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Alternative Energy / Wind Power

  • Wind Power Finally Takes Hold In United States

    At first glance, wind power might seem to be an easy road in the trip to renewable energy: Set up a turbine and begin cranking. But where turbines have been installed, nearby residents have complained about the sight and noise. Beyond that, the costs to set up wind farms are high.As a result, wind power has developed sluggishly in the United States – until recently, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). There are now 14 offshore wind projects in advanced stages of development in the U.S. that are expected to be completed within the…

  • Will Airborne Wind Turbines Soon Float Above Our Cities?

    A few months ago, and without much fanfare, Fairbanks, Alaska hoisted a large, oval, 35-foot diameter wind turbine to an altitude of 1,000 feet over the town. From high above, the BAT (Buoyant Air Turbine) generates power from gusts of wind far stronger than those powering regular wind turbines. So how is the first airborne wind turbine to be deployed doing compared to the more familiar ground-based turbines? A 1-megawatt (1MW) turbine on the ground generates on average between 2.4 million and 4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy a year, which is enough to power between 240 and 400…

  • U.S. Announces Major Offshore Wind Auction

    Offshore wind has struggled to get started in the United States, but the federal government just announced a plan that could accelerate its development. The U.S. Interior Department announced July 2 that it plans to auction off 80,000 acres off the coast of Maryland for wind development. In a statement, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley hailed the decision, saying, “To combat climate change, we must develop cleaner, renewable sources of energy -- and today's announcement is a tremendous step forward for the U.S. offshore wind industry.” Unlike the onshore wind industry, offshore wind is still in its early stages. Land-based wind…

  • When the Wind Doesn’t Blow

    Every morning after I wake up, I have a routine. The first thing I do, regardless of how sleepy I might still be, is slip on my shoes and run a mile. This erases the fog of sleep and gets me ready for the day. As an aside, I can highly recommend a quick run in the morning for just about everyone. The time commitment is minimal, it’s good for the heart, helps with stress, and it kicks the brain into high gear much faster than a cup of coffee can (which I still have later in the morning).When I…

  • Not Enough Wind To Fill U.S. Renewable Energy Sails

    The U.S. government has begun the process of planning wind energy developments off the southern coast of New York, but if the history of East Coast wind projects is any indication, the effort may face a long fight.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management wants private sector and public input regarding plans for commercial wind energy leases for an area about 11 nautical miles off the southern coast of Long Beach, NY.While there are no offshore wind farms yet in commercial service in the United States, that may change given recent developments with U.S. President Barack Obama's so-called "all-of-the-above" energy policy.A…

  • Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

    The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.  It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption. The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly powered by wind. Now Swedish home-furnishing company IKEA says it's…

  • Where is the U.S. Wind Energy Sector Headed?

    In mid-December, the U.S. Interior Department announced plans to auction off more than 79,000 maritime acres off the coast of Maryland for wind energy development. Two leases in 2013 generated more than $5 million in bids from investors but the industry faces an uncertain future as the private sector takes the lead in renewable energy development. The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the wind energy potential off the Maryland coast may be significant.  More than 79,000 acres will be put on the auction block for wind energy developers next year and the BOEM estimates the area could support…

  • The Eagle Has Landed … On a Wind Turbine

    At least 85 Eagles have died in collisions with wind turbines since 1997, and the specter of the biggest US wind farm yet, planned for the state of Texas, where everything is big, lends new meaning to the phrase, “the eagle has landed.”With Texas now joining the ranks of US wind-farm giants and the federal government mulling an extension of “casualty” permits for birds caught up in the climate-saving turbines, Americans may have to choose an alternative fowl for their national symbol. On Tuesday, Dallas-based Tri Global Energy announced plans to build a 1,100-megawatt, 650-turbine wind farm near Lubbock. It…

  • Wind Energy Spreading Beyond Europe

    Energy-rich Norway said it was moving ahead with plans to install more than 1,000 megawatts of wind farms onshore. Norway, Europe's largest oil producer and the world's second largest natural gas exporter, has far less wind power on its grid than its neighbors. The country gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric power, but said it was now investing more than $3 billion in wind energy development. Its counterparts in the EU help make up one of the largest wind markets in the world. Germany energy company Siemens, however, said that's about to change. Norway is the largest oil producer and…

  • Good News for Wind Turbine Manufacturers

    European wind turbine manufacturing giants like Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), Germany’s Nordex SE (NDX1) and Gamesa Corp. Technologica SA (GAM) are in for a nice year, with profit recouping predicted after years of losses and shutdowns. For the first time since 2010, these European wind turbine manufacturers are poised to register pretax profits, and investors are already driving shares up in anticipation. According to Bloomberg, shares in Vestas, Nordex and Gamesa have jumped around 220% this year on forecasts.  Things have been bad since 2010, with thousands of layoffs and plenty of plant closures, combined with subsidy cuts…