A few observations on the offshore wind industry

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A savvy Brit recently suggested that the U.S. offshore wind industry should take advantage of European experience. The reason, he said almost in confidence, was that “We’ve made most of the mistakes already.” It’s hard to argue with that logic. Letting novices head up unfamiliar and complex construction projects sounds like a formula for failure.

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The current, exponential growth in demand for renewable, zero carbon technologies and sustainable natural resources presents the biggest economic opportunity since the Industrial Revolution. Securing this opportunity will create a more resilient, greener and wealthier New Zealand for generations to come.

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Recognizing and solving challenges in renewable energy land usage

Article | February 14, 2020

As anyone familiar with the saga of the Spotsylvania solar project knows, an inherent difficulty in developing renewable energy projects comes in finding the right project location, both in terms of size and siting. This is one of the topics analyzed in a new report released by The Brookings Institute: “Renewables, land use, and local opposition in the United States.” It’s a hard fact that renewable generation uses more land than fossil fuel systems, with solar having slightly lower median land use than both on- and offshore-wind, despite a large variance in total land density values. While this presents an issue for renewable developers, the silver lining is that renewable energy can be sustained indefinitely on the same land base, while mines and wells will eventually run out. As a solution, the study recommends greater development on brownfields, as well as floating PV, though the authors do recognize the capped potential of floating PV at around 10% of current U.S. electricity generation.

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CORONAVIRUS CRISIS FAST-FORWARDS GREEN ENERGY 10 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE

Article | February 14, 2020

As businesses shut down and many work from home around the world, electricity demand has reduced in COVID-19 hotspots. This could have a knock-on effect for the renewable sector. China, where the outbreak first took hold, is the world’s biggest electricity consumer. Output from factories has been substantially diminished with many unable to return to their jobs in manufacturing. Due to the curtailing of industrial electricity use, cuts in energy consumption for 2020 could be equivalent to the power used by the whole of Chile, according to IHS Markit. In Europe, peak power consumption has also gone down. Italy, Spain, and the UK have all seen an average 10 per cent drop in energy usage with bars, restaurants, offices and factories, which remain closed as social distancing measures continue.

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8 Reasons Why Right Now Is A Great Time To Go Solar

Article | February 14, 2020

The impacts of the coronavirus COVID-19 are being increasingly felt throughout the country, but the usual bills – including electricity bills – keep rolling in. There’s a lot that really sucks financially-speaking at the moment, but there are some bright spots. Here’s why now is a particularly good time to be considering going solar. But there’s a sure-fire way to get a great return on your cash and that is acquiring a good quality, professionally installed solar power system. Try our new solar calculator – the estimated payback and returns might make your eyes pop. For example, the following are estimated simple payback periods and savings over ten years for a 6.6kW solar system costing $6,600 installed in the various capitals; using the calculator’s default settings:

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ENERGY

Indigenous lands can be ground zero for a wind energy boom

Article | February 14, 2020

It all started about four years ago, when SUVs and pickup trucks drove uninvited onto their lands, remembers Olimpia Palmar, a member of the Indigenous Wayúu peoples, who historically have occupied the La Guajira desert in northern Colombia and Venezuela. "We started seeing these arijunas [Wayuúunaiki for non-native peoples] wearing construction helmets and boots and vests, getting out of the cars, checking the desert, and then leaving," she recalls. Word soon began circulating across the Guajira Peninsula, from the rancherías — the community’s rural settlements — to the few urban centers: The arijunas were offering money to those who would let them plant tall, slim towers on their lands to measure the wind. On La Guajira’s dusty earth, where few things grow, towers began to sprout. By 2019, at least 30 wind-measuring towers had risen on Wayúu land, according to a report by Indepaz, a nonprofit research center.

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Spotlight

Pure Advantage

The current, exponential growth in demand for renewable, zero carbon technologies and sustainable natural resources presents the biggest economic opportunity since the Industrial Revolution. Securing this opportunity will create a more resilient, greener and wealthier New Zealand for generations to come.

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