EWEA predicts strong EU wind power growth in 2010


The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has recently released its forecast for wind power installations in 2010.

It expects 10 GW of new wind power capacity to be installed in the European Union (EU) this year, taking total installed capacity to almost 85 GW – an increase of 13 per cent.

Last year, which was a record year for wind power installation, saw 10.2 GW of new wind power capacity installed, constituting 39 per cent of all new power capacity in the EU that year. Total installed wind power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.8 GW.

“We predict another strong year for wind turbine installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “What is encouraging, is that unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology.”

2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to
1 GW of new installed capacity anticipated during the year compared to 577 MW in 2009.

Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, but EWEA forecasts new member states such as Romania and Bulgaria will double their installed wind capacity.


Carbon capture CFB technology moves toward commercialization


Foster Wheeler has signed, together with Endesa and the Spanish Foundation, Fundacion Ciudad de la Energia (CIUDEN), a grant agreement with the European Commission (EC).

The grant agreement stipulates the terms of EUR180m ($221m) of EU funding under the EC’s European Energy Program for Recovery to support the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology development applicable to a 300 MW oxy-combustion power plant in Spain.

This is one of six CCS projects selected for funding under the EERP and is unique in that it is the only such project utilizing circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology.


Spain’s 50 MW Solnova 3 comes onstream


The 50 MW Solnova 3 solar plant has entered into commercial operation, following the successful completion of operation and production tests.

This plant brings Abengoa Solar’s commercial operating capacity to a 143 MW. The solar power developer also has a further 350 MW currently under construction and several thousand more in the pipeline.

The Solnova 3 plant, which is located in Spain, incorporates parabolic trough technology developed by Abengo Solar.


European energy security under threat


The recession may have provided a stay of execution for European energy security but dangers persist, according to research by Datamonitor.

The latest research by the independent business analyst suggests that while improved interconnections within Europe and continuing advances in energy efficiency should ensure security of supply, the collective reliance on external gas supplies will increase to unprecedented levels.

Kash Burchett, energy analyst, believes the period between 2016 to 2020 will see problems emerge. Long lead times on the construction of new nuclear and even gas turbine combined-cycle plants, coupled with the a planned nuclear phase-out and coal fired power generation shutdown could lead to capacity constraints in many countries.

According to the research, Europe’s security of supply hinges on continued expansion in global liquefied natural gas output, as well as limited competition from the US, China and India.

“This reinforces Datamonitor’s conclusion that European nuclear phase-out must be delayed’, said Burchett.


CEZ invests in Bulgarian power infrastructure


Czech-owned electricity distribution company CEZ has announced it is to invest BGN4m ($2.5m) in 69 new energy projects in Western Bulgaria.

According to the company, the investment in each new project will be up to BGN400 000. The BGN 4m allotted for the 69 new projects is part of a bigger BGN71m total investment budget for 2010.

The investment is intended to help CEZ reach its goal of improving the quality of the electricity supply in 30 cities and villages, including the capital Sofia. The projects include the expansion and rehabilitation of the power grid..

The company expects to invest in the region of BGN130m in Bulgaria over the next three years.


Finnish city to get smart grid


ABB will work on a joint development project with Helsingin Energia, a public utility in Helsinki, and Nokia Siemens Networks to design and install a large-scale smart grid in the new Kalasatama district of the Finnish city.

The R&D project will test the concept of a flexible, low-emission power network as part of a larger initiative to lift Helsinki’s environmental profile, with a focus on the sustainable and efficient distribution of power.




Bulgaria: US power producer, AES is considering the acquisition of Italian based Enel SpA’s stake in the Maritsa East 3 coal fired power plant. Enel completed a €700m expansion of the plant last year to raise capacity to 908 MW.

Finland: Foster Wheeler AG announced the successful commercial start-up of a large scale, 125 MWe (385 MWth) circulating fluidized bed boiler island. The unit can fire biomass or peat, or a combination.

France: Siemens Energy has received its first large-scale photovoltaic order from France. The contract, which was awarded by Delta Solar, a subsidiary of Eco Delta Developpement, is to build six solar power plants with a combined capacity of 30 MW.

Germany: Transmission operator Transpower has signed a contract with Siemens Energy and Prysmian Powerlink to build an 800 MW, high voltage BorWin2 power cable, connecting two North Sea offshore wind farms to the onshore transmission grid.

Hungary: Switzerland’s Advanced Power AG is to build a combined-cycle gas turbine plant in Szeged, in the south of the country. The €600m investment is for the construction of two 440 MW blocks, the first of which is due to go online in 2015.

Ireland: Irish utility Electricity Supply Board has opened a new
435 MW gas fired power station, at a cost of €360m, in Aghada, County Cork. Four existing generating units on the site were also upgraded at a cost of €75m to bring the total capacity to 963 MW.

Netherlands: Siemens Energy has handed over the MaasStroom Energie combined-cycle power plant, formerly known as Rijnmond 2, ahead of schedule. Siemens built the high efficiency, 428 MW natural gas fired plant as a turnkey project and supplied the main components.

Romania: The first of a total of 240 wind turbines has been commissioned at the Fantanele wind farm in the province of Dobrogea. Constructed by Czech based CEZ, 139 turbines with a generating capacity of 347 MW will be installed this year, with a further 101 to follow in phase two next year.


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