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Reliable Grid Support from Wind Power

Renewable energy is still too often seen by the general public as merely an add-on to the power generation fleet: green, Fransvanhulleand (sometimes) economic. At the same time there seems to be a general belief that in a power system with lots of variable renewables a full back-up by conventional power plants or expensive storage solutions is necessary even if (as is likely in the future) large shares of the energy consumption are being provided by wind and solar plants. It is not easy to counter this general misconception, especially because the complexities of the technical discussion about power systems are exacerbated by the variability of wind and solar power.

By Frans Van Hulle, XP Wind, Belgium

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Time to Unlock the Renewables Potential in Iran and Cuba?

Philip TotaroAlthough at the time of writing the US Congress has yet to ratify the ‘Nuclear Deal’ with Iran, the rest of the civilised world seems to be largely on board with it. While it is not strictly illegal for foreign companies to operate in Iran today, threatened sanctions from the USA could have put significant capital investments at risk, so investors were largely turned off. If the Iran Nuclear Deal is fully ratified and sanctions are lifted over time, we can expect to see a reasonably attractive market emerge.

By Philip Totaro, CEO of IntelStor, USA

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Grids, Grid Names and Wind Turbines

Frits OggWind turbines are connected to a grid that transports electricity, heat, water or gas in one way or another. During recent years a lot of grids with ‘marketing’ names such as ECOgrid, Intergrid or Supergrid have showed up. What's in a name? and what does the name mean? How can we communicate if we don't know what the difference is between a microgrid and an ECOgrid and what the role of wind turbines is in a specific electricity grid?

Frits Ogg, Renewable Energy Consultant, The Netherlands

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Global Wind Hits Record Growth

ESteve-Sawyervery year, at about this time, it is my onerous task to put pen to paper to produce the short-term projections from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) for the next five years. Twelve months ago, we forecast that the annual market would be just over 47GW, but we ended up at more than 51GW, as no one was expecting China’s 23GW. For the rest of the world we were reasonably on target, although we expected more of a recovery in the USA than happened in 2014; we hope to see those numbers increase in 2015 and 2016.

Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General, Belgium

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Global Shift Towards Renewable Energy Requires a Broad Variety of Actors and a Synergy of All Renewables

Stefan-GsangerThe global shift towards a renewable energy supply started around three decades ago, in both North America and Europe. In the past few years, it has also reached many other countries. This process has seen great success stories but also major setbacks. However, its main drivers have been small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), communities and the citizens who have expressed their preference for an energy supply based on domestic and sustainable renewable energies.

By Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General, WWEA, Germany

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Inauguration G128-5.0MW Prototype

On 21 October Gamesa inaugurated its first offshore G128-5.0MW prototype in Spain at the Arinaga quay in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. About 80% of the turbine is based on the company’s 4.5MW onshore technology.

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