and CO2
                                                                                           by 80%. We must halt this unacceptable
                                                                                           trend.”
                                                                        Photo: Nick Moir      He went on to say mitigation of emis-
                                                                                           sions is essential and costs associated
oil, gas and coal are relegated to the        “The world’s leading scientists warn that    with those mitigation efforts will be
history books. Wind and other sustain-        we have less than 10 years to avoid          relatively modest.
able, non-polluting energy sources fill the   the worst-case scenarios projected by           “To limit average temperature in-
void as the world undergoes its greatest      the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate       crease at 2 °C, the cost of mitigation by
metamorphosis since the invention of          Change [IPCC],” Ban said. “Indeed those      2030 would not exceed 3% of the glo-
the combustion engine.                        worst-case scenarios are becoming ever                .
                                                                                           bal GDP In other words, the so-called
    One of the most prominent voices call-    more likely.”                                prosperity expected in 2030 would be
ing for climate change action belongs to         Urging politicians to reach a new         postponed by a few months. Further,
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In late     agreement in Copenhagen, Ban de-             mitigation carries many co-benefits,
September, he addressed over 100 inter-       scribed climate change as the pre-emi-       such as lower levels of air pollution
national leaders at a summit in New York.     nent geopolitical and economic issue of      and associated health benefits, higher
    Ban told delegates that because           the 21st century.                            energy security, larger employment and
greenhouse gas emissions continue to             “It rewrites the global equation for      stable agricultural production, ensuring
rise, action must be taken immediately.       development, peace and prosperity. It will   greater food security.”


WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                   33
                                                                                                                              | focus |


In addition, an October 2006 study by
former World Bank chief economist
Nicholas Stern has come to represent
one of the foundations on which
governments increasingly base climate
change policy.
    Called the ‘Economics of Climate
Change’, Stern’s review stated that
working to reduce CO2 emissions could
cost by mid-century up to 1% of global
     .
GDP He also found that if emissions
were not reduced, the costs of climate
change could escalate to one-fifth of the
world’s economy.
    By June 2008, Stern had revised
his initial estimate, saying reducing
CO2 emissions could cost 2% of annual
global GDP  .                                Wind energy produces no CO2.                                           Photo: DWIA and GWEC
    Stern is always careful to point out
that we can not only make choices about      in a timescale consistent with saving the    for take-off and opinion polls show that
the future, but that many of the technolo-   climate, and planning for the social and     the majority of people support this move.
gies — including wind power — already        economic dimensions of that transition       There are no real technical obstacles in
exist and can help to reduce emissions       to minimise the negative impacts of such the way of an Energy [R]evolution, all that
while mitigating climate change. What        urgent change.”                              is missing is political support.
does have to change, and fast, he says,          Studying different zero-carbon               “But we have no time to waste. To
is the current political approach to is-     technologies, including wind power, the      achieve an emissions peak by 2015 and
sues such as energy, the economy and         report found that there is over 90%          a net reduction afterwards, we need to
the environment.                             probability that known sustainable and       start rebuilding the energy sector now.”
    “We’re the first generation that has     proven power technologies could be har-          The report adds that wind power
the power to destroy the planet,” he told    nessed between now and 2050 to meet          and other competitive renewables that
The Guardian in March. “You’re re-writing    an anticipated doubling of demand for        produce no greenhouse gases provide
the planet. So you can only describe as      energy while achieving 60-80% emission       attractive alternatives to the use of
reckless ignoring risks like that.”          reductions.                                  fossil fuels.
    Another report, ‘Climate Solutions:          “A solution, in other words, is at least     Saying that renewables combined with
The WWF Vision For 2050’, explored           possible,” the report says. “In five years   energy efficiency can deliver at least half
whether it is technically possible to use    it may be too late to initiate a sustain-    of the world’s energy needs by 2050,
clean power sources while supplying a        able transition which                                              the report adds it is
growing demand for energy.                   could avert a breach           “Wind power alone                   economically benefi-
    The report, published in 2007,           of the 2 °C threshold         could produce about                  cial to cut global CO2
concluded today’s known technologies         for avoiding danger-                                               emissions by over
and sustainable energy resources can         ous climate change.          40 times more power 50% within the next
meet this significant challenge, but only    In that event, danger-         than it does today.”                four decades.
if the decisions to deploy them are made     ously unsustainable                                                   “A massive uptake
within five years.                           options may be forced upon us or we will of renewable energy sources is techni-
    “WWF is acutely aware that many of       face more severe interventions which         cally and economically possible. Wind
the steps considered in this report – an     will have significant impacts on the glo-    power alone could produce about 40
end to the dominance of fossil energy,       bal economy.”                                times more power than it does today, and
a phase-out of nuclear power, a rapid            Another study was published              total global renewable energy generation
expansion of biomass energy – carry          in October 2008 by the European              could quadruple by then.”
with them social, environmental, and         Renewable Energy Council and                     The report says that renewables
economic consequences that must be           Greenpeace International.                    will play a leading role in our collective
carefully weighed and closely managed”,          ‘Energy (R)evolution: A Sustainable      energy future.
the report said.                             Global Energy Outlook’ begins with the           “For the sake of a sound environment,
    “Halting climate change is a long-term   observation that global CO2 emissions        political stability and thriving economies,
undertaking, but the first steps must be     must peak no later than 2015 and             now is the time to commit to a truly
taken by governments currently in power.     rapidly decrease after that if dangerous     secure and sustainable energy future
The future depends on them making            climate change is to be avoided.             – a future built on clean technologies,
critical decisions soon which could lead         “The technology to do this is avail-     economic development and the creation
to a low-emission global energy economy      able. The renewables industry is ready       of millions of new jobs.”


WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009                                                                                                     35
| focus |




Offshore wind will
feature in a cleaner future
The huge potential of zero-carbon offshore wind energy                    industrialised countries such as the European
                                                                          Union commit to seriously supporting developing
will help fight climate change up to and well beyond 2020.                countries to help them reduce their own emis-
Chris Rose spoke to Frauke Thies, EU renewables policy                    sions and also adapt to climate change.
                                                                              “Because without Europe and the industrial-
campaigner with Greenpeace, on her vision for the future of               ised countries making the first step and saying
the climate and the role wind energy has to play.                         these are the targets to reduce emissions and
                                                                          this is the money to support others to do a simi-
                                                                          lar thing, it’s not going to happen.”

                    E   uropeans are likely to accept a rapid
                        expansion of offshore wind power because
                    they are increasingly aware it can help mitigate
                                                                              She said wind power can play a major role in
                                                                          helping to reduce some of the worst aspects of
                                                                          climate change caused by 150 years of burning
                    serious environmental problems caused by global       fossil fuels since the global level of greenhouse
                    warming, said Thies, who works on EU renewable        gas emissions has to be reduced quickly.
                    energy policy issues.                                     “Global emissions have to peak by 2015 and
                       “The climate crisis is leading to more and more that means in industrialised countries such as
                    people supporting clean energy sources and wind       the EU, emissions have to go down rapidly, almost
                    energy is one of the cleanest choices available,”     immediately. And wind power is one of the tech-
                    Thies said. “It’s certainly one of the least disturb- nologies that is available today and it can provide
                    ing sources.”                                         clean power fast.”
                       While acknowledging that the onshore wind              Thies said she believes a new agreement can
Photo: Greenpeace   sector is a proven mature industry, Thies said        be reached in Copenhagen.
                    offshore wind still has to overcome a number of           “I do hope so because we absolutely need it.
                    significant obstacles before it can experience the    We have no more time to waste to take serious
                    same success.                                         climate action around the world.”
                       “First of all we need ap-                                                      She added, however,
                    propriate support policies,”                                                  that if a new agreement is
                    she said in September
                                                      “Without the industrialised not reached, nations and
                    while attending the Offshore          countries saying these                  regions like Europe still have
                    Wind 2009 conference in
                    Stockholm.
                                                                                                           climate
                                                        are the targets to reduce to takeand stick action at
                                                                                                  home              to ambitious
                       “Another thing is the grid       emissions and this is the targets to stop the rapid es-
                    connections which at this
                    time are a major bottleneck
                                                         money to support others calation of global warming.
                                                                                                      “In fact, the EU has to
                    so we need some serious              to do a similar thing, it’s increase its targets because
                    action there. And then of                                                     20% is not enough. On top
                    course we also need further
                                                            not going to happen.”                 of that, we need a further
                    research and development                                                      process internationally
                    measures to optimise the technology.”                 because even if Copenhagen does not come to a
                       One of two co-chairs at a session in Stockholm conclusion, we will need a conclusion at
                    dealing with wind power and environmental is-         some point.”
                    sues, she added that a dedicated transnational            Thies was also asked her view of the world
                    grid will help European offshore wind reach its       in 2050 and whether humankind will have finally
                    tremendous potential in an efficient manner.          beaten back the carbon monster when the popula-
                    Thies also said that a lot still needs to be done to tion is expected to reach nine billion.
                    achieve a post-Kyoto agreement in Copenhagen in           “Humankind can certainly do that because we
                    December.                                             have the possibilities and we have the clean en-
                       “At the moment the process is way too              ergy resources. Efficiency and renewable energy
                    slow. What needs to happen first is that the          could provide all of our energy by 2050.”


36                                                                                               WIND DIRECTIONS | December 2009

								
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