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Integrated Software Tools Ready to Tackle Design Challenges for European Offshore Wind Power

FransvanhulleDespite the abundance of space for building wind farm capacity to tap the enormous offshore wind resources, planning and designing the fittest for purpose offshore wind farms and clusters requires powerful software tools. Two recently concluded European projects came up with interesting answers to the challenges of producing such tools.

By Frans Van Hulle, XP Wind, Belgium

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The global trend towards auctions – will it kill decentralised renewable energy?

Stefan GsangerRenewable energies have now become widely accepted as key energy sources, even by most of their previous opponents. However, the main actors and drivers of renewable energy are now under attack. In the recent past, the renewable energy community has been challenged by a trend towards ‘competitive’ auctions for renewable power generation. The term in itself is misleading as it implies that auctions automatically lead to more competition, and that other instruments like feed-in tariffs lack competition. Both are untrue.

By Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General, WWEA, Germany

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The Need for Gas Power Storage in an All-Electric World

Frits OggEnergy consumers such as e-transport and stationary applications such as the telecom base infrastructure have a heavy power demand and therefore need either strong local generators or a stable and powerful electrical grid. This is often a problem, especially in those parts of the world with an unreliable supply and/or no grid. Loads from electrical vehicles have to be peak shifted and for a 24/7 electricity supply there has to be a back-up. It is not realistic to expect that the electricity supply will become more reliable everywhere in the near future because of the delays due to costs.

By Frits Ogg, Renewable Energy Consultant, The Netherlands

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A Plan for Electrifying Africa

Eddie O'ConnorTwo out of three people across sub-Saharan Africa have no reliable access to electricity. The most striking feature of our contemporary world is the contrast between Europe and the USA, which are awash with savings, and Africa, which is chronically short of investment capital. A developed world sunk in what economists call secular stagnation and an African continent unable to realise its economic potential.

By Eddie O’Connor, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power

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Wind Power Leads All New Power Generation

Steve-SawyerThe year 2015 was a stellar year for the wind industry and for the energy revolution, culminating with the landmark Paris Agreement in December. In an all too rare triumph of multilateralism, 186 governments have finally agreed on where we need to get to in order to protect the climate for future generations. Now the question is whether or not they’re going to take the actions in the short and medium term to get us there.

By Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General

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Community Power, Wind and Auctions

The rise or fall of community power in wind-based generation was the subject of a major survey followed by a symposium conducted in Bonn, Germany, by the Peter RaeWorld Wind Energy Association. A total of 110 experts from 20 countries discussed the survey results.

By Peter Rae, President of the World Wind Energy Association, Australia

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