Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two small renewable energy firsts: offshore wind power in Germany, solar photovoltaic in Greece


thessaloniki sunset photo
Thessaloniki sunset photo by Eva via flickr.

Recently when I presented the news of the world’s largest thin-film solar power plant and commented that, at 10 MW, it wasn’t really all that big and sometimes we watchers of the renewable energy industry ought to take a step back to see how much more needs to be done, a number of commenters nearly handed me my hat.

Let me make it clear: A bit of bragging rights and intra-industry competition can be a good thing. Everything has to start out small and some one-ups-man-ship can spur along new developments. Towards that end, here are two first small steps in European renewable energy announced today.

Germany’s First Offshore Wind Farm Begins Construction
Though it will ultimately be only 60 megawatts in size, the Alpha Ventus wind farm (also known at Borkum West) will be Germany’s first offshore wind farm. Construction begins this week, with electric generation possibly to begin by the end of the year.

The project is located 45 km north of the island of Borkum, near the border with the Netherlands. Though smaller than projects in, say, Denmark or the United Kingdom, this project will be sited much farther from the shore, in order to take advantage of greater wind speeds. A 70 km-long cable will connect the farm to the Germany power grid.

via :: Reuters

Greece’s Largest Solar PV Power Plant Connected to Grid
In more of a statement of how much room for growth there is in Greece for expansion of the solar power industry than anything else, Renewable Energy World has announced that the nation’s largest solar PV plant has been connected to the grid.

The 944 kilowatt project, located in near Thessaloniki was built by Phoenix Solar AG and is owned by Sunergy A.E..

The original article points out that one of the key factors in Greek solar power development is the nation’s very generous feed-in tariffs, introduced in 2006: Solar PV installations in Greece receive a €0.40-0.50 rate for the electricity they produced. Also cited is Greece’s generous grant program for renewable energy, in some instances amounting to 50% of total cost of commercial systems.

via :: Renewable Energy World

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