Record $30bn year for offshore wind but overall investment down

Chinese slowdown and falling costs of solar power were two of the reasons global clean energy investment fell 18% in dollar terms last year

Giant Wind Turbines Now At Eight Megawatts, And Getting Larger

Peter Kelly-Detwiler for Forbes:  News arrived in late December from the waters off the United Kingdom that the first of MHI Vestas (a joint venture between Vests and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) 8.0 megawatt (MW) turbines is now delivering commercial power to Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension. The entire 258 MW project – to be completed in Q1 of 2017 - will need only 32 such turbines. This is a significant milestone, as wind turbines have become increasingly more powerful over a relatively short timeframe. This 8 MW machine is currently the largest commercial turbine in the world. Less than ten years ago, at the original Burbo Bank project, a 3.6 MW turbine was inaugurated, the largest in the industry at the time.  Cont'd...

Offshore wind energy near the Big Apple draws intense bidding

An auction for the rights to develop a wind farm in federal waters starting 12 miles off Long Island, N.Y., shattered records today. After 33 rounds and more than a day of bidding, Statoil emerged as the winner with a bid of nearly $42.5 million.

First US offshore wind farm unlocks vast new ocean energy resource

America's first offshore wind farm began generating electricity today in the waters near Block Island, Rhode Island, opening a new frontier for American energy production. By continuing to tap into abundant offshore wind resources here at home, more clean, reliable electricity can power American homes and businesses while creating well-paying jobs.

Offshore wind energy system combines sea water and wind to create electricity

Megan Treacy for TreeHugger:  We've seen our share of interesting wind power designs, but often the technology can't come anywhere close to matching what the traditional horizontal axis wind turbines can do. There's a reason that when we think of wind energy, we think of giant masts with rotating blades and it's because that design is incredibly effective -- just look at Scotland and other areas around the world that now get a majority of their electricity needs from wind power.

The design isn't without its flaws; those rotating blades do pose a hazard to birds and bats and the cost of manufacturing and installing all of those giant parts can be expensive. When it comes to offshore wind power in the U.S., that has been a major roadblock. The energy generation potential is huge, but so is the cost.

An energy start-up company called Accio Energy -- yes, a Harry Potter reference -- thinks it has a solution to that problem, one that will generate as much if not more energy from offshore wind than a traditional wind turbine, but at half the cost. There are no moving parts, instead Accio's technology consists of large permeable panels on masts that let the ocean winds blow right through.  Cont'd...

Government support for offshore wind creates massive economic opportunity for Britain

RenewableUK says today's Government announcement of the next round of competitive auctions to support offshore wind will provide a boost for British industry.

New York set for offshore wind after environmental review

Daniel J. Graeber fro UPI:  Areas off the New York coast will be open for offshore wind energy bidders, but some area is reserved because of ecological concerns, the U.S. government said.

The U.S. Interior Department, in coordination with its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said it would open 79,350 acres off the coast of New York up for a commercial wind energy lease sale. About 1,780 acres was removed because of environmental concerns associated with a subsea feature known as the Cholera Bank.

"In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures," an Interior Department stated read. "As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the proposed sale notice."  Cont'd...

Falling Costs and Tech Innovations Will Drive Offshore Wind Power Boom

Offshore wind could grow more than 650% by 2030, becoming a key power generation technology

MA & BOEM Release Marine Wildlife Studies to Guide Offshore Wind Development

State and federal officials today released a pair of marine wildlife studies on the presence of endangered whale, turtle and bird species to inform federal offshore wind development permitting processes.

Europe's offshore wind industry booming as costs fall

The Guardian:  On a sunny October morning, our boat passes the run-down relicts of Liverpool’s maritime past and heads down the river Mersey and into the Irish Sea. As we steam offshore, I see in the distance a cluster of tall structures that soon reveal themselves to be towers of a wind turbine array. Arriving at the windfarm, six miles offshore, the turbines rise as high as 650ft, taller than the tallest church in the world. Each of the turbines’ three shiny metallic rotor blades is nearly 300ft long.

“A single rotation of an eight-megawatt turbine will cover the daily electricity consumption of an average British household,” says Benj Sykes, vice president of Dong Energy Wind Power, the company that is constructing and co-owns this wind project, as the boat rocks in five-foot swells.  Cont'd...

Labor Leaders Tour America's First Offshore Wind Project, See More Jobs Over Horizon

Labor leaders from across New England, New York, and along the Atlantic coast today toured Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, getting a first-hand look at America's first offshore wind turbines and hearing how the project has already created over 300 local jobs. Sen. Jack Reed (R-DI) also joined the tour, organized by Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, BlueGreen Alliance, and National Wildlife Federation.

ABB and Aibel to Partner on Offshore Wind Connections

Aibel to take turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction responsibility for offshore platforms ABB to focus on delivering core high voltage direct current technology

Offshore Wind Capacity Reached Nearly 12 GW by the End of 2015, According to Navigant Research

Key markets include Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and China, report finds

Siemens to build offshore wind project with innovative foundations and cable systems

-Gravity jacket concept for cost-efficient foundations -First offshore installation of SWT-7.0-154 wind turbine including 66kV transformer, cable and switchgear -Cable in pipe for cost-efficient cable systems

Think Wind Power Is Cheap Now? Wait Until 2030

Katherine Tweed for GreenTechMedia:  In many parts of the world, wind power is cheap. That is particularly true in the U.S., where onshore wind already rivals the cost of natural gas in some regions.

But wind power will likely get even cheaper, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published in Nature Energy, with contributions from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, and participants in the International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Program.

The study surveyed more than 160 wind experts across the globe. Many had deep expertise in very specific regions, but the overall findings were similar: The cost of wind will continue to come down through 2030.

There are significant variations in the current costs for wind by region, but researchers "found a considerable amount of agreement” in overall reductions as a percentage of that total cost, said lead author Ryan Wiser, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab.  Cont'd...

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