Tag Archive | Wind energy

A Big Leap For Wind Power

AltaerosEnergies

A look at the BAT as it is being raised into the sky.

 

Altaeros Energy’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, is the beginnings of a new step for Wind Energy. This turbine is not on a tower, but a helium blimp housing a turbine which is tethered to the ground from about 300 meters in the air (making it the worlds highest wind turbine!). The air is not only more powerful as you climb higher into the atmosphere, but the technology is less prone to problem. Without the massive steel tower, and yaw mechanism which rotates the turbine to face the wind as it changes, the maintenance is much less significant. The turbine also is quieter, while producing more energy! Although this technology is only in prototype phase, tests have been positive. Now being tested over Alaska, CEO Ben Glass predicts to provide power at about $0.18 per kilowatt-hour, about half the price of off-grid electricity in Alaska.

It seems like this is a win for energy efficiency and standards of living! Kudos to Altaeros! Find a full article, from The Spirit Science here: Wind Turbines Take to the Skies to Generate a Magnificent Quanta of Energy VIDEO! , as well as from IEEE Spectrum here.

 

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Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

A big challenge for utilities is finding new ways to store surplus wind energy and deliver it on demand. It takes lots of energy to build wind turbines and batteries for the electric grid. But Stanford scientists have found that the global wind industry produces enough electricity to easily afford the energetic cost of building grid-scale storage.

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.

The dramatic growth of the wind and solar industries has led utilities to begin testing large-scale technologies capable of storing surplus clean electricity and delivering it on demand when sunlight and wind are in short supply.

Now a team of Stanford researchers has looked at the “energetic cost” of manufacturing batteries and other storage technologies for the electrical grid. At issue is whether renewable energy supplies, such as wind power and solar photovoltaics, produce enough energy to fuel both their own growth and the growth of the necessary energy storage industry.

“Whenever you build a new technology, you have to invest a large amount of energy up front,” said Michael Dale, a research associate at Stanford. “Studies show that wind turbines and solar photovoltaic installations now produce more energy than they consume. The question is, how much additional grid-scale storage can the wind and solar industries afford and still remain net energy providers to the electrical grid?”

Writing in the March 19 online edition of the journal Energy & Environmental Science, Dale and his Stanford colleagues found that, from an energetic perspective, the wind industry can easily afford lots of storage, enough to provide more than three days of uninterrupted power. However, the study also revealed that the solar industry can afford only about 24 hours of energy storage. That’s because it takes more energy to manufacture solar panels than wind turbines.

Read the full story here.

IKEA Invests In Canadian Wind Farm

IKEA Canada recently announced its purchase of a 46 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Alberta.

IKEA is the world’s largest home furnishings retailer, with over 340 stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. That’s one big reach. IKEA would like its reach to be powered with renewable energy.

IKEA Canada recently announced its purchase of a 46 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Alberta. The 20 turbine wind farm will be the largest owned by a Canadian retailer. It is expected to generate 161 gigawatt hours (GWh) every year, more than double the total energy consumption of IKEA Canada. That amount of energy is equivalent to 60 percent of IKEA Group electricity use in North America, or eight percent of IKEA group electricity use worldwide or 13,500 average Canadian households’ electricity use. The project is currently under construction by the global wind and solar company, Mainstream Renewable Power, and expected to be fully operational in fall 2014.

IKEA Group committed to own 157 wind turbines globally, 110 of those turbines in Europe, and has installed over 500,000 solar panels on its buildings in nine countries. The company has invested in wind farms in seven other markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. IKEA has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. IKEA Group’s goal is to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020.

Read the full story here.

How an ‘off-grid’ man built a wind energy empire

Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince.

Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince is not your average business man.
He’s gone from living off-grid on a bus to creating a wind energy empire that made him one of Britain’s richest men. He’s developed an electric car that broke the U.K.’s electric land speed record. A committed vegan, he bought a soccer club and banned meat from the stadium. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s invested in wave energy technology; developed new models for direct public investment in renewables; and created a nationwide electric car charging network running off renewables.
You get the idea.
The man likes to get things done.

Read the full story here.