New modeling study shows a “slowdown” effect if too many turbines are clumped together
FRISCO — Wind turbine installations could some day reach a point of diminishing returns if they get too big, according to a new study that evaluated the effects of large wind farms on atmospheric flow and its implications for how much renewable energy the turbines can generate.
The researchers at the University of Kansas did their study in the context of the renewable energy boom. Wind energy accounted for 3.3 percent of electricity generation in the United States in 2011. The study was aimed at learning what happens to the wind when a larger number of wind turbines removes more and more of the energy of atmospheric motion. Continue reading “Energy: Can wind farms be too large?”→
If that doesn’t sound like a lot, here’s another way to look at it: Windpower generated enough electricity to cover the combined annual consumption of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland. Thanks to the ever-decreasing costs of building new windpower facilities, the EU could be producing at least 12 percent of its annual power needs with turbines by 2020.
The report confirms that wind power has been the most widely deployed form of renewable energy in the past two decades, with the global cumulative capacity growing to 370 gigawatts in 2014. Last year represented an annual record with 52.8 GW of wind turbines capacity installed worldwide, a 48% percent increase compared to 2013 and 17 percent over the 2012 record of 45.2GW. Continue reading “EU wind power growing by leaps and bounds”→
FRISCO — Federal scientists say a new modeling study will help more accurately predict bird deaths at wind energy sites before they’re built.
The findings could help planners design more bird-friendly wind power facilities — important because by the best available estimates, the spinning turbines kill between 160,000 and 330,000 birds each year, and that number is likely to grow as the number and size of wind turbines increases. Continue reading “New study could cut bird deaths at wind farms”→
FRISCO — A Portland, Oregon-based wind energy company operating in Wyoming will pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $2.5 million for the death of protected birds at wind turbine facilities in Carbon and Converse Counties. The two wind projects are comprised of 237 large wind turbines sited on private and company-owned land.
PacifiCorp Energy, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, Oregon, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The company is also on a five-year probation and must implement an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in the state. Continue reading “Big fine levied for Wyoming wind turbine eagle deaths”→
Matched solar and wind systems could ensure steady supply of renewable energy
FRISCO — Smart grid planning and better energy storage could significantly boost the use of renewable energy in the U.S. according to a new report that calls for developing “hybrid” systems in which, on a broad geographic scale, one form of renewable energy is ramping up even while the other is declining.
Sioux Nation wants to focus on renewable energy, not dirty tar sands oil
FRISCO — Just a few days after responding angrily to the U.S. House vote to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, Sioux Nation Native American leaders met with the Obama administration to explore renewable energy options.
By 2025, renewable energy generation could become cost-competitive without federal subsidies — if new renewable energy development occurs in the most productive areas, smartly located to meet the demand from regional population and industrial centers.