A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm can also be located offshore.
Many of the largest operational onshore wind farms are located in Germany, China and the United States. For example, the largest wind farm in the world, Gansu Wind Farm in China has a capacity of over 6,000 MW of power in 2012 with a goal of 20,000 MW by 2020. The Muppandal Wind farm in Tamil Nadu, India is the largest onshore wind farm outside of China, with a capacity of 1,500 MW. As of April 2013, the 630 MW London Array in the UK is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, followed by the 504 MW Greater Gabbard wind farm in the UK.
There is an alternative for choosing between buying kWh’s from your utility company, with a few % “green electricity added to the mix” or having solar panels on your own roof, namely running your own small energy company with a few hundred neighbors.
An example of this approach is “Zonneweide Bergen” (“solar meadow”) in Bergen in the Netherlands.
Area: 1.9 hectare
Panels: 9.234 of 125 Watt
Power: 1.15 MW (peak)
Financial return: 5-6% (possibly 8-9%)
CO2 reduction: 635 ton/year
Lifespan: 25 years
Share unit: 870 euro or 6 panels
Payback time: 10 years
Max. share: 15-25 units
Precondition: you need to live in the ZIP-code area of the solar meadow.
At least 15 years energy tax reduction.
Capital: 20% private participants, 80% bank loan, to be paid back from kWh’s in 10 year.
Customer electricity: grid
Upshot: after 10 years the installation has paid itself back and the remaining 15+ years of free electricity are yours. It is a safe investment of 5-6%/year or more in case of increasing electricity prices.
[bergenenergie.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen Fase 2
[trouw.nl] – Een blauwe zonneweide maakt Bergen weer een stukje groener
[trouw.nl] – Zonneweide Bergen staat klaar voor mooi weer
[duurzaambouwloket.nl] – Bouw Zonneweide Bergen Begonnen
[Google Maps] – Location: Bergerweg, Bergen, the Netherlands
Power: 150 MW
Production: 233-370 GWh/year
Equipment: 50 Vestas 3 MW turbines
Cost: $450 million
Commission date: November 2014
Wind power potential Philippines: 76 GW
Current electricity capacity: 20 GW (Luzon 14 GW)
Interesting side note: the video also illustrates that once you have the proper offshore installation equipment, building an offshore wind farm is in fact easier than onshore.
Published on 8 jan. 2014 – China has embarked on the greatest push for renewable energy the world has ever seen. Turbine construction Reduced prices could make Chinese-made turbines more appealing to buyers abroad.
Over-fishing is a real problem in the modern world. A lot of fish is used for the production of protein, to be used for instance as food for animals. That protein can be obtained from another unexpected source: insects. There are about 1400 edible insects in the world. To name a few: crickets, cockroaches, worms, fruit flies, moths… Are you still there? These insects can produce high quality protein, suitable for humans as well. Europeans currently refuse to eat insects, but Africans and Asian do. Insects are cold-blooded so they don not need food to keep their body temperature high.
A big plus of insect farming: no harmful methane production. Operating farm temperature: 28 degrees Celsius. Regarding efficiency:
Insects are nutrient efficient compared to other meat sources… For every 100 grams of substance crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 121 calories, and 5.5 grams of fat. Beef contains more protein containing 23.5 grams in 100 grams of substance, but also has roughly 3 times the calories, and four times the amount of fat as crickets do in 100 grams. So, per 100 grams of substance, crickets contain only half the nutrients of beef
Farming method (crickets):
Crickets are usually housed in small (4′ x 8′) containers, furnished with simple items like egg cartons to provide shelter. Heat is a necessity for breeding crickets as they require temperatures around 90° Fahrenheit. House crickets live up to about eight weeks. Until they are twenty days old they are fed high protein animal feed, most commonly chicken feed, that contains between 14% and 20% protein. In the days before harvesting the crickets at around forty to fifty days old, they are often fed various vegetables, fruits and other plant matter. This is done to improve the taste of the insects and reduce the use of expensive, high protein animal feed. Crickets are normally killed by deep freezing, where they feel no pain and are sedated before neurological death. In some parts of the world crickets are baked or boiled.
[protix.eu] – Protix home page
[wikipedia.org] – Entomophagy (insects as food)
[wikipedia.org] – Insect farming
[thrillist.com] – We dare you to eat these 8 insect recipes
[fao.org] – Environmental opportunities for insect rearing for food and feed
[journals.plos.org] – Article expressing slight skepticism.
The Dutch national news reported today that there is a spectacular growth in demand for corporate solar installations in the Netherlands, measured by subsidy applications: 1 billion euro in the 2nd half of 2016 and 3.2 billion so far in 2017.
The demand is so high that China is unable to deliver the required quantity and now the production of solar panels will return to the Netherlands, where it left Europe completely since recently the last German manufacturer SolarWorld went bust. China has always massively supported the buildup of a domestic solar sector, but Europe not so much.
The knowledge of building solar panels has always been present in the Netherlands, that preferred to build solar panel factory lines for export, rather than operating these lines themselves. The Frisian company Powerfield will build a new factory in the Groningen province that will produce 1 million panels per year, half of them for the construction of large “in-house” solar parks.
So far 2% of Dutch electricity production originates from solar, but this is expected to increase rapidly soon. With solar system payback time of 7-9 years, followed by 20 years of free electricity, investing in solar panels gives far more return than leaving money in a savings account.
Exasun produces solar panels like roof tiles in the Netherlands as as niche product. Works with German and Belgian parts only.
Rain and wind are big in the Netherlands and few foreigners will visit the country for a beach holiday. Nevertheless, a family from the city of Eindhoven, home of the Technical University TUE, was invited to test a car, designed and produced at the TUE, entirely driven by solar energy.
A predecessor model of this solar car won the Solar Challenge Race in Australia:
[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)
Essence: convert a vertical ocean temperature gradient in electricity
[wikipedia.org] – Ocean thermal energy conversion
[bluerise.nl] – Blue Rise company home page
[oceanenergy.tudelft.nl] – TU Delft Ocean Energy department
[google.com] – Blue Rise picture carousel
[Luis Vega OTEC Summary] – OTEC: Electricity and Desalinated Water Production – Luis A. Vega, Ph.D. (pdf, 29p)
Operation: ocean vertical temperature gradient of 25 degrees Celsius. Continuous production of electricity has been demonstrated in pilot projects, like Hawaii 210 kW plant between 1993-1998. Minimum capital cost: 6$/Watt for a 50 MW plant. If only 10 km offshore, $4.2/Watt and $0.07/kWh is achievable. Hawaii could generate 100% of its electricity needs from OTEC.
[rtlz.nl] – Land Life Company krijgt 2,4 miljoen om nóg meer bomen te planten
The company has collected 2.4 million euro internationally to expand its tree planting business. The biodegradable donut contains 25 liter of water, of which half a cup per day is fed via (capillary) “fuses” to the plant. For a few months the box is a “lifeline” for the plant, after that the plant is on its own. The trick is to plant a few thousand trees that form a “community” that offers shelter to each other. In 2016 50,000 trees were planted, this year it should be several hundreds of thousand. The aim is for hundreds of millions. Expansion of production in Mexico and China is planned, where currently all boxes are manufactured in Germany. Local production is desired though. Price cocoon 8 euro and decreasing. After two years the box is gone. A lot of volunteers use the cocoon from an idealistic motivation. Next three “Central Park sized” projects underway in Mexico, Spain and California. So far 2 billion hectare degraded land (US + China together), with one Greece added to that amount every year, but that can be upgraded again.
Projects/companies referred to in the video:
[finchbuildings.com] – Finch Buildings
[protix.eu] – Protix protein
[elementalwatermakers.com] – Desalinization
[landlifecompany.com] – Land Life Company, restoring ecosystems
A few back-of-an-envelope remarks about powering electric vehicles with wind to get an idea of the scale.
Bitchy European remark: why do we need these ridiculous large cars like the Chevy Volt? With an average occupation rate of 1.25 it makes more sense to work with one or two-seater cars only. When by 2030 the electric self-driving car could very well have replaced a large part of the standard five-seater car fleet, you can order a particular car from the public pool that will suit your needs at that particular point in time.
Take the popular e-vehicle Renault Zoe:
[wikipedia.org] – Renault Zoe
Battery: 41 kWh
Range: 400 km (optimal conditions) or 300 km (real world)
So with 2017 technology you will get 75 km from 10 kWh.
Note that even the Renault Zoe is unnecessary big, in a world where most cars travel with a single passenger. Let’s assume that by 2030 single seater cars will be available that travel 120 km on 10 kWh instead of 75 km. Let’s link that number to wind energy for normal usage (Netherlands car distance average: 12,000 km/year = 1000 kWh/year). Yearly electricity production of a 5 MW offshore wind turbine: 22.8 GWh.
[adwenoffshore.com] – Adwen’S 5 MW Wind Turbine Reaches A Yearly Output of 22,8 GWH
This means that this single wind turbine can power 22,800 e-vehicles. The Netherlands currently has a (petrol) car fleet of 8 million. If we assume continued private car ownership of 8 million single seater e-vehicles, merely 320 large 5 MW offshore turbines would suffice to keep this fleet going.
In the coming few years five 700 MW offshore windparks are going to be built in the Dutch part of the North Sea, the five largest wind projects in the world. Two of these windparks would cover the private transportation needs of the Netherlands, where the Dutch rail system is already fully covered by wind energy.
There is no fundamental energy problem.
P.S. Energy efficient cars like these are far more suitable for a self-driving car future:
[deepresource] – Meet the Carver
In September 2016, the US government presented a report about the potential of US offshore wind energy, using wind data at 100 m altitude. Assumed confinement: within 200 nautical miles from shore. Total theoretical potential: 10,800 GW or 44,000 TWh per year. But this potential is not going to be realized. To come to a more realistic assessment, all ocean water depths over 1000 m were ignored as well as depths over 60 m in the Great Lakes (because of ice). Next areas with lower average wind speed were eliminated. Applying these restrictions the study arrived at a offshore wind energy potential of more than 2,000 GW or 7,200 TWh per year. Which is still double the current US electricity consumption.
The colored areas are potential offshore wind turbine installation areas.
It needs to be remarked that apparently most of the offshore wind energy potential will have to be realized with floating wind turbines, a technology not much applied yet. Compare these 2,000 GW with the 1,600 GW potential for the North Sea alone, that can be completely realized with monopile structures.
11 Dec. 2016 – In the U.S. today, wind power accounts for about five percent of all electricity generation, but a new project aims to change that. A $300 million installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, takes the renewable energy technology out to sea. Gov. Gina Raimondo anticipates the project is the beginning of a new industry, but some locals are skeptical. Mike Taibbi reports.
Five French made Alstom Haliade 150 6 MW turbines, 30 MW, $300 million. Water depth 23 m. The turbines began producing power in May 2017.