Wind as Energy. Is there any real profit in this business?

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gpc_don's picture

Acciona nets US wind power assets

 Why do the Spanish seem to be more developed in Wind investments. I am seeing this all over Europe. Can some one explain? Also who are the real leading companies?
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Thu Jun 28, 1:17 PM ET
 

Spanish construction firm Acciona, the world's largest wind power developer, said Thursday it has won exclusive rights to develop 1300 megawatts (MW) of wind assets in the US states of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Acciona acquired projects from EcoEnergy, LLC, an alternative energy solutions developer and unit of The Morse Group and sees the Spanish firm shore-up expansion in North America as a long-term owner and operator of wind developments and renewable energy solutions.
The firm did not disclose the financial details of the deal.
Acciona said it plans to install approximately 150 MW in 2008 from its US pipeline, a development it said would help Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional electric generation facilities.
Acciona said it would be supplying its own wind turbines for the development projects from its new U.S. production facility in Iowa.
"We are very excited to collaborate with Acciona on providing wind energy solutions to local communities in which we have been operating for more than 63 years," Acciona quoted Shawn Gaffney, president of EcoEnergy, LLC as saying.
"We feel this is an excellent time to integrate the latest in wind energy technology with the need for new local career opportunities in this fast-growing new industry.
Peter Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America, said the deal "fits extremely well with the addition of our wind turbine manufacturing facility in Iowa and leveraging the local support for wind energy in the Midwest.
"Wind power creates a strong value proposition by providing clean energy; stable, long-term energy costs; and local economic development through the creation of jobs and the payment of property taxes."
Acciona noted it had recently begun construction of its first wind turbine manufacturing plant in the United States, located in West Branch, Iowa.
Due for completion by year's end, the plant will supply turbines for Acciona wind farms throughout North America.
The West Branch facility will be Acciona's fourth wind turbine assembly plant with two already onstream in Spain and one in China.
Acciona Energy is the largest wind developer in the world with a portfolio of 4,653 megawatts installed in 173 wind farms in 10 countries.

gpc_don's picture

GE Energy Provides 39 Wind Turbines For Two Projects In Poland

Must be big money in this ...check this out!! Can anyone explain the business and profit formula for these projects?
WARSAW, POLAND - June 15, 2007 :- GE Energy has supplied 39 wind turbines for two new wind farms in northern Poland that will add a total of 58.5 megawatts of wind power capacity to the country's electricity grid.
Wind Farm Kisielice, near the city of Grudziadz, consists of 27 GE Energy 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. In terms of the number of erected turbines, Kisielice is Poland's biggest wind energy project to date. Wind Farm Malbork, near the city of Malbork, includes 12 of GE's 1.5-megawatt machines.
The Kisielice project currently is in the commissioning phase, and 26 of the wind turbines have entered operation. The Malbork project is still under construction.
The power from the new projects will be purchased by Energa, a utility in northern Poland. Both projects are being developed by Iberdrola Energia Odnawialna, a Polish company owned by the Spanish energy company Iberdrola.
These are GE's first projects with 1.5-megawatt turbines in Poland and it is also the first time GE and Iberdrola have teamed up on wind projects in Poland. One of the world's leading private electric utilities, Iberdrola operates in generation, transmission, distribution and marketing of electricity, with services reaching 16 million customers.
The wind turbines for the Kisielice and Malbork projects were manufactured at GE Energy's Salzbergen, Germany facilities. To date, more than 6,000 GE 1.5-megawatt machines have been installed for projects worldwide.
"We are excited that Iberdrola selected our technology to support its first renewable project in Poland," said Rod Christie, President GE Energy Central & Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS. "We have been working with wind power developers in Poland for some time now, but these projects mark what we believe is the start of increased activity in Poland as the country drives towards meeting its renewable targets."
According to the European Wind Energy Association, Poland had 142 megawatts of installed wind capacity at the end of June 2006. Forecasts by BTM Consult indicate that up to 550 megawatts of wind power could be installed in the country by the end of 2009.
"We believe Poland will continue to grow its renewable generation capacity over the next 5-10 years, and GE Energy is well positioned to provide reliable and efficient technology to support any project. The Polish electricity industry is going to be an exciting place over the next 10 years," Christie said.
In addition to the supply of the wind turbines, GE Energy provided erection, commissioning and maintenance services for the Kisielice and Malbork projects.
GE's wind turbine technology is a key component of ecomagination, the company's corporate-wide initiative to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2006 revenue of $19 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels. Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE's corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
For more information, contact:
Frank Farnel
GE Energy
+33-3-8459-1116
frank.farnel@ge.com

Ken Darling or Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
+1-518-786-6488
kenneth.darling@ge.com
howard.masto@ge.com

gpc_don's picture

Can household windmills make money for you?

 
Does anyone have more up todate information about his topic and broken down by country?
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Household windmills are becoming quite the fashion, apparently, but can they make money?
Domestic wind turbines have been described as "the new handbags" - the latest luxury items craved by those who want to be first to try new technology.
But this description overlooks their green credentials, because electricity powered by the elements does not emit CO2, which is blamed for global warming.
And there are also the financial motivations.
A household with a windmill can save money on bills and sell excess electricity back to the national grid. So could wind turbines become a nice little earner?

CAN YOU USE WIND?

Talk to neighbours and the council about planning issues
Check local windspeeds (use the BWEA website)
Shop around - do you want a roof-mounted or garden one?
Chat to manufacturers before buying

Source: BWEA

 

They are certainly on the increase - 7,000 households have been given grants to get the turbines installed.
A report this week by the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable envisages a future where households generate their electricity at home, using wind, solar and heat energy - but only if the government bought panels and turbines in large quantities for public buildings, so costs fall.
"Then we could all afford them," says Alan Knight, the group's chairman. "To install a generator or solar panel today you need specialist help. You should be able to buy one at B&Q and stick it in yourself."
Turbines come in a range of sizes, prices and powers, and living close to neighbours can make planning permission problematic.
Fickle weather
David Nisbet put up a 6kw turbine in his Essex garden in May, after overcoming 22 planning objections from neighbours about noise and visual impact. It is 11.5m high to the tip of the blade and it cost him £10,000, plus a £5,000 grant.
His motivation was both financial and environmental and he was inspired by seeing two windmills at the Ford plant where he works.
Although he says the concerns of others have been allayed, the first few months haven't been as windy as he hoped.

NISBET'S WINDMILL

Cost: £10,000 plus £5,000 grant
Life: Blades will last 20 years, magnets in generator 20 years, steel tower and foundations 60 years
Location: 15m from his house, 35m from neighbours
Height: 11.5m

"In the last eight to 10 years we've had strong south-westerly winds but not this year," he says. "It's been fickle and I'd put this six months down as a lean year.
"It's been generating electricity but not as much as I had hoped for. It's connected to the grid and any surplus flows back into the grid."
The wind provided 80% of his electricity in the summer and he estimates it will heat the house through winter, thereby saving him a total of £1,000 a year in heating bills. In 10 years, he hopes to have paid off his investment, but he will still have been buying electricity from the grid during that time.
It isn't possible to be totally dependent on wind because it doesn't blow every minute, says Alison Hill at the British Wind Energy Association.
"You may get the 4-5,000 units a year to run a household but not every single hour of every day so you would need to have standard electricity grid connection to get electricity from the grid.
"We are quite lucky in the UK because when we have most wind we have most demand - winter. That profile of generation is quite beneficial, but no-one can have 100% self-sufficiency on wind alone.
"If it looks like you have a big wind resource and a good turbine, you can connect that turbine to the grid and sell that, so there's an additional revenue for householders there.

WHO, WHAT, WHY?

A regular feature in the BBC News Magazine - aiming to answer some of the questions behind the headlines

"Typically, a household sees a reduction of between a quarter and a third in its annual electricity bill."
Solar panels can supplement wind to boost a home's renewable sources but some households do claim to make a profit purely from wind, by generating so much electricity that the amount they sell back is greater than the amount they buy.
That would require a very energy-efficient house and living in a particularly windy part of the UK, says Ms Hill.
And the future is bright - despite the end of government grants in February - because big companies like British Gas are investing in new kinds of turbines which have yet to come on the market, she adds.

gpc_don's picture

Wind Power for Residential homes - Some straight answers

How do residential wind turbines work?

A wind turbine, which is installed on top of a tall tower, collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with a home's electrical system.
In a normal residential application, a home is served simultaneously by the wind turbine and a local utility. If the wind speeds are below cut-in speed (7-10 mph) there will be no output from the turbine and all of the needed power is purchased from the utility. As wind speeds increase, turbine output increases and the amount of power purchased from the utility is proportionately decreased. When the turbine produces more power than the house needs, the extra electricity is sold to the utility. All of this is done automatically. There are no batteries in a modern residential wind system.
Small wind systems for remote applications operate somewhat differently.
 

TOP
Will a small wind turbine save me money?
The wind turbine typically lowers your electricity bill by 50 to 90 percent. It is not uncommon for wind turbine owners with total-electric homes to have monthly utility bills of only $8 to $15 for nine months of the year. In northern parts of the country where less air conditioning is used the bills can be very low year-round. The amount of money a small wind turbine saves you in the long run will depend upon its cost, the amount of electricity you use, the average wind speed at your site, and other factors.
What size turbine would I need for my home?
Homes use approximately 9,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year (about 780 kWh per month). Depending upon the average wind speed in the area, a wind turbine rated in the range of 5 to 15 kilowatts would be required to make a significant contribution to meet this demand.
 
Who should consider buying a wind turbine?
A residential wind turbine can be a relatively large device and is not suitable for urban or small-lot suburban homes. Except for very small wind turbines (i.e., with rotors one meter or less in diameter) on very small towers, a property size of one acre or more is desirable.
The economics of a wind system are very sensitive to the average wind speed in the area, and to a lesser extent, the cost of purchasing electricity. As a general rule of thumb, if economics are a concern, a turbine owner should have at least a 10 mph average wind speed and be paying at least 10 cents/kWh for electricity.
Residential wind turbines have been installed in at least 47 of the 50 states, but the majority of the units have been installed in the Northeast and the Midwest.
Will it help the environment if I install a wind turbine at my home?
Yes. Wind turbines produce no pollution and by using wind power you will be offsetting pollution that would have been generated by your utility company. Over its life, a small residential wind turbine can offset approximately 1.2 tons of air pollutants and 200 tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and other gases which cause climate change).
Don't I have to take wind measurements for a year or more?
For most residential systems the cost of taking wind measurements is not justified. Wind resource data published by the U.S. Department of Energy is sufficient for an experienced evaluator to predict wind turbine performance. In very hilly or mountainous areas, however, it may be best to collect wind data before purchasing a system to ensure that your site is not in a sheltered area.
TOP
Do wind turbines make noise or interfere with TV reception?
Small wind turbines do make some noise, but not enough to be found objectionable by most people. A typical residential wind system makes less noise than the average washing machine. Wind turbines do not interfere with TV reception.
Will my utility allow me to hook up a wind generator?
Federal regulations (specifically, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA) require utilities to connect with and purchase power from small (less than 80 MW) wind energy systems. A wind turbine manufacturer should be able to help arrange the required utility company approvals.
See State-by-State small wind information for lists of interconnection requirements for many U.S. states.
Will I have to change any of the wiring in my house?
No. A wind turbine is easily retrofitted to virtually any home without the need to change any wiring or appliances. In most cases, the utility will install a second utility meter to measure how much surplus electricity it is purchasing from the turbine owner.
What about towers?
An 80- to 120-foot tower is usually supplied along with the wind turbine. Towers this tall are necessary to raise the wind turbine above turbulence generated by obstacles on the ground and trees. Wind velocity and, therefore wind turbine performance, increases with altitude. Several different types of towers are available, depending upon which manufacturer you select. Each type has its advantages; the most economical type of tower is the guyed lattice tower, but a hinged tower can be easier for you to install yourself and provides easier access for maintenance.
TOP
How much does a wind system cost?
A small turbine can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $22,000 installed, depending upon size, application and service agreements with the manufacturer.
How reliable are wind turbines? Will I have to perform much maintenance?
Most small turbines have very few moving parts and do not require any regular maintenance. They are designed for a long life (up to 20 years) and operate completely automatically.
How do wind turbines perform as an investment?
The wind system will usually recoup its investment through utility savings within six to 15 years and after that the electricity it produces will be virtually free. Over the long term, a wind turbine is a good investment because a well-sited wind system increases property value, similar to any other home improvement. Many people buy wind systems in preparation for their retirement because they don't want to be subject to unpredictable increases in utility rates.
TOP
How would I have a wind turbine installed at my home?
Most dealers offer either complete turnkey (ready-to-operate) installations or the option to purchase direct from the factory and install the system yourself. The first option offers more customer support from the company. Self-installation offers significant savings and a hands-on understanding of the turbine. Prospective owners can discuss the options available with manufacturers to decide which method best suits their budget and technical skills.
What are the companies that sell wind turbines?
Small Wind Turbine Manufacturers List
See the AWEA Publications Catalog for books and videos.

gpc_don's picture

BP and Shell take major roles in WIND BUSINESS

Two oil giants plunge into the wind business
Shell, BP intend to play major role
By John Donnelly, Globe Staff  |  March 2, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Two of the world's leading oil producers have almost overnight joined some of the biggest players in wind power in the United States, accelerating a trend of large corporations investing in the rapidly growing alternative-energy field.
As global warming and clean fuels have gained more attention, Shell Oil Co. and BP have accumulated impressive credentials. Shell is one of the nation's top five generators of wind power, while BP's Alternative Energy group -- launched 16 months ago -- aims to develop projects that produce 550 megawatts of electricity this year, one-sixth of the projected US wind energy output in 2007.
"Shell and BP see wind as an increasingly important part of the energy industry. They are looking to continue to grow," said Randall Swisher , executive director of the American Wind Energy Association , a Washington-based industry group. "They want to look for new opportunities, and wind is clearly in their sights."
The oil companies bring enormous cash reserves, years of experience in large projects, and a can-do spirit to an alternative-fuels industry that has largely been driven by speculators, small developers, and utilities. Though environmentalists largely praise the interests of the two oil giants, they harbor suspicions of whether the energy giants are adding renewable sources to their portfolios as a way to enhance their reputations with consumers rather than to combat global warming.
BP and Shell executives acknowledged that their investments in wind -- and to a lesser extent solar power -- may enhance their public images, but said their primary goal is to make money and reduce their companies' carbon outputs, if only slightly. Scientists have identified carbon dioxide gases as the leading contributor to global warming, a phenomenon that threatens to progressively increase the temperature of the planet.
Graeme Sweeney , Shell's executive vice president for renewables, hydrogen, and CO{-2} , said most forecasts predict that by 2050, renewable energy will make up a third of the world's power sources.
"We need to take a position on whether you wait to see what happens or whether you play. We'd like to play," Sweeney said in an interview. "We see a clear opportunity in the wind business. "
The United States is third in the world in wind power production behind Germany and Spain, the historic leaders, although in 2006 the United States created the most wind power in the world: 2,454 megawatts, enough electricity to power nearly 700,000 homes.
Robert Lukefahr , president of BP Alternative Energy North America , said all trends point toward a "more carbon-constrained world. The concerns about climate control are rising. Energy security issues will cause many communities to seek indigenous supplies of energy."
With 41 percent of US carbon dioxide emissions coming from power plants -- coal-fired plants by far produce the most greenhouse gases -- renewable energy must become a larger part of the power mix, Lukefahr said.
"All the stars are aligning in a way that supports alternative energy," he said.
Some environmentalists oppose wind power, concerned that the clusters of giant turbines used to produce it could threaten birds and bats. They also consider wind farms to be eyesores planted on near-pristine landscapes.
Opponents of the Cape Wind project -- a plan to build several 417-foot-high turbines off the coast of Cape Cod -- as well as projects planned for the tall-grass prairies in Kansas and the ridgetops of Vermont and New Hampshire, cite aesthetics as one of the major drawbacks of wind power.
Tom Natan , research director of the National Environmental Trust , a Washington-based advocacy group, said he believes that wind power's benefits outweigh the negatives and that the involvement of heavyweights such as BP and Shell -- regardless of their motives -- is necessary to accelerate development of wind power.
"Some people fear it will be used to green-wash [the oil companies'] reputation," Natan said. But if the demand for electricity substantially increases in the coming years, especially with more hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, Natan said, "it's not a huge stretch of imagination to see why these companies are going into renewable energies."
Swisher, who has been head of the wind power association since 1989, said the industry has changed dramatically in recent years. At this year's annual meeting in June, he expects 6,000 people to attend and 300 companies to have exhibits.
"I remember at my first annual meeting we were in a seedy hotel in San Francisco with 10 tabletop exhibits, maybe 300 people, and there were more ponytails than I had seen in a long time," Swisher said. "But we're talking suits at this annual meeting. It's serious business."
In his meetings with BP and Shell -- he traveled to Texas to meet representatives of both companies last month -- Swisher said that "sitting in a room with some of these people and talking about where the industry is going, you sense the excitement they have in what they are doing. You can tell they are not doing this for show. They are looking to do a significant amount of business."
The largest US wind power investor is Florida Power & Light , including many projects far from the state. Other big investors include JPMorgan Chase and Babcock & Brown , and some power companies are creating their own alternative energy units as well as investing in existing ones.
The big issues facing the industry are whether the federal government will extend clean-energy tax credits beyond 2008 -- the industry wants at least a five-year extension -- and whether Congress will pass a bill to mandate that 15 percent of the nation's power comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. Senator Jeff Bingaman , a New Mexico Democrat and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is the bill's chief sponsor.
Swisher said he believes the larger companies such as BP and Shell are poised to make much larger investments in wind, especially with those incentives.
"If you are serious about wind, the only way to get there is to rely on companies that have significant access to capital and industrial capability," he said.
Shell's Sweeney said he believes the concerns over global warming will be the biggest impetus for wind power investment. "We need to remember that fossil fuels are not going away. They will be with us for most of this century," he said. "We need to meet the energy challenge and do it an environmentally responsible way."
John Donnelly can be reached at donnelly@globe.com.  

Nice to be here with you guys

Thanks for the helpful post.
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