Archive for the ‘Wind’ Category

April 5, 2012 | 10:50 am

A Key Moment for Maryland and Offshore Wind

About five days ago, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a key bill supporting and incentivizing the creation of approximately 40 large wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. The House bill passed by 88 to 47. Now this bill is in the Maryland Senate Finance Committee.

At AREVA we are strong supporters and producers of offshore wind technologies, and see its huge potential in the American marketplace as a key energy and economic solution. We think this letter to the editor at the Washington Post shows a great deal of wisdom:

There are 49 offshore wind farms in Europe, zero in America. As wind farms are built along the Atlantic coast and economies of scale prevail, the price will come down significantly. And all this will happen as climate change intensifies, pushing governments to further hasten to phase out carbon fuels. So offshore wind — Maryland’s most abundant renewable resource — is a good bet. By investing now, we dramatically increase the chance our state will be a regional manufacturing hub for turbines and supply-chain parts as other states follow our lead.

The Maryland Senate is set to adjourn for the year next Monday, so it is a crucial time to advance the bill forward this year. Quoted in today’s Washington Post, Governor O’Malley summed up the current status of the Senate Bill, “We still have some persuading to do in the Senate committee.”

You can help. Online petitions for Marylanders to suport the bill are here, and follow the topic on Twitter using the hashtag #windworksforMD.

November 1, 2011 | 2:31 pm

TNR: “How Not to Go Green”

As we have noted before, we think there are important lessons to be learned from Germany’s efforts to phase out nuclear power. In the end, less nuclear seems to irrevocably lead to simply this: burning more fossil fuel, generating more carbon emissions and less energy independence.

The latest writer to notice this posted an article at The New Republic, “How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to be Mugged By Reality.

“Yet in bowing to the country’s strong anti-nuclear movement, Germany appears to have suddenly gone off track: Within the last year the country has gone from a net exporter of energy to a net importer, and the carbon intensity of the energy it purchases has risen as well. Now, with its energy politics in turmoil, Germany is serving as a very different sort of model for environmentalists: how not to go green.”

read more…

October 13, 2011 | 10:17 am

Two Must-read Stories on Offshore Wind

We saw two stories on offshore wind power that we’re “must-read” stories … First, this from the environmental blog CleanTechnica that notices a key new study on the potential for US offshore wind power.

Though well established and growing fast in Europe, offshore wind power has yet to get off the ground – or in the water – in the US. That’s despite the tremendous potential offshore wind holds in terms of supplying vast amounts of clean, renewable electricity to highly populated areas all along the US East, West, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes’ coasts.

Pike Research forecasts that investment in US offshore wind power will rise steeply over the next six years, with revenue reaching $104 billion by 2017. That’s a 56% constant annual growth rate (CAGR). They could reach as high as $130.5 billion under different assumptions incorporated in a “more aggressive scenario,” according to Pike Research’s “Offshore Wind Power” report.
Source: Clean Technica

The blog post continues, comparing the cost and benefit of offshore wind to other energy sources and concludes that “the US populace would continue to be ill-served if their government representatives do not establish fair, equitable support and incentives for developing a largely homegrown industry with such economic, social and environmental benefits and advantages.”

The full report from Pike Research is here.

Then there was also this from the Baltimore Sun, noting how Maryland is potentially a new venue for offshore wind, and is looking at exactly the type of energy questions for their power needs:

Advocates of developing offshore wind power have come to Baltimore this week with optimism that they’re creeping closer to putting the first turbines off the Atlantic coast, but worried that Washington could pull the plug on the fledgling industry just as it gets started.Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are scheduled to open a three-day conference put on by the American Wind Energy Association.

The future of offshore wind in Maryland may ride on what happens in the next several months, as lawmakers and O’Malley aides chew over whether to ask ratepayers to subsidize offshore turbines off Ocean City or off neighboring states. Lawmakers balked at the idea last winter, tabling it for furrther study. Supporters released a pair of polls this week suggesting that large majorities of Marylanders favor offshore wind and would even be willing to pay more ($2 a month, even) to get it going.

You can read the entire story on this here.

September 28, 2011 | 10:00 am

AREVA Hosts Offshore Wind Roundtable

by Steven Cuevas, Director of Business Development, AREVA Wind

During the recent RETECH conference in Washington, D.C., I was privileged to host offshore wind industry leaders in a robust and detailed roundtable discussion addressing the latest issues and challenges of offshore wind in the United States.

By including a range of international and domestic offshore wind perspectives, including developers, financiers, industry agencies, state government, turbine manufacturers, and consultants, the group’s discussion explored and brainstormed unique concepts for structuring effective business models and policy.
read more…

August 16, 2011 | 6:19 pm

3 Steps to Building a Wind Farm


Three steps to build a wind farm: Towers in the sea

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Published by


Take a closer look at renewable wind energy through the BBC’s science correspondent David Shukman’s ‘three step guide to the challenges, costs and construction of an offshore wind farm‘.

AREVA also plays a major role in offshore wind through the design, manufacture, assembly and commissioning of high-power wind turbines specially adapted for marine use, notably the M5000. In the summer of 2009, AREVA installed the first six of these M5000 turbines as part of the Alpha Ventus Project in the North Sea.

Click here to watch the video.

Posted in: Renewables, Wind | No Comments»
July 27, 2011 | 4:30 pm

FIELD REPORT from AREVA: Offshore Wind

Today, offshore wind farm operators require strong partners offering large turbines with enhanced reliability, proven track record, high-performance and cost-effective design for higher water depths and greater distance to shore.

Find out how AREVA is helping utilities to make offshore wind projects successful.

Learn more about AREVA’s M5000 wind turbine. It is the first 5 megawatt turbine made specifically for offshore wind farms and is designed to withstand the severe conditions of the marine environment.

You can also watch a video of the installation of these powerful turbines off the German coast in the North Sea.

July 22, 2011 | 2:03 pm

Spotlight: Germany’s nuclear exit will mean burning more fossil fuels

by Jarrett Adams

As Germany begins its trek toward shutting down its nuclear plants by 2022, it has to answer several questions about what effect this will have on the nation’s energy and environmental outlook. Some opponents to nuclear energy have stated that Germany’s plants, which until recently produced 24 percent of its electricity, will be picked up by expanding renewables. But, at least in the short term, much of this shortfall will be met by building new fossil fuel-fired plants.

In a recent piece, Guardian columnist George Monbiot wrote:

Germany’s promise to ditch nuclear power will produce an extra 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. In June Angela Merkel announced a possible doubling of the capacity of the coal and gas plants Germany will build in the next 10 years. Already Germany has been burning brown coal, one of the most polluting fuels on earth, to make up the shortfall.

In fact, the German chancellor has called for construction of 20 new fossil plants to replace the 17 nuclear plants until additional renewable capacity is available. According to Der Spiegel, a portion of funds originally directed for investment in renewables “has now been earmarked to subsidize the construction of new coal-fired power plants.”

Part of Germany’s solution will be to replace the electricity supplied by nuclear energy with renewable generation. We applaud the intent to build more renewable generation – AREVA has built six offshore wind turbines off the German coast and, with a production facility in Bremerhaven, working to developing many more. As these renewable sources cannot supply all of the power yet, the German energy demand will have to be supplemented through coal and natural gas. This increased dependence, mostly imported from Russia, has other drawbacks besides producing more greenhouse gas emissions.

Some recent articles have highlighted how Russian industry is positioning to help Germany with its transition away from nuclear energy, including the Voice of Russia. Last week an article plainly titled “Germany to renounce nuclear energy, Gazprom is ready to help,” detailed the new partnership between Gazprom and German utility RWE to build coal and gas fired plants in the country.

Blogger Rod Adams has written an interesting post on the Energy Collective examining Russia’s stake in the German nuclear phaseout.

Other analyses have pointed out that even if Germany meets its objective to phase out nuclear energy, it will not meet the supply the nuclear plants had provided with renewables. According to an insightful post from the Breakthrough Institute:

To fully replace nuclear power with renewable energy, the country would have to scale renewable energy to provide over 42.4% of the country’s projected 2020 electricity demand, a substantial increase from the 17% of electricity demand renewable energy provided in 2010, and far greater than the country’s goal of 35% of electricity demand in 2020. In terms of non-hydro renewables, that’s an increase of 2.6 times today’s levels.

The German people have the right to choose their energy sources, including deciding against nuclear energy. But this is not necessarily the trend. Many other countries understand the constant, low-carbon energy generated by nuclear plants and are moving forward aggressively with new nuclear plants, including China, which now has some 25 plants under construction, and India and the United Kingdom.

July 8, 2011 | 5:08 pm

Quote of the Day on U.S. Offshore Wind Power

Greentech media covers Jim Lanard, President of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, testimony before a House of Representatives subcommittee. Some key quotes:

“Yet in the United States, no offshore wind farms have been built,” Lanard said. That, however, is about to change … In 2010, eight offshore wind developers bid to lease land on the outer continental shelf [OCS] off the coast of Maryland … Ten offshore wind developers bid in the leasing process for federal waters off Massachusetts and eleven put in bids for the OCS off New Jersey.”

The article also suggests the offshore wind industry is at a key tipping point:

It looks very much like the U.S. offshore wind industry is about to achieve the scale it needs to boom. “Economies of scale can be achieved for offshore wind,” Lanard said, because they are ready to make a technological leap. Several offshore wind developers have reported that they plan to propose wind farms scaled at 1,100 megawatts each.” And, Lanard said, “The standard going forward will be five-, six- and seven-megawatt turbines.”

From AREVA’s perspective as a 5 MW offshore wind turbine manufacturer, the article is definitely worth checking out, do read the whole thing.

June 29, 2011 | 11:44 am

AREVA and Iberdrola Partner for French Offshore Wind Bid

Iberdrola Renewables and AREVA have signed a preliminary agreement to develop offshore wind projects in France following the government’s announcement of a plan to reach a 6 GW target by 2020. The partners will compete for two of the country’s five offshore zones offered in a first phase of bidding.

Under the terms of the agreement, AREVA will be sole supplier of the turbines that will equip the offshore farms to be developed by Iberdrola Renewables.

“AREVA is fully committed to develop an ambitious wind offshore industry in France bringing its industry leading operational experience in 5MW-class wind turbines. The partnership with Iberdrola, a major renewable global player, is a key step in our European development and offers a tremendous opportunity for our global industrial and economical expansion,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO of AREVA Renewables.

AREVA previously announced it will partner with GDF Suez and construction group Vinci to bid on the other three zones off the coast of France. “AREVA is actively exploring potential opportunities for offshore wind projects on the U.S. East Coast,” said Steven Cuevas, Director of Offshore Wind Business Development at AREVA.

AREVA is a major player in the offshore wind industry. Its successful M5000 turbine won 600 MW of orders confirming the industry’s confidence in the group’s field-proven technology. By the end of 2013, an installed base of over 120 new turbines will be in operation in Europe.

June 14, 2011 | 3:54 pm

What’s in a Gigawatt of Offshore Wind Power?

By Steven Cuevas,
Director of Business Development – Offshore Wind AREVA Renewables Inc.

It’s more than just jobs – though thousands of manufacturing jobs per installed gigawatt is a powerful incentive. And it’s more than powering hundreds of thousands of American homes with a carbon-free renewable resource.

In the same way ripples expand across a still pond well after tossing in a rock, developing and supporting gigawatts of offshore wind power with a regional manufacturing hub generates an expanding ripple of educated workforces, advancing technology, and investments in future-facing industries.

In an interesting twist completely appropriate for the novel workings of the developing U.S. offshore wind industry, the ripples are spreading before even a single offshore turbine foundation hits the water.

The University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration Offshore Wind section has been sparking students’ creativity and research since 2005.

Likewise, the University of Maine will start offering a Master of Science in Renewable Energy and the Environment in 2011, and an undergraduate minor in Deepwater Wind Energy. It already has people and Op-Eds talking:

Now, Maine stands positioned to become a national leader in offshore wind, in part because of the state’s support of the research and development at the University of Maine under the leadership of Professor Habib Dagher, a rare visionary among Maine business leaders.

Institutions like these are not waiting for the policymakers to catch up, they’re pushing ahead and educating a ready and capable workforce of skilled researchers, designers, and leaders to explore and define the shape of the new U.S. offshore wind industry.

Advancing Technology
From the business perspective, the visionaries are already looking beyond placing steel in U.S. waters and planning to tap the potential of this unique manufacturing and design capability. Though, the U.S. currently lags far behind European markets, part of the American fabric of business is to recognize and seize opportunities, and then lead development expansion. I’m sure enterprising U.S. companies are starting to understand the market potential experienced by European firms supporting the hundreds-of-million-dollar offshore wind farms going up in the North Sea.

But business is more than just objects, it’s also concepts and contracts. I expect that once the U.S. industry gets a few projects under our collective belt, we’ll continue pushing into the next generation of offshore wind technology. As the U.S. continues advancing the technological edge, the world will again look to American market champions for innovative global leadership.

Step to the Future
Even less clear, but perhaps more important is the idea that investing in offshore wind power is investing in tomorrow’s clean energy technology, and not yesterday’s industrial revolution. As that same editorial in the states about the potential in Maine,

Nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind power is already installed or being permitted on land, and the offshore potential is much greater.

We don’t need to embrace pie-in-the-sky to see that this could not only provide moderate-cost electricity for Maine, but could spawn a major new manufacturing industry employing 5,000 people or more — the first on that scale since the heyday of the paper mills.

Offshore wind power shifts the perspective from a carbon-choking environmental shrug to a positive legacy in the eyes of our young New Energy Generation.

Sure it’s jobs and electricity, but the U.S. offshore wind industry will also power education, innovation, investing and environmental advancements.

Who knew that a gigawatt could be so powerful?