Brief news tidbits from around the world.– Danish turbine maker, Vestas Wind Systems, reports a 35 percent increase in pretax profits to 401 million kroner (US$49 million). Worldwide sales rose to DKK 4.54 billion, nearly double the first half of last year and half a billion kroner above forecast. Officials credit heavy activity in the U.S. and the delivery of 121 MW of capacity to the German market in the first half of this year, up from 71 MW in the same period last year. – Two wind turbines installed on the offshore island of Penghu by the state-run Taiwan Power Company began generating electricity recently. Taking advantage of Penghu’s strong winds, Taipower invested US$4 million in the facility in Chungtunyu township, where a total of four turbines will be installed with total capacity of 2.4 MW. – A C$45 million contract for the construction of mini-hydro power plants in the Dominican Republic has been awarded to Dessau-Soprin International. The project will start in September, and will resolve electrical power shortages with four hydroelectric power plants in rural communities, as well as preliminary design of mini hydro plants. – A German delegation is visiting Pakistan to discuss a 300 million deutschemark (US$137 million) loan, following Germany’s interest in Pakistan’s efforts to enhance the scope of renewable energy resources. – The Inland Empire Utilities Agency, a wastewater treatment agency serving 700,000 people in southern California, has awarded a $4.5 million contract to build an anaerobic digester pilot facility to process the manure of 4,000 dairy cows. Synagro Technologies will use the biogas (methane) from the digester to run two generators powering a desalter facility. – The Kegums hydroelectric power plant on Latvia’s largest river has been extensively upgraded to extend its life for 40 years at a cost of US$20 million. The Daugava River plant is the only hydro supply in Latvia, and total investments are $57 million to upgrade equipment in Kegums and Plavinas hydroelectric plants, reinforce dams and other measures to ensure smooth operation of hydroelectric facilities. – Prospective home builders will be required to include solar water heating in their plans, according to a draft recommendation of the Ugandan Cabinet. The measure would also provide tax exemption on inputs. Energy Commissioner Godfrey Turyahikayo explained the proposal while opening a Uganda Renewable Energy Association workshop for the training of solar water manufacturers. – A $260 million hydroelectric plant in the highlands of Vietnam has been approved by the government as part of plans to address a regional economic downturn. Work on the 273 MW station on the San River between Gia Lai and Kontum provinces will take four years and be funded entirely from domestic sources. – The Novo windfarm of 25 turbines with installed capacity of 19 MW will be constructed with finance from a euro 12.6 million syndicated loan under an agreement involving the Spanish bank Banesto and Easa, a Spanish company that develops windfarms. Banco de Galicia and Barclays bank will also participate in the loan. – A US$340 million hydroelectric and irrigation project, El Platanal, will be developed in Peru over the next five years to generate 270 MW and irrigate 27,000 hectares. Foreign banks will finance $200 million of the project. – An investment of $15 million is slated for two hydroelectric power plants in Panama, to be built by the Brazilian subsidiary of France’s Alstom. The 84 MW Bayo plant will go into operation next July, while construction of the 120 MW Esti plant will be completed by the end of 2003. – The German renewable energy company Plambeck Neue Energien AG, increased its aggregate operating performance by 183 percent to DM138.4 million in the first half of 2001. Pre-tax profits of 20 million euros are forecast for the full year because two windfarms with ten turbines and capacity of 15 MW, were completed in the first half of the year. – A 6 MW windfarm over a kilometer square area in Lasithi on the island of Crete, has been licensed for the Greek plastics group Plastika Kritis SA. Overall investment is expected to exceed Dr 2.5 billion.