Briefly Noted … Wind and Solar Energy

Worldwide Renewable Energy News

– Electricity from onshore wind in Britain will cost 20 to 50 percent less than coal, gas and nuclear power stations in 20 years time, says the Reuters news agency. The government’s Performance & Innovation Unit, which currently is reviewing the country’s energy needs, predicts that electricity from onshore wind will cost 1.5 to 2.5 pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) in 2020, while power from coal, gas and nuclear will cost between 1.8 and 4.5 p/kWh. “The UK could meet a significant proportion of electricity needs from renewable sources in the medium term, 20-30 percent by 2020 may be feasible,” says Reuters, which quotes the British Wind Energy Association as warning that the estimates are overly ambitious. BWEA officials say 2 p/kWh is more realistic. – Abengoa SA of Spain has agreed to sell its windfarms and business to NV Nuon of the Netherlands. The Dutch company, which had not been viewed as a strong candidate for the deal, will pay 18 billion ptas, as well as financing specific projects for an additional 10 billion ptas. – The U.S. Air Force Space Command at Patrick AFB in Florida, has issued a request for design and construction of two or three wind generators with minimum capacity of 1,500 kW. Site visits are required and the RFP is expected to close December 7. – Thirty megawatts of wind power will feed into the New York grid when the CHI Energy windfarm at Fenner is completed this month with 20 1.5 MW Enron turbines. This is the fourth project developed by Atlantic Renewable Energy Resources in the last two years in the northeastern U.S.; two in Pennsylvania for 24 MW and two in New York for 41.5 MW. ARER is developing six other projects. CHI Energy (bought last year by Enel S.p.A. of Italy) owns or operates 88 projects in wind, solar, biomass, hydro and landfill gas in the U.S., Canada & Latin America, with total capacity of 500 MW. – Profits are up for the Czech diesel engineering firm, Skoda Steel, after it diversified into production of wind turbine shafts. It expects annual revenue to increase 11 percent to CEK 2.9 billion this year due to an increase of one-third in the manufacture of turbines. Skoda will make 2,000 turbine shafts this year and has contracts to supply 3,000 shafts in 2002, mostly for export. – The public relations firm, Marsteller, has developed brand guidelines for all communications of Shell Renewables, for a reported fee of £100,000. The work involves the design of two brochures and an ad campaign to promote solar and wind energy solutions. Marsteller will design other product literature, signage, on-line branding, merchandise and advertising for a fee of £250,000, according to Design Week magazine. A number of brochures promoting solar technologies will be released early next year, and work has started on an ad campaign that will launch in the Netherlands, to promote the use of solar panels in large building projects. “We have taken the vision statement of Shell Renewables and combined it with the Shell umbrella brand identity to create something unique, without going too far by creating an entirely new brand,” say officials of London-based Marsteller.
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