In the run up to this years’ WindEnergy expo in Hamburg, we’ve seen a number of wind energy specialists competing in the innovation stakes from Winergy’s largest ever turbine, to TÜV Rheinland’s new range of testing and inspection services.
The wind industry is seeing a change in priorities. Winergy’s new 86 tonne gear unit is the first of its kind, the largest ever to be built for a wind turbine. This turbine has not only been engineered to last – reliability and quality is essential – but to reduce the levelized cost of energy for wind turbines, once and for all.
This isn’t the only indicator of falling wind energy prices but surely it is the first to account for them?
Last week, Vattenfall won contracts to build two new offshore wind farms in Danish waters for just €60/MWh. That sets a new record, undercutting Dong Energy’s €72.70/MWh contract in the Netherlands earlier this summer!
With the cost of wind farm development both on and offshore dropping rapidly, it is expected that the adoption of wind energy as a power source will increase in popularity over the coming months.
Just this morning, the International Energy Agency told BBC news that China have engaged in the world’s biggest wind farm installation, building two wind turbines every hour, which means that the entire annual increase in energy demand has been fulfilled by wind energy alone.
This is unsurprising when companies like TÜV Rheinland are seeing a rise in testing and inspections service demand in countries like Japan, India, and China.
They are, however, now facing a number of problems due to over-supply. It is suggested that China have relied so heavily on coal fired generating capacity previously that it is “pulling the plug” on wind energy for 15% of the time, compared to the 1-2% stopped from the average European wind farm.
With the wind energy sector set to soar across the world, does this mean that renewable projects will need priority access to the grid?