Posts tagged with: wind power

Germany’s Enercon will supply turbines to two Scottish wind farms under development by RWE npower renewables, a subsidiary of Germany energy firm RWE.

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In a bid to find a solution to the energy crisis facing their country, Pakistani delegates have met in the UK as part of an alternative energy drive which has been necessitated by a fear of dependence on fossil fuels. During their visit to the UK, the Pakistani group toured various successful renewable energy projects around the country and consulted specialists in order to find possible viable alternatives to fossil fuels which have proved not only dirty, but also expensive and precarious in the region.

Arif Allauddin, Chief Executive of Alternative Energy Development Board who led the delegation on the four day visit highlighted both the need for investment and a need for foreign specialist help in developing a successful Pakistani renewable energy program. After visiting a wind farm near Glasgow, Allauddin asserted that for Pakistan, wind energy represents the best alternative to fossil fuels and that the Pakistani government has already set aside large swathes of land for the construction of turbines between Karachi and Hyderabad.

The Pakistani Alternative Energy Development Board has been keen to highlight the fact that renewable investment in their country offers very attractive returns, using the current example of a Turkish company apparently already generating power wind power in Thatta. The UK government, having already passed the Energy Bill in November of last year, has provisions that will consolidate and help attract further investment in renewables in this country. The proposed feed-in tariff, set to be introduced in 2010 will entice investors by guaranteeing a fixed rate for energy fed in to the national grid from green sources. The Pakistani delegation claims that their government is taking similar measures in order to attract UK investors in to their renewable market.

Having already been impressed by some of the renewable operations currently producing power in the UK, Allauddin made clear the fact that Pakistan will, sometime in the near future have to start generating a far greater percentage of its megawatts from renewable sources if it is to protect itself from any future fossil fuel crises.

Although slowing somewhat in the past year, the renewable energy expanded despite the global credit crunch especially in the sector of solar, wind and geothermal investment. According to the World Wind Energy Association around 12,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity were installed in 2008 along with 9,740 megawatts of Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy power generation potential. The geothermal sector saw a further 6,000 megawatts of capacity installed and it is believed that 2009 will see added expansion.

To oversee this expansion, The Renewable Energy Industry Agency (IRENA) has been established as a multi-national agency dedicated to the growth the renewable sector. It is hoped that the agency will help energy companies invest in renewable plant and increase investment in green technology. Similarly, they will be hoping to develop an awareness of renewable energy solutions in developing nations. Sigmar Gabriel, the German Environment Minister stated that,

“IRENA will help to remove the many obstacles which up to now have delayed the rapid expansion of renewables. The market is still distorted by subsidies for conventional energies, technological know-how is inadequate, information is not always correct.”

Last Monday in Bonn saw the inaugural IRENA conference, attended by over 120 delegates of a number of nations, such as Germany, Spain, Denmark, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kenya (all the founder members).

Although the agency is conspicuously missing the membership of such countries as Australia, China, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, its original founder members are more than happy with the uptake in participation thus far and are confident that the other major industrial nations will be brought on board eventually. Indeed, a British representative of the Department for Energy and Climate change who was present at the conference was quoted in the Guardian as saying,

“We are certainly supportive and are interested in joining, but we need to make sure that what we’re joining has the right focus. There needs to be more focus on the deployment of renewables rather than just talking policy and issuing papers. And there needs to be a wider membership.”

In a bid to differentiate itself from it’s neighbours and other OPEC states, Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi has asserted that at least 7% of its energy production will come from photovoltaic sources by 2020.

Having already vaunted itself as a possible headquarter location for the planned International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Arab state is looking towards a solar future believing that once its fossil fuel resources are expended, viable alternatives will be essential. Currently, Abu Dhabi has around 8% of all global oil reserves and relies heavily on this resource as its major export. Unlike some of its neighbouring states, Abu Dhabi is looking to diversify both its economy and means of energy production as a means of protecting itself against the eventuality of exhausting their current oil reserves.

A spokesman for the Middle-Eastern state was quoted as saying,

“Many [Opec members] see renewables as a threat but the crown prince sees them as an opportunity. He [The Crown Prince] knows that the oil will eventually run out and he wants to ensure there is something left for future generations”.

The move towards solar energy in Abu Dhabi is being led by a private company, Masdar. Masdar hopes to build a completely carbon neutral city in Abu Dhabi using not only solar but also geothermal and wind power. The Masdar group is also making great strides to develop relationships with the west having already invested in British Energy company E.On and achieving the patronage of Prince Charles.