vertical turbine

This is actually happening all around the world. During one day last year the Germans got all the power they used from renewables. All the old bullshit it turning into compost and will be forgotten.

Renewables cheaper than coal in Australia — a preview of things to come


David Roberts

Energy, politics, and more

I’m morbidly fascinated by the way conventional wisdom lags behind evidence, like the notion that renewable energy is expensive and fossil fuels cheap. In fact, there is a tectonic shift underway. Renewable energy prices are declining as technology improves, economies of scale kick in, financing mechanisms mature, and public policy begins to take some (inadequate) account of the negative externalities of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the cost of coal-fired electricity is heading up. It’s getting harder to finance coal plants in the face of competition from clean(er) energy, activist opposition, and the inevitability of some kind of carbon policy. Construction costs are rising. Transportation costs are rising. It’s getting harder to reach the coal that’s left in the ground. Etc.

The two lines — falling renewable energy costs and rising coal costs — are going to cross. It’ll happen everywhere eventually. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis, it’s already happened down under: “Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia.”


Go there and read. More later.


We get these claims all of the time, “A wind turbine for your roof”. About the only place that is true is on grain bins on a farm out in the country. I can neither testify that these turbines work or that they do not. What I can say is Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This blog will be closed until next Wednesday.

 Wind sphere Overview

The Wind Sphere™ relies on its “wind tunnel” effect known in physics as the Bernoulli Principle. While the rest of the wind industry generates energy through the use of free-stream wind, the Wind Sphere™ captures and amplifies the wind, which produces more kilowatt-hours (kWh). As wind encounters the Wind Sphere™ shroud, it becomes concentrated creating increased velocity and in turn, more power. By amplifying the natural wind speed, the Wind Sphere™ is able to produce more power from a smaller footprint. Proportionally, the Wind Sphere™ has the smallest footprint with the largest amount of power output in the industry. Because of these attributes, the Wind Sphere™ is uniquely designed to produce energy in urban, populated areas with space constraints.

Inverter Certification

The inverter is IEEE 1547 compliant and UL 1741 certified.

Worldwide Turbine Certification

The Wind Sphere is currently in the process of the stringent IEC-61400-2 testing, also know as the Standard for Small Wind Turbines testing. Exhaustive field testing will be conducted by a Certified AWEA testing firm to verify performance and real world endurance.

“With the Wind Sphere, building owners everywhere can now consider being a part of the renewable energy picture.”


Go there and read. More next week.


These guys cover the globe.

The International Green Energy Council is an educational and advocacy body. We pride ourselves on educating from kindergarten students all the way up to leaders of nations about energy efficiency, environmental stewardship and renewable energy. We also aid international leaders on creating sound policy and regulatory atmospheres in order to promote expeditious applications for renewable energy and green technologies.

Over the past six years we have worked with 22 Governors in regards to Renewable Portfolio Standards for their states. Furthermore, we are liaison and facilitators with several countries including but not limited to the following: Canada, South Africa, Greece, Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria, Philippines, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, China, Morocco as well as a host of others. The IGEC is also working with many utility company’s around the Globe to meet their Renewable Energy Portfolio mandates. We have chartered chapters in 68 nations around the World.

The GEC is a professional association comprised of individuals and companies that promote sustainable forms of energy production, renewable energy sources, sustainable design practices and advanced thinking in utilizing education and information for the promotion of being better stewards of our environment while providing National Security Energy Plans to nations around the Globe.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


I forgot to give this website credit for yesterday’s post. That is a small journalistic boo boo and I will clear that up now.

What Can Be Found on This Site

This site contains information about my books, an archive of my articles, and descriptions of my workshops on wind energy and Advanced Renewable Tariffs. This site also contains an extensive collection of articles and technical reports on electricity feed laws or renewable energy tariffs. I’ve been an outspoken proponent of feed laws since the late 1990s when I urged the American Wind Energy Association to call for them nationally.


My photos are stocked by Still Pictures in London. For more on my photography and for photo tours of several wind farms as well as a sampling of wind energy icons, see the photos section of this site.


Small Turbine Testing

Beginning in 1997 I’ve measured the performance and noise emissions of small wind turbines at the Wulf Test Field in the Tehachapi Pass. For more information on this work, visit Wulf Test Field.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Yes it is true I am distracted by world events. But to be fair to wind power they are tearing it up in Germany.

The Green Republic? Germany’s Wind Energy Boom

Published: October 8, 2012

The German wind industry sits at the heart of a European energy market preparing for a disruptive transformation intended to promote integration and allow the rich wind resource of the North to fuel continent-wide growth, without the risks of nuclear power and reliance on foreign energy producers.

It is a comprehensive, ambitious vision that in Germany alone the environment minister Peter Altmaier has compared in scale to the country’s painful post-Communist reunification.

The EU is preparing to release its latest communication on an integrated energy market ahead of a goal of operational integration it has set for 2014. The energy market remains one of the rare nation-state functions that has hardly been impacted by European integration at all, despite the EU’s origins in a post-WWII agreement over the continent’s coal sector.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


The Sierra Club has drifted pretty far from John Muir’s roots. They signed a deal with Clorox about 10 years ago. I mean it is unclear when exactly because they keep the terms of the deal ultra secret. Anyway the rough outlines of the deal is that Clorox created a “green” cleaning supplies line and the Sierra Club gets a chunk (percentage) of the sales profits from that line. The deal must have obviously been that the Sierra Club get off the companies back about chlorine. So now, when they offer stuff to join for a year, and that stuff is good enough, I join.  Other than that I just cost them junk mail fees.


Mighty Wind


Did you notice that last weekend the largest onshore wind farm in America started operation in north-central Oregon? The 845 MW Shepherds Flat facility will generate an estimated 2 billion kWh each year — enough to power 235,000 homes. On top of that, this clean power will eliminate about 1.5 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually — the equivalent of taking approximately 260,000 cars off the road.

Who built Shepherds Flat? We, the people, did! Caithness Energy relied on more than a billion dollars in loans guaranteed by the Energy Department. With the project up and running, and with a long-term commitment from Southern California Edison to buy power, it looks like a good investment. Maybe that’s why Google also kicked in $100 million.

Shepherds Flat is the kind of project we should be building across the U.S. — or at least in those parts, like the Eastern Columbia River Gorge, with abundant wind resources. Yet the Republican Party opposes even extending the Production Tax Credit that wind power has had for decades. Right now, they would probably sooner move Burning Man to the National Mall than help finance more success stories like Shepherds Flat.

Here’s why that’s crazy:


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


This is pretty mundane from my perspective. The US is building 100s of wind farms around the country. The coasts are places where the wind is most powerful and consistent. Are the numbers accurate? Who knows? They likely would be higher than what is stated, so why worry about that?

Offshore Wind On The Atlantic Cost Could Create 300,000 Jobs And $200 Billion In Economic Activity

By Climate Guest Blogger on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

by Silvio Marcacci, via CleanTechnica

America has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world — especially along the Atlantic coastline. But while the promise is massive, zero turbines are currently spinning in U.S. waters.

Fortunately, federal and state governments have made significant progress toward the first offshore turbines and have put America at a turning point toward harnessing the more than 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of energy generation potential identified along our coasts. Harnessing a realistic fraction of offshore wind’s potential — 52GW — could power 14 million homes with clean electrons while creating over 300,000 new jobs and $200 billion in new economic activity in some of our biggest cities.

These findings come from “The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy,” a new report from the National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) outlining the energy and economic benefits offshore wind could create in the U.S., highlighting progress made to date, and detailing policy action needed to realize the industry’s potential.

Federal Policy + State Action = Turbines

While it seems like offshore wind has been touted for years, the future is closer to reality than ever before.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


I skip the light fandango.


Largest tidal arrays in the world to be built in Scotland

15 June 12

Scotland will see the world’s largest tidal arrays constructed off its coast, as the first large-scale rollout of tidal energy generation.

A trial with one 30m turbine, the HS1000, anchored to the ocean floor in a fast-flowing channel near the Orkney Islands, raised one megawatt of electricity — enough to power around 500 homes. Now, Scottish Power is planning on building two farms of turbines off the Scottish coast.

The project at the Sound of Islay should hopefully generate 10MW, and then the later project off Duncansby Head (the most northeasterly point of Scotland) should generate around 95MW. While individual turbines have been trialled across the world, the arrays will be the largest of their kind, with local communities having their power provided by renewable tidal sources.

The turbines — built by Andritz Hydro Hammerfest, a Norwegian firm — represent a tricky engineering challenge. Considerations for wild plants and fish means that the blades can’t move too fast, and the turbines must be located in areas where there is a reliably fast current travelling at at least 2.5m/s (such as the Sound of Islay, a narrow passage between the Scottish mainland and the island of Jura).


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


OK so this is not the one in Scotland. I tried youtube first and I couldn’t even get their search engine to respond. They gave me things like Bruce Springsteen singing Fire. So then I googled it and got boat loads of text, mainly borrowings from the article below and one video on youtube. Let us see, google’s search engine is smarter than youtube’s?? The article itself doesn’t have a picture either. Their picture is of an aircraft jetliner’s wobbly landing in the same winds. The pilot should be shot. First the video:


Then the text.

Blown away: gales wreck wind turbines as Scottish storm wreck havoc

Fears over the safety of wind turbines in high winds have been raised after one burst into flames and another crashed to the ground.

Donna Bowater

By , and Rowena Mason

10:02AM GMT 09 Dec 2011

Gusts of up to 165mph were recorded in the Cairngorms in Aberdeenshire as gales brought travel chaos to Scotland and the North.

A 100-metre tall wind turbine burst into flames in North Ayrshire, and in Coldingham in the Scottish Borders, a turbine crashed to the ground yards from a road.

The £2 million turbine in North Ayrshire was not believed to have been spinning at the time. Fires can occur if extreme wind loosens or breaks electrical connections, whether turbines are rotating or not.

Fraser McLachlan, the chief executive of GCube, a wind turbine insurer, said he was expecting a rise in turbine failures due to the “exceptional” weather in Scotland.

“We see turbine fires around the world when it gets very, very windy,” he said. “They usually shut themselves off as a safety feature if the wind gets too much. But sometimes there is another failure.

dot dot dot as they say

Modern turbines usually have a safety braking mechanism that turns the blades off if wind speeds reach 56mph.

The turbine in North Ayrshire was believed to belong to the renewable power company Infinis. It was one of 15 built to supply 20,000 homes.

In a statement, Infinis said: “Infinis confirms that a nacelle on a turbine at its Ardrossan wind farm, Ayrshire, Scotland, caught fire this afternoon in extreme stormy weather conditions. The fire had extinguished itself before the fire services arrived and did not result in personal injury.


More next week.


The internet can be such a frustrating place. I thought that because I had put up about 15 right wing pundits views about energy policy that I should put up some left wings views as well. So I searched for something like “10 most left wing journalists” in America and I came up with this site.

Now this piece listed number two and I had to futz around to find number 10 which he listed as Neil Steinberg who works for the Chicago Sun Times which is of course here.

I googled up Neil Steinberg for energy policy and found a great article by him but it was filed as a PDF file in a Wisconsin Utility hearing docket. I can’t copy a PDF file and I always like to give original citings but I could only find a weird copy of it in a weird place so here it is. It was originally titled:

Winds of change inevitably get the hot air stirring

and was dated April 10th. The text is not credited here:

Progress never comes without complaint. Everybody wants perfect cell phone service — there are more than 4 billion cell phones worldwide, two for every three people — but nobody wants a cell tower near them. Earlier this month in rural Maryland, neighbors turned out to protest the zoning variance needed to put a cell tower on farmland, even though most would barely see the top of the tower if it went up. “We will be fighting it every step of the way,” one said. Of course they will. People still fight cell towers, just as they fight skateboard parks, mosques, research centers, halfway houses — almost anything new and nearby. They no longer complain about streetlights — but they once did. More about that later. Not in my ocean. Naturally, the rich folk living on Cape Cod opposed the idea of a wind farm off Nantucket. When gazing out to sea, reflecting on the splendor of their lives, they might see the turbines and be vexed. So it is a minor miracle that the federal government decided to go ahead with Cape Wind anyway, after only nine years of study and discussion. “This is the final decision of the United States of America,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced this week. Needless to say, that was “Gentlemen, start your lawsuits,” to those aghast at the idea of seeing 130 giant white turbines on the horizon.Instead of discussing the nation’s overdependence on foreign oil, and the bad things that flow from it — from increased terrorism to global warming — I will tip my hand: I think wind turbines are beautiful. I first saw some, unexpectedly, out an airplane window while landing in Copenhagen a few years back — the Middelgrunden Wind Park, 20 turbines in the sound between Denmark and Sweden. It was a stunning sight, and even more stunning to learn that they provide 4 percent of the electricity consumed by Copenhagen. Denmark derives 20 percent of its electrical power from the wind. Meanwhile, the United States, once a world leader in technology and not without windy places, generates only about 0.8 percent of its electricity from wind power. Last summer, driving through Minnesota, the boys and I were surprised and delighted by the huge wind turbines flanking the highway. Yes, passing by something is not the same as living next to it. But if what people wanted next door were the deciding factor in history, we’d still be churning butter with a stick (you might think, “Yes, I’d love that!” but then you aren’t considering that half your children eating that butter would have died of whooping cough before age 2 — you can’t reject progress for its ills while thoughtlessly accepting all the good). Denmark, Minnesota and Cape Cod are windy places. Chicago is also a windy place, and to our credit, Mayor Daley at least says he is open to the idea of turbines in Lake Michigan. Evanston is considering them as well. Heck, why not — we already have to look at Gary on a clear day.’Cold, unlovely, blinding star’Once upon a time people believed in the future. Their lives were hard, and they accepted inconveniences if they thought things might improve in the long run. That didn’t mean they weren’t frightened or they didn’t complain.When opponents of Cape Wind worry that the wind turbines will kill migrating birds, destroy tourism, imperil navigation, whatever, we have to remember that every technological development in the history of the world has been met by a chorus of concern. Take the simplest advance — gas lamps on public streets — something we look upon now with only nostalgia and affection. Not so when new.” An attempt to interfere with the divine plan of the world, which has preordained darkness during the night-time,” a newspaper in Cologne fretted in 1816, after that city installed gaslight. Electric lighting brought even more revulsion.” Horrible, unearthly, obnoxious to the human eye,” Robert Louis Stevenson wrote of London’s new electric light. “A lamp for a nightmare!” . Casting illumination upon a city’s nighttime doings would be, he said, “a horror to heighten horror.”Arc lighting at Paddington Station moved the St. James Gazette to protest in verse: Twinkle, twinkly little arc,Sickly, blue uncertain spark; Up above my head you swing, Ugly, strange expensive thing! In America, we despaired at what the unleashing of all this electricity might mean. The constant electric light would cause blindness, or “photo-electric ophthalmia. ” The demon of electricity surging around helter-skelter would change the weather. “All the floods, hurricanes, cyclones and other atmospheric disturbances taking place in the heavens and upon earth are due to the work of electric lighting companies,” a Southern minister announced.  Incredibly, the telephone was even more ominous than electricity. The social order would crumble. The constant ringing would drive men insane. There was also the peril of disease being spread over telephone lines. “Well, I suppose I must risk it,” a “wealthy well-educated and fashionable” Chicago matron decided, telephoning a household where there was scarlet fever, first having a servant makes sure “the sick children aren’t in the room where the telephone is.” Although, looking over past dire predictions about technology, I have to admit: sometimes they’re accurate. One of the big fears about the telephone was that it would make our intimate details become public knowledge.”We shall soon be nothing but transparent heaps of jelly to each other,” a British writer speculated in 1897.It wasn’t “soon” — it took 110 years. But yeah, that sounds about right.


I do not normally put up the whole text of something but in this case I had no choice. More tomorrow.


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