Features for January 2009

Features Archive

Recycling wind Recycling wind

With a booming wind energy industry, the question is now arising of how to deal with end-of-life turbines, and particularly the blades made of hard-to-recycle composites. Kari Larsen investigates possible routes for the recycling of wind turbine blades.

Economic stimulus in the USA Economic stimulus in the USA

Things appear to be moving fast in Washington, as President Obama already seems to be living up to his promise of supporting renewable energy development. But do those in the industry think his policies will work?

Wind turbine downtime and the O&M team

Could extended periods of wind turbine downtime be not just a problem of faulty turbines, rather on occasion also be down to the lack of expertise – and poor attitude – of wind turbine Operation and Maintenance (O&M) teams themselves?

Integrating renewables into US utility portfolios Integrating renewables into US utility portfolios

One of the most vexing challenges facing US utilities in integrating more renewable energy sources into their energy portfolios can be summed up in two words: improving transmission...

A long way to COP 15 A long way to COP 15

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)'s Steve Sawyer takes stock of the achievements and failures of COP 14 in Poznan, and looks at what needs to be done before COP 15 in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

Renewable energy rising in Chile

Looking to reduce dependence on imported energy and diversify the sources feeding the main power grid, Chile’s interest in harnessing renewable energies has grown significantly over the last year. A major conference in Santiago tackled the barriers to energy independence, reports Colin Bennett.

How can the offshore wind industry overcome O&M obstacles?

Working in the offshore wind industry presents many challenges for companies, especially in dealing with operation and maintenance (O&M) challenges in harsh ocean conditions. So what approaches should be taken, asks Matthew Jackson?

Emissions trading: for better or for worse

Bill Eggertson looks at a number of hiccups in the Emissions Trading System (ETS) that must be overcome to ease the way for renewables.

Hydrogen production from renewables Hydrogen production from renewables

If we are to have a sustainable transportation infrastructure that includes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, we must produce the energy carrier-hydrogen- in large quantities from clean, non-fossil energy sources, and that means from renewables. So exactly what options do we have to put us onto the clean hydrogen path and what challenges need to be overcome along the way?

Harnessing geography for European wind Harnessing geography for European wind

What's the best place for a wind farm? Not just any old hillside or "somewhere offshore". Deciding where to site a wind farm involves a range of criteria that can be termed “location intelligence”. This concept is playing a growing role in the planning, design and siting of European wind farms, says Justin Saunders.

Siemens Wind Power: a profile

The Siemens wind power business is a force to be reckoned with. Active in the wind industry for 25 years, it has 5600 employees (within an energy division employing 73,500) and 7800 of its wind turbines have been installed worldwide. CEO Andreas Nauen talks about the company's plans for the future.

Wind turbine innovation at the British Wind Energy Association BWEA30 event

Technical innovation in wind energy is alive and well, as evidenced at the British Wind Energy Association's 30th anniversary show in London, late last year. It seems that the prevailing three-blade "propeller on a stick" wind turbine model may not still be dominant 2 or 3 decades from now. So, if you're interested in which innovators are challenging the prevailing model, read on..

Full steam ahead for Photovoltaics in US homes? Full steam ahead for Photovoltaics in US homes?

The US congress finally voted to extend and enhance tax credits for some renewables, notably solar. But will this provide the boost that the residential sector in the USA has been waiting for? Mark Bolinger, Galen Barbose and Ryan Wiser, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, consider the implications of the legislation for existing incentives.

The Obama Administration: prospects for alternative energy

Few expected an unknown first-term senator to become a US presidential candidate, much less be elected in November 2008. Despite this remarkable achievement, many wonder whether winning was the easy part. Don C Smith, US Policy correspondent for Renewable Energy Focus, considers Barack Obama's election and looks in depth at what the new administration may mean for the alternative energy sector.

Can the solar photovoltaic industry beat the economic downturn? Can the solar photovoltaic industry beat the economic downturn?

Not only has the US extended the ITC (Federal Tax incentive) for 8 years and removed the utility exemption so that utilities can now participate, but other countries are taking their own significant steps to boost solar. Is the time right for the photovoltaic (PV) industry-with its technologies still a small part of the global energy mix- to show further dramatic growth? Or will the financial crisis prove difficult to ride out in the short term?