Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fukushima nuclear cleanup could create its own environmental disaster
9 Jan 2012

Decontaminating the Fukushima region to remove radioactive particles will not be possible without removing large amounts of soil, leaves and plants

Following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl 25 years ago, the Soviet government chose long-term evacuation over extensive decontamination; as a result, the plants and animals near Chernobyl inhabit an environment that is both largely devoid of humans and severely contaminated by radioactive fallout.

The meltdown last March of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan also contaminated large areas of farmland and forests, albeit not as severely or extensively as at Chernobyl. But lacking land for resettlement and facing public outrage over the accident, the Japanese government has chosen a very different path, embarking on a decontamination effort of unprecedented scale.

Beginning this month, at least 1,000km² of land--much of it forest and farms--will be cleaned up as workers power-spray buildings, scrape soil off fields, and remove fallen leaves and undergrowth from woods near houses. The goal is to make all of Fukushima livable again. But as scientists, engineers, and ordinary residents begin this massive task, they face the possibility that their efforts will create new environmental problems in direct proportion to their success in remediating the radioactive contamination.

"Decontamination can be really effective, [but] what you have is a tradeoff between dose reduction and environmental impact", says Kathryn Higley, a radioecologist at Oregon State University who has studied several decontamination sites in the United States. That's because the radioactive particles the Japanese are trying to get rid of can be quite "sticky". Removing them without removing large amounts of soil, leaves, and living plants is nearly impossible. The Ministry of Environment estimates that Fukushima will have to dispose of 15 to 31m cubic metres of contaminated soil and debris by the time the decontamination projects end. Costs are predicted to exceed a trillion yuan.

Read more…

ABB wins $50M Power Systems order to increase wind power use in Texas
8 Jan 2012

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth over $50M from Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT), to provide electrical equipment that will improve reliability, strengthen the existing transmission grid and facilitate the integration of wind power. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2011. The project, to be completed by 2013, is part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) program, aimed at increasing the contribution of renewable energy in Texas by up to 18 GWs, making it one of the world's largest land-based wind initiatives.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission four static var compensators (SVCs) at two sites. SVCs are part of ABB's family of FACTS (flexible alternating current transmission systems) technologies, which help enhance the capacity, and flexibility of power transmission systems and also contribute to the development of smarter grids. FACTS technologies allow more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines. They also help address voltage and frequency stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently.

Wind power hits record levels over New Year period
9 Jan 2012

Industry welcomes news that wind farms supplied 5.3% of UK electricity from December 1 to January 5.

Can you can remember where you were on 28 December? Perhaps you were visiting relatives, or maybe you were back at work secretly wishing you were hiding under your new slanket and watching another re-run of Only Fools and Horses. Wherever you were, chances are that you were not working quite as hard as the country's wind turbine fleet, which was spinning enough to set a new record for green electricity supplies. According to trade association RenewableUK, wind farms met an average of 5.3% of the UK's electricity demand between 1 December and 5 January, hitting a record share of 12.2% on 28 December.

The trade association estimated the high yield cut more than 750,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the UK's electricity generators over the festive period, the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the roads. In fact, RenewableUK reckons the figures could be almost 50% higher than those stated as they are derived from Elexon's Balancing Mechanism Reports, which ignores many onsite generators and only monitors turbines connected to the National Grid.

Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK director of policy, hailed the National Grid's ability to cope with the increased levels of wind power, as it is responsible for balancing the output of the UK's electricity generators with demand from consumers and businesses on a minute-by-minute basis. Integrating the intermittency of wind turbines involves taking a range of balancing actions, including reducing the rate at which fossil fuel power stations consume fuel when wind output is higher. "As we're generating increasingly large amounts of electricity from wind, feeding those large volumes of power into the system represents an engineering challenge to the National Grid-a challenge we are pleased to see they met over Christmas", said Edge

NaturEner set to proceed on Rim Rock wind power project
10 Jan 2012

NaturEner USA, a renewable energy company, announced on Tuesday that is is set to proceed with construction on the 189 MW Rim Rock wind power project in Glacier County and Toole County. NaturEner says it expects to achieve commercial operation on the Rim Rock project by the end of 2012.

In a press release, NaturEner said that it is ready to proceed with the project after securing a construction loan and the promise of a $285 million tax-equity capital contribution from San Diego Gas & Electric Company once the project has reached commercial operation. Rim Rock will have access to transmission via the Montana AlbertaTie Line (MATL).

Governor Brian Schweitzer said in a press release, "This is big news for Montana and the Hi-Line with another $605 million of investment in wind energy development. It will create hundreds of good paying construction jobs and be a sustainable property tax base for local governments".

Friday, 13 January 2012

RWE seeks to triple Polish wind power capacity to 300 MWs
10 Jan 2012

RWE AG (RWE), Germany's second-largest utility, said it plans to almost triple its wind power capacity in Poland to 300 MWs. RWE is targeting annual growth of 50 MWs in Poland by developing its own farms and purchasing external projects, Fritz Vahrenholt, chief executive officer of its Innogy renewable energy unit, said today in Essen, Germany. The Taciewo and Krzecin wind farms, with a combined capacity of 44 MWs, are due to start operating in the first and second quarter, he said. RWE Innogy had about 2,480 MWs of renewable capacity in operation at the end of last year, including 108 MWs of wind turbines in Poland.

Japan wind power installations to drop 68% as subsidies halted
10 Jan 2012

Japan's wind power installations for the year ending in March will decline 68% after the government halted a program that provided subsidies for clean energy projects, an industry association said. The country will add 33 turbines generating 82 MWs of wind power for the year ending March, according to an estimate by the Japan Wind Power Association released today. For the year ended March 2011, Japan installed 256 MWs.

Japan stopped direct subsidies in 2010 that paid for a third of the cost of renewable energy projects as the country planned a shift to an incentive payment program, Takao Hanaoka, a spokesman for the association, said by phone today. The preferential tariffs, due to start in July, have yet to be set and that may have contributed to the decline, Hanaoka said.

Japan is targeting an increase in renewable energy generation as most of the country's atomic reactors are shut for checks following the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl last March. Before the accident, atomic power provided about 30% of Japan's electricity supply. The country's cumulative wind power capacity may reach 2,600 MWs by March 2014 from the current 2,522 MWs, the association said, urging the government to make an early decision on the tariffs and wind power generation targets.

Sempra, BP to build two new large wind power farms
10 Jan 2012

(Reuters)-Sempra Energy and BP Plc will spend $1 billion to build new wind power farms this year in Pennsylvania and Kansas with a total output capacity of 560 MWs, the companies said on Tuesday. Wind power developers are racing to build new plants ahead of the expected expiration of a tax credit at the end of 2012, an incentive the industry is seeking to have extended to help make the renewable power source competitive against fossil fuel power stations.

The wind farms, to be owned by BP Wind Energy and Sempra US Gas and Power, will be the biggest in each state and will expand the partnership between the two companies which together own wind farms in Indiana and Colorado. The Mehoopany wind farm in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, will have a capacity of 141 MW and has a contract to sell the power to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative. One MW of electricity capacity is enough to supply about 1,000 homes.

The Flat Ridge 2 wind farm will be located near Wichita, Kansas, have a capacity of 419 MW and deliver power to Associated Electric Cooperative and Southwestern Electric Power Co. It also expects to sign one additional customer, the companies said. Both plants will use wind turbines built by General Electric Co.

Dubai announces 1000 MW solar energy project
10 Jan 2012

Dubai is embarking on a lengthy solar project of gargantuan proportions, with a similarly lengthy name to accompany it. UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The multi-billion dollar project will cover 48 km² and be situated in Dubai's Sieh Al Dahl area.

At an event announcing the project, Chairman of the Dubai's Supreme Energy Council, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, stated the solar park will be constructed in a number of stages. The first stage of the project will see the solar farm's capacity reaching 10 MWs by 2013, with a total capacity of 1000 MWs being in place by 2030.

The initiative is part of Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aims to achieve a 30% reduction in energy consumption. In 2010, Dubai consumed around 33,000 GWs ( GW) of electricity and without intervention, energy demand is expected to increase by 5% annually. In the Strategy, solar will still only play a minor role in the sun-soaked region-1% of overall energy production by 2020, increasing to 5% by 2030. By that year, 12% of electricity generation will come from nuclear power and 12% from so-called "clean coal"-a suite of technologies that require more energy and therefore more coal to be mined and burned. The balance will be sourced from gas-fired electricity generation.

Although Dubai's economy was built on fossil fuel production, oil and natural gas now make up for less than 6% of the emirate's revenues according to an entry on Wikipedia. Dubai's oil reserves are rapidly being depleted and are expected to be exhausted in 20 years. Part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula. Covering just over 4,400 km², the emirate is home to a population of 1.2 million people. Collectively, the emirates have one of the largest carbon footprints per capita in the world.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Thornton: Winds of change for farmers
11 Jan 2012

Wind turbines can help save struggling farms, argues Kane Thornton.

LIFE on the land has only become tougher. The cruel effects of drought, fires and floods, along with the strong Aussie dollar and challenging global markets, have pushed farming families to the limit. In many cases, diversification has been the key to their survival. Responding to changing market dynamics, consumer demands and weather conditions by moving into different crops, livestock and land uses, is helping save the family farm.

It would be a brave outsider who demanded the removal of the farmer's right to make those choices for themselves. Yet that is what the activists opposed to wind farms are doing. They are saying that individual farmers should not have the right to choose wind farming to help them drought-proof their properties, make better use of marginal farming land, or insure against market downturns. But for those farmers fortunate enough to live in some of the windiest places in the world, farming wind can be the best option.

And those farmers are not the only ones who benefit. wind farms are also providing jobs for local communities and contractors and an economic boost for struggling regional areas. At the Capital wind farm near Canberra, about $10 million went straight into the pockets of local people during construction. It went into the corner store, the local restaurant, motels and more.

Of course, appropriate regulations and community consultation should apply to any wind farm, as they do to any new farm infrastructure, be it an extra shed, a tourist development, a road, a dam or a mine. wind farms in Australia face the toughest guidelines in the world in relation to their siting, operation and permissible noise levels.

The wind power industry is working hard to improve its process of consultation with local communities and the quality of information that it shares with them. A lack of information-or the wrong information-can understandably create anxiety for people who are not familiar with our new ways of producing electricity.

However, opponents of renewable energy seem determined to use wind farms as political footballs, fuelling community divisions they claim they want to avoid. They make inflammatory claims about noise-when a wealth of scientific research shows that noise from wind farms does not have a harmful effect on people. These disingenuous claims increase anxiety within the community. And, like any form of anxiety, this can have an impact on a person's health. Those opponents also ignore the impact that wind farms have on reducing our carbon emissions, and say wind power is expensive.

Consider this. Over the first six months of last year, Australia's 1188 wind turbines generated enough electricity to power more than 725,000 homes. If we are to move away from coal (which itself can create health issues) then wind power is one of the cheapest alternative sources we can introduce on a large scale. Farmers should have the right to farm the wind and the right to secure the future of their livelihoods and their families.

* Kane Thornton is Clean Energy Council's acting CEO

Ramsay's wind farm backflip
12 Jan 2012

THE about-face of State Liberal Simon Ramsay over his attitude to wind farms is hard to swallow, writes Greg Barber

Six years ago, Simon Ramsay wanted to be part of the wind industry, to diversify and drought-proof his farm. It was smart because while the price of agricultural commodities seems to move downwards, the demand for zero-emissions electricity grows.

Mr Ramsay is now one of the most rabidly anti-wind MPs (Weekly Times, November 30) in a government that has all but killed off new wind farm proposals in Victoria. He derides subsidies to wind farms, by which he means the Renewable Energy Target, a target his Liberal colleague Greg Hunt wants to claim credit for. He says all the jobs are in China, where the turbines are made.

So are the major components for coal-fired power plants. So are Mr Ramsay's underpants, quite likely. Most of the thousands of Australian jobs in the design, construction and operation of wind farms are outside Victoria. That will continue if Mr Ramsay has any say in it. He spreads all the voodoo on the health effects of wind farms. So why hasn't his government made dramatically tougher noise rules for turbines? Because the current 35-dB limit is the right one.

I've stood underneath an operating wind turbine carrying on a perfectly normal conversation. Interestingly, we are yet to see someone suffering ill effects when they are getting paid to host turbines on their property, and those people live closer to turbines than just about anyone. Once upon a time, Mr Ramsay wanted some of that action for himself.

Despite what he tells you, his government has not introduced a buffer between wind turbines and homes. They have required a developer to get a sign-off from every resident within 2km before they can even apply for a permit. If you want to farm the wind, any one of your neighbours within 2km has a right to say no and Mr Ramsay thinks this policy will stop wind projects from dividing communities.

Under the State Government's new policy, approved wind farms not built in the next few years will lose their permits and will be back to square one. Nine wind farms face this test by the end of March. Mr Ramsay talks about the "visual immensity of these monstrosities" he once applauded. But picture this: for every two turbines you see up on the hillside, there is a full-time, highly paid, locally based job. There's also a $10,000 annual payment to the landholder. A couple thousand more paid in council rates. Green electricity for 1600 homes.

South Australia now has more than 1000 MWs of wind power. Late last year, there were times when more than 90% of its electricity came from the wind. The fuel is free so the electricity is cheap. Bad news if you are a coal-fired power station. Good news for regional communities. But it requires a consistent and coherent government policy and with Mr Ramsay, you get a political weathervane.

* Greg Barber is the Leader of the Victorian Greens

Construction starts on demonstration solar power station in Mildura

Silex Systems subsidiary Solar Systems has started construction on the first stage of Australia's largest solar power station in Mildura, Victoria. The Mildura power station will be the first full-scale commercial deployment of a grid connected solar power station using Solar Systems' Dense Array concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology.

According to Solar Systems, its technology uses advanced 'triple junction' solar cells currently capable of approximately 40% conversion efficiency, which is approximately double the efficiency of today's best silicon-based cells. It also benefits from the use of active cooling to maximise power output and lifetime performance from the solar cells. The first stage of the project, which started in December 2011, involves the construction of a demonstration facility of up to 2 MW capacity. This is scheduled to be completed in late 2012.

Subject to satisfactory performance of the demonstration facility, grid interconnect and planning activities, a much larger 100 MW solar power station (enough to power up to 40,000 average homes) will be constructed on the same site. This is expected to start in 2013, for a 2016 completion. The Mildura solar power station project has received financial support of up to $120 million from the Victorian State Government and Australian Federal Government.

Solar Systems says its technology is suited to large utility-scale electrical power generation using the proprietary Dense Array CPV solar conversion system. The technology is being prepared for commercial deployment in the global utility-scale solar power station market which is forecast to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

SA Opposition wind policy threatens $3 billion investment

Clean Energy Council
6 Jan 2012

The South Australian Opposition's policy on wind farms would threaten more than $3 billion of investment and push up power prices for South Australian householders if implemented in its current form, the renewable energy industry's peak body said today.

It would also place in doubt the creation of nearly 1,000 direct jobs, Clean Energy Council Acting CEO, Kane Thornton, said. "It is unfortunate the wind industry was not consulted on this policy", Mr Thornton said. "But we now look forward to working with the South Australian Liberal Party to ensure they understand the value of the wind industry to the state, and to provide them with a more complete understanding of wind farms and associated issues".

Mr Thornton said South Australia was currently leading the nation in using wind power to generate electricity. "South Australia now gets over 20% of its electricity from wind power; one of the reasons the state's carbon emissions fell by 18% over the past five years". Mr Thornton said Australian wind farms were already subject to the toughest planning guidelines in the world in relation to their siting, operation and permissible noise levels. Wind energy also currently enjoyed strong support from over 80% of Australians.

"While the Australian wind industry is keen to work with the community to address any legitimate concerns that may arise with regard to specific projects, the proposed blanket two-km no-go zones for wind farms are likely to drive future wind investment to other states", Mr Thornton said. "Guidelines currently in place ensure the proper balance between wind farm developments and community is reached throughout South Australia".

South Australian wind farms currently generate enough energy to power 482,836 homes annually. Capital investment of $2.792 billion has so far been made in South Australian wind farms, creating 806 direct jobs and 2417 indirect jobs. "Projects worth a further $3.078 billion are currently proposed for South Australia that would power more than 567,000 homes and create 948 direct jobs", Mr Thornton said. "But measures like two-km setbacks would place all this under threat.

"The proposed two-km setbacks have no precedent in other infrastructure developments-be it roads, power lines or factories-and are likely to create insurmountable challenges for wind projects. "As we've seen in Victoria, such measures would effectively make South Australia a 'no-go' zone for wind farms, driving billions of dollars of investment from the state. "In addition, South Australians would see higher electricity prices as future renewable energy will need to come from higher cost sources.

"Unnecessary restrictions on where renewable energy projects can be built will only serve to drive up the cost of electricity to South Australian consumers. "South Australia has created an investment-friendly environment through an efficient and transparent planning regime, and we're really keen to work with future governments to see that retained".

Wind power to shipyard: Release the kraken
7 Jan 2012

Like arms of a steel kraken, cranes stretch skyward behind run-down brick warehouses in the Polish shipyard of Gdynia. This is where Hochtief AG, Germany's biggest builder, is spending 200 million euros ($268 million) erecting the world's most powerful ship that builds wind farms at sea.

The unfinished 147-meter-long beast, dubbed "Innovation", looks like an aircraft carrier sitting in dry dock. Instead of fighter jets, though, its deck will load windmills. Germany plans to install as much as 10,000 MWs of sea-based turbines by the end of this decade, up from about 200 MWs today, and Hochtief AG may build as many as many as three more ships to meet demand, said Ulrich Reinke, who heads the company's energy division.

Germany's offshore wind targets "will result in investments of more than 30 billion euros over the next years", Reinke said. "Demand for ships to build and service offshore wind farms remains very high".

The Innovation is what's known in the industry as a jack-up vessel. Its four steel feet can elevate the ship above water depths up to 50 meters, protecting it from waves and current. Fully jacked up, the ship will reach a height of 200 meters from its feet to the tip of the extended crane--about twice the height of the "Big Ben" Clock Tower of London's Westminster Palace. The crane, built by Germany's Liebherr-International Deutschland at a cost of 23 million euros, can lift 1,500 metric tons.

"It's the biggest and most modern ship of its kind", said Christian Bauer, who oversees construction for Hochtief AG, as he guided a tour of the vessel. Bauer, wearing a white hard hat, climbed up a narrow steel ladder about 33 meters above ground to reach the top of the ship's main structure, which will house a cinema, a gym and cabins for about 100 sailors.

Innovation is the biggest project for the Gdynia shipyard, which once employed 15,000 people but gradually lost significance after the collapse of the Soviet Union and fell into insolvency in 2009. The shipyard is a few miles north of Gdansk, where Lech Walesa, a former dock worker, in 1980 led the shipyard strike that launched the Solidarity pro-democracy movement and helped bring down communism. Poland's Crist shipyard bought part of the Gdynia docks and secured the contract for Innovation.

From the view atop the vessel, workers rush to and from the main deck amid flying sparks and the clamor of hammers. The ship, cut out of about 30,000 tons of steel, is to be finished by the end of May and will in the ensuing weeks begin installing the Global Tech 1 wind farm in the German North Sea.

Storms produce record UK wind power output
6 Jan 2012

(Reuters)-British wind power production reached a record high just before the New Year as storms hit the British Isles and powered onshore and offshore wind turbines, beating the previous high by nearly 20%, generation data showed on Friday. wind farms produced a record 12.2% of UK energy demand on December 28, statistics provided by green energy association RenewableUK showed, displacing the previous record of 10%. "Wind energy represents a new paradigm in electricity generation, allowing us to harness the power of the weather when it's available, cutting our fossil fuel bills and lowering our carbon emissions", said Gordon Edge, director of policy at RenewableUK.

Storms hit Britain over the New Year, which helped power wind farms but also cut off power supply to more than 100,000 households as uprooted trees and debris damaged electricity cables and poles. Average wind power production between December 1, 2011 and January 5, 2012 covered 5.3% of UK power demand, RenewableUK data showed. Wind power is considered a key energy resource to help Britain meet its legally-binding target of cutting carbon emissions by 34% below 1990 levels by the end of this decade. UK wind power capacity is expected to grow by one third this year, bringing total installed wind capacity to around 8,000 MWs ( MW), the association said.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Govt plans offshore facility to tap wind energy
6 Jan 2012

CHENNAI: The Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) plans to conduct a feasibility study in Dhanushkodi near Rameswaram to set up offshore windmills, following problems of land acquisition for onshore wind power projects. Sources said wind velocity at 100 metres from ground level would be measured and data collected. "It will be set up in a lagoon. If there is enough wind flow, we will set up a wind farm and start power generation", said a CWET source.

A machine will be installed at the erected tower and the velocity, direction and duration of wind recorded. The data will then be sent to the CWET. "At least one acre of land will be required to erect the tower in Dhanushkodi", the source said. It would take at least two years to study and gather data on the potential for offshore wind power.

The study will take some years to complete. "We conducted a study in Rameswaram too, but that was not for offshore windmills. We studied the velocity at 20 metres from ground level", said the source. Many countries have started opting for offshore windmills. Many European countries, the US and China have started setting up such windmills. But in India the concept is yet to catch on.

The country's wind power generation capacity is around 14,000 MW, of which Tamil Nadu accounts for 6,547 MW. Between April and October last year, nearly 660 MW was added. However, a major problem in both onshore and offshore windmills is the evacuation problem. "There is a need for proper evacuation facilities. The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) said an exclusive corridor for renewable energy will be set up soon", said Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) chairman and managing director Sudeep Jain.

He said there were no offshore windmills in the country. "Tamil Nadu has a huge potential and it would be good if some are set up in the state", said Jain. TNEB officials on the other hand said laying transmission lines for evacuating wind power would not happen in a short time. "Wind energy producers claim the state has a capacity to produce an additional 10,000 MW. This would need a strong transmission network", said a TNEB official.

He said they sought funds from the MNRE for an exclusive corridor for evacuating wind power. "We will need at least Rs 5,000 crore", said the official.

Kenya wind power project to start by April: official
5 Jan 2012

(Reuters)-Construction of a 310 MW wind power project in Kenya is expected to start in April after its financiers complete due diligence on the project, a senior company official said on Thursday. Most of Kenya's power is generated by hydroelectric plants, which are prone to the vagaries of frequent droughts, which cut water levels in dams, lead to power outages and force east Africa's biggest economy to rely on diesel-powered generators. Work on the 617 million euro ($873.7 million) Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project was initially expected to have started by last month.

Carlo Van Wageningen, chairman of LTWP, said its financiers were going through the due diligence process, which was expected to culminate in finalizing the funding. "We don't expect any further delays. We are looking at financial close at the end of March, beginning of April and therefore groundbreaking as soon as possible after that", Van Wageningen told Reuters by phone. The LTWP power project is expected to start production after 2013. It involves building a wind farm within Loiyangalani, a remote region in the northwest part of the country and near the Lake Turkana basin.

Van Wageningen said the World Bank is one of the project's guarantors on behalf of the Kenyan government and that the bank required the project to undergo an environmental impact assessment study. He said the study was complete and was posted on the World Bank Web site from November 15 for a statutory 120 days for the public to comment and would thereafter be taken before the bank's board for approval. "The pushback is really due to the fact that we have done some more studies on environmental impact. The World Bank will now be providing certain guarantees and credit enhancements on behalf of the government", Van Wageningen said.

LTWP is a subsidiary of KP&P, a Dutch firm which sets up wind power projects. The Kenyan venture will be the biggest in the country, consisting of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts. LTWP has an agreement with Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems to supply 365 Vestas V52 turbines. "We don't expect any delays. We're sure and foresee production of these turbines will not be delayed", Van Wageningen said. LTWP will transmit its power to the national grid through a 428 km (266 mile) overhead line it will build for the government and offload the electricity to the state-run Kenya Power Company. The country hopes to add 2,000 MW of environmentally friendly energy sources by 2013.

Anger at guidelines for wind power
5 Jan 2012

NORTHERN NSW residents could have more power to oppose wind farm developments than coal seam gas wells and coal mines under new draft planning guidelines. Under the draft wind farm guidelines announced before Christmas, residents who live within 2km of a proposed wind farm will have the right to veto the project. Anti-coal seam gas campaigners have said the guidelines create double standards because coal seam gas developments are allowed within 200m of occupied houses.

Northern Rivers Guardian spokesperson and Lock the Gate Alliance management committee member Michael McNamara said wind farms were more sustainable than coal seam gas wells. "It is outrageous that the 2km veto does not apply to coal seam gas exploration activities", he said. "Restrictions on different activities should relate to the relative risks posed by those activities. On any reckoning the risks associated with coal seam gas exploration and extraction are far more serious and long lasting than even the worst reports of risks associated with wind farms".

Mr McNamara said local MPs should work to ensure coal seam gas wells weren't drilled near houses. "I call on local state MPs Geoff Provest and Thomas George to pressure the Premier to extend this right of veto to proposed coal seam gas activities within a 2km radius of any residence". Ballina MP Don Page said people should not compare guidelines on coal seam gas wells to the tough new restrictions on wind farm developments.

"They are different things. wind farms are created on the surface of a property owned by farmers or landowners. That's not the case with coal seam gas which is a resource that is underground and owned by everyone, so they are different sorts of issues really", he said. Lismore MP Thomas George was not available for comment. People wishing to write submissions to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure about the wind farm guidelines have until March 14.

More proof that the Liberal party has turned its back on science and is being influenced by the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.