Fierce pride - yes it works! (or, first ever bank-financed offshore wind farm inaugurated!)

This is me in front of the windfarm which I helped finance two years ago. It's up and running, and will be generating clean energy for the next 20-25 years - at a price guaranteed not to increase for the whole period. It was inaugurated yesterday and christened Princess Amalia windfarm, after the young daughter of the Dutch crown prince.

All my wind diaries are now listed in this Windpower index story.

Now that European wholesale power prices are becoming higher than the feed-in tariff paid to wind farms in most countries that have them (ie it's getting cheaper to buy "subsidized" wind power than regular, "competitive" power on the free market), it's particularly sweet.

French day-ahead electricity prices on Powernext (free reg. required).
The regulated tariff for wind power is 82 EUR/MWh or lower.

Of course, the costs (and the tariffs) for offshore wind are still slightly higher than for onshore, but this is likely to change quickly as the sector moves away from semi-experimental construction procedures to standardised methods, and as the current bottlenecks in the supply chain recede as more production capacity is put in place.

The fact remains: onshore wind costs 40-70 EUR/MWh and offshore wind power costs 90-120 EUR/MWh today and both will cost that, or less, in 15 years' time. Can any other electricity source say that, except for hydro (which cannot increase its production capacity) or solar (which needs a few more years of development to see its still high costs - 250-350 EUR/MWh - come down to more attractive levels)?

Wind's only obstacle today is the still widespread perception that it is not a "serious" energy source, that it's only a small part of the solution, and that it's not really reliable anyway.

It was heartening to see earlier this week this ad in all French newspapers, whereby all the big French utilities (including almost-all-nuclear EDF) publicly supported wind power and insisted they would continue to invest in the sector:

(It was somewhat less heartening to see Poweo's Beigbeder's self-serving and bad faith ode to competition in today's Le Monde - I will respond separately to that article).

But as power generation manufacturers like GE, Siemens and others get a increasingly large share of their turnover from selling wind turbines, as Vestas (the leading wind turbine manufacturer) sees its market capitalisation reach EUR 15-20 billion, as foundries, steel makers, gearbox manufacturers, shipping companies and others see massively increasing orders coming their way from the wind industry, and as local farmers and public officials realize that they can get extra income, and extra local jobs, maybe the tide of "seriousness" will turn readily enough.

And as wind capacity installed each year continues to increase by 20% or more each year worldwide, its share of world production will quickly reach undismissable levels. This year, a number of symbolic threshholds were reached - 100GW of installed capacity, one exajoule of annual electricity generation, 40% of electricity produced from wind in Spain on some days. All of this, essentially starting from scratch less than 10 years ago. what will another 10 years bring us?

Massive unreliability, as we need to wait for wind to blow to turn on our computers or our air conditioning? Or simply new ways to run the grid, as the experience of Denmark (which has enjoyed a number of days when more than 100% of its electricity needs was produced by wind) or Spain shows? The French grid operator, RTE, long extremely wary of wind power and its unreliability, had this to say in its latest annual report (big PDF, in French, see p.49):

The second point is about wind's contribution to peak demand: despite wind's intermittency, wind farms reduce the need in thermal power plants to ensure the requisite level of supply security. One can speak of substituted capacity.

The capacity substitution rate (ratio of thermal capacity replaced to installed wind capacity) is close to the average capacity factor of wind farms in winter (around 30%) for a small proportion of wind in the system (a few GW). It goes down as that proportion increases, but remains above 20% with around 15GW of wind power.

Intermittency is a real issue, but it is one that can be dealt with at what, so far, appears to be an extremely low cost - investment in the grid, something that's useful in any case if we want resilient systems.

Ah, but wind farms are ugly!

zut alors those turbines are big...Nice work Jerome

(2MW version - 40 metre blades. Unknown french man in front)

Unfortunate cover picture. It looks like you are being hung. Consider revising. Sorry....3 years of art school....can't help myself

Indeed, somewhat unfortunate! I've changed the cover picture, the original can be found here:

Fantastic photo! Great for a caption competition... "I thought it was a bit odd that Gazprom were paying for this boat trip."

much better choice…I like that shot. The folks that contribute to TOD are the BEST at taking criticism. Thanks.

And those are small ones! I think the biggest ones being made now are in excess of 5 MWs.

1 down, 2,699,999 to go.

1 down, 2,699,999 to go.

24 down - it's a 120MW installation.

For reference, the world has a little over 100GW of wind right now, which equates to about 30,000 units, with 7,000 of those added in 2007, and growth increasing.

The US DoE study sees no problem with tripling the (US) rate of installation in the next 10 years, suggesting that tripling the world rate in the next 20 should be quite achievable. Doing so, and then seeing zero growth for the rest of the century, would see 7,000 x 3 x 70 = 1.5M units installed past that time, or about 60% of the total energy you and Luis suggested would be needed.

One could push that number higher, for example by assuming a non-zero rate of growth past 2030, but it would be pointless to do so - it's unlikely that wind will be used for even half of total energy, given the probable availability of nuclear, solar, and hydro in 2100, the benefits of a diversified energy portfolio, and some of the efficiency gains that weren't taken into account (e.g., EVs use half the energy of ICEs, even after your 3:1 conversion from thermal to useful work).

(Note that neither raw materials nor manufacturing capacity are likely constraints; the DoE report examines these in more detail.)

Pitt - TOD at its best. Thanks for your contribution.

over that time period are we looking at replacement issues if the lifespan is 25 yrs?


over that time period are we looking at replacement issues if the lifespan is 25 yrs?

Yes, and I'd actually forgotten about that in my back-of-the-envelope calculation, so thanks for pointing that out.

A 25-year lifespan means 4% yearly replacement; on 1.5M units, that's 60,000 units/yr in the final year, meaning it would dominate the installation of new units. Production would have to increase from 20,000/yr in 2030 to 80,000/yr in 2100, or an average rate of 2%/yr, which seems pretty modest.

That assumes building all-new units, though, which I suspect would be unlikely. I would imagine - and please correct me if I'm wrong - that some parts of wind turbines would wear out much faster than others; the gearing might need to be redone from scratch, for example, whereas the support tower might not have suffered much wear at all, especially for onshore installations. So I would imagine that replacing a wind turbine with an identical unit would be substantially cheaper than building the original, due to re-using and/or recycling parts, and that a wind turbine built in 2070 is likely to last longer than one built in 2007. I'd guess - guess - that the replacement costs in this scenario in 2100 would be no more than the new-unit costs.

For reference, at $2M/MW onshore, a "unit" would be $6M to build today, and 80,000 new units/yr - the maximum possible requirement - would cost $480B, or less than 1% of current world GDP, and around 5% of current world manufacturing capacity. In 2100, servicing such a large installed base of wind turbines won't be a problem; either it won't exist, or its existence will provide enough energy to keep growing the industrial base and make $480B in 2008$ an even more minor part of the world economy than it already is.

Also for reference and roughly speaking, 1.5M units @ 3MW @ 30% CF = 12,000TWh/yr = 6BT of coal @ 33% efficiency = $600B @ $100/ton, meaning that the amount of societal capacity necessary for building and maintaining the wind turbines should be roughly similar to the amount necessary for mining and providing an equivalent amount of coal at today's prices.

Towers and related electrical infrastructure (transmission lines, transformers) for on-shore projects are expected to last at least two generations for on-shore projects.

The best sites are being built out first. This will raise an interesting question, is it better to replace 2008 1 MW turbines with 2033 16 MW turbines or 1 MW turbines.

One thought is to space the new larger turbines up high (more thinly spaced) and replace 15/16s of the old 1 MW WTs with new 1 MW WTs. (Larger turbines are more thinly spaced, their wind shadow is greater).

Best Hopes for more WTs,


Great, all this effort, however...

I too have a "longevity" issue. Great having all this improved, you-beaut technology coming to the fore, but how reliable will it be? Won't the bearings alone need constant care? Sounds kind of expensive (repeat manufacture, transport, installation, service) if you have to replace this new technology every couple of decades.

In Australia, we're being asked to seriously consider plastic water tanks/bladders to battle our drought woes; yet they come with a ten year warranty at best. Repair or replace?

One of my so-called 8000 hour energy-saver globes failed last night after six months occasional use (the desk-lamp was bought at the same time).

Peak iron-ore, peak coal... Aren't these also future realities? I mean, surely we don't have enough stuff in the ground to keep building millions of these things, several times each century! It's fingers in a leaky boat stuff.

The ONLY solution to our growing woes is to move to a more sustainable human population (no I'm not thinking wars or culling, though there is that peanut down the street...). I was over in Bali recently, chatting with locals who came from big families and had many children themselves; so many mouths to feed. Why not begin the sustainability thing by pressing religious leaders around the globe that condoms aren't such a bad thing afterall.

Sure, may not be as easy as building a zillion ocean fans or sun-catchers, but would surely be a heck of lot less expensive!

Or maybe not.

I read somewhere, another three billion people are expected to populate this little blue-green planet by 2050. To get there, that's 75 million born on average each year, over and above the ones that replace those who die... Or 200,000 more humans each day. To feed, to clothe, to shelter.



Agreed, population growth is not sustainable and worsens every coming "peak x" that we face. And yet, the fact that the UN is predicting a peak in world population by 2050 is enough to convince some Peak Oilers that population is not an issue. But most Peak Oilers are remarkably silent regarding population. Both on this message board and in their presentations.

That would be me, for one.

As you say, population is expected to stop growing and level out at 9 odd billion people.

That is sustainable - which is why I don't view population as a problem - and why I take a very dim view of population doomers...

Indeed. I don't see the 9bn figure as a problem in itself. The issue is how those 9bn people behave, what they do with themselves. If the 9bn attempt to behave in the same way as today's population then we haven't got a chance, we haven't got a chance with today's population continuing to behaving the way it does today.

Short of going out with a sub-machine gun, it seems a problem which will just have to be coped with, rather than dealt with, and so discussion is moot.

I believe this type of argument is the logical fallacy referred to as a "false dilemma". Either you kill people, or you do nothing. And in fact, those are not the only two alternatives. You have birth control, which along with mother nature - which kills people for us all the time - allows you to reduce population, or stop it from growing, without using a machine gun. Now the religions that proselytize fight birth control tooth and nail. But it's time for secular organizations to fight back against this religious dogma. The longer we allow population to increase the worse it will be for people in the future - and not surprisingly, the worse it will be for us in the present - more trash to deal with, more pollution to deal with, more divying up of finite resources and often non-renewable resouces, soaring land costs, crowding, and on and on. And this is regardless of how many empty assurances we get from population Pollyannas.

Few of the world's religions have had a great effect on people's reproductive behaviour, regardless of what their official positions are.
Some of the lowest birthrates in the world are in Catholic countries.
Iran has had massive falls in birthrates, as has the Mahgreb.
Whilst birht control etc are important, actually factors like female secondary education and urbanisation correlate much better with reductions.
Immigration will likely be restricted in a post peak world, but overall I expect birth rates to fall more slowly where it counts, in the developing world as many of the factors which have led to decreases are weakened whilst it is much more difficult to provide facilities for birth control.
What I disliked intensely were people in the west chuntering on about how profligate the poor were, which has been the cry for the past two hundred years, without looking at why they actually had several children, although they were in want.
In many cases the lack of a social security net or effective financial instruments for saving made this the only effective method of providing for their old age.
So a debate by all means, although I can't imagine any here being against measures like the provision of birth control, but I do hope it doesn't veer over into the sort of snotty elitism which has been prevalent in that sort of discussion.

Big Gav,

To be concerned about where mankind is headed is surely a natural reaction, particularly to a forty-year-old Joe like myself who suddenly is made aware that obvious limits to things actually exist. As a bloke with an average IQ trying to help his kids choose the right path in life - if there is such a thing - who has been mostly influenced by MS info and business-as-usual these past decades, I simply seek answers to questions that revolve around BIG numbers that others throw up - and 200,000 EXTRA humans EACH DAY, for the next FORTY YEARS or so, seems like one of those numbers.

9 billion people worries me (there's alarming congestion even now).
85 million barrels a day worries me.
4200 planes IN THE AIR over the US at the time of 9/11 worried me.
Trillions spent on war-efforts.
100 million sharks destroyed every year.
And on and on...

My point in contrast to this topic - 24 propellers, each with a short, 20 year life-span - even though large in scale themselves, that the NUMBER OF THEM and HOW LONG THEY LAST seems "kinda small" (again, thanks to the builders for the effort and no offense intended). And surely there must be more practical ways to plan for a less-is-more future. Present ALL the options, like stop having babies for a while (in Australia, we hand out $6000 baby bonus'!). Instead of simply blowing billions on things that soon need to be replaced.

To be honest Big Gav, I'm offended at being called a "doomster", nay-sayer, whatever (bit like hopping on-board an environmental project, receiving a government subsidy and being called an "opportunist". It's simply not fair). 'Cause to me, much of this - both questions and answers - still doesn't make a great deal of sense for the long haul.

Or maybe I just need a calculator with more digits on it so the big numbers don't seem as scary.

Regards, Matt B from Melbourne

A lot of us here have been considering these issues, including population increase, for some time - in my case around 40 years, so it really doesn't move things forward to shout at us with BIG PRINT.
Regardless of the monies paid as a baby bonus, most of the developed world has a static or falling birth rate.
The real remaining problem is in the developing world, where unfortunately they have no pension plans, and so in rural areas security of a sort is only to be bought by making sure that you have sons and hoping they take care of you.
Unfortunately whilst economic recession is likely to reduce birth rates still further in the developed world if past experience is any guide, still harsher conditions in poorer areas may well slow the rate of female higher education and urbanisation, often critical factors in fertility reduction.
The way out of this may be difficult to see, but the fact that it is rarely discussed here should not be taken as indicating unawareness of the issue, but perhaps an acknowledgement of it's intractability.

Fair enough. Just don't see how a few big fans and sun-catchers, each with a use-by date, are going to make much of a difference. And sorry about the big print: Lots of things I learn these days seem to have (or warrant) an exclamation mark. Afterall, I've been oblivious up until recently...

Regards, Matt B

Just don't see how a few big fans and sun-catchers, each with a use-by date, are going to make much of a difference.

It's like anything else: a few will make a small difference; a lot will make a large difference.

There were over 10,000 turbines installed last year, and the industry's been growing at 25%/yr for a decade. More wind capacity was installed in the EU than any other type of generating capacity last year, and it generates about 4% of the EU's overall electricity.

It's far beyond the level of "a few big fans". It is, at this point, a mature and mainstream generating technology.

On this board we frequently see main posts and comments that say that we are in trouble. Not enough oil and soon, not enough coal and natural gas, for our current population. Each time someone says something like that, we need you to make your case that there is nothing to worry about. Rebut each of their concerns and arguments.

No, it's not sustainable. While I love TOD, posting here amounts to little more than fiddling while Rome burns. Precisely as there's nothing which can be done about the exploding population, the root cause of our dilemma. Of course a die-back is in the future. It's arrogance and hubris which thinks otherwise. Hopefully complete extinction can be avoided.

Besides, imagine how boring things would be without a little doom on tap. Infinite growth - not possible, and a long cycle of decay looms.

Precisely as there's nothing which can be done about the exploding population, the root cause of our dilemma.

I think birth control and ending government subsidy of children are very viable solutions. And in the case of the US exploding population, which is mostly from immigration and births of immigrants, stopping immigration is also viable. And it will stop, just as it did during the great depression. Either a new depression or the peaking of coal and natural gas will turn off the "we would collapse without immigration" rhetoric.

(Note that neither raw materials nor manufacturing capacity are likely constraints; the DoE report examines these in more detail.)

Pitt, we have a difference of opinion here, as you are well aware. I am a strong advocate of wind energy in the uk and have been following it for a long time. Not only have I kept tabs on wind projects, I have visited the blade factory on the Isle of Wight. Last year it was regularly reported that the cost of raw materials and shortage of wind turbine components was putting pressure on the industry. The UK has something like 70% of europe's wind "reserve". Throughout the 90's and beginning of this century, when you could not give steel away and oil was cheap we fiddled around with wind power and built a few wind farms using 300kW to 600kW turbines. Then came Blyth offshore using two 2MW units. This has been out of service for more years than it has been operational due to a cable fault. Now we have started to take wind seriously all the costs have risen.
The trouble now, as I see it, taking a slightly cynical view, is the world of finance seems to have discovered it is easier to make money from asset stripping companies rather than developing them. FKI and DeWind for instance.

The planning procedure is also a nightmare. It has been around 4 years now since they where talking about a wind farm just down the road from me. It has now been approved as far as I am aware, yet there is still no sign of the project taking place.

This is a quote regarding the Thames Estuary:

The chief executive of E.On UK, Paul Golby, said he was disappointed by Shell's decision.

"While we remain committed to the scheme, Shell has introduced a new element of risk into the project

which will need to be assessed."

"The current economics of the project are marginal at best - with rising steel prices, bottlenecks in

turbine supply and competition from the rest of the world all moving against us."

In my view commodity prices are likely to fall with the exception of oil as the recession bites, as the energy component is often exaggerated.
Supply constraints of turbines etc should also ease, and so it seems o me likely that costs will start falling within a year or so.
None of this alters the fact that wind, at least in it's offshore incarnation which is where most British resources are, is damnably expensive.
Up thread Jerome did not disagree to much with estimates of approaching £0.30/kwh for it, although he indicated that this was at the top of the range.
It should be noted though that the pound is likely to fall against the Euro, and so even if some costs fall in Euro terms then Britain is unlikely to benefit.
Although getting the build will take awhile, it is also massively more than the most pessimistic estimates for a similar nuclear build.

In my view commodity prices are likely to fall with the exception of oil as the recession bites, as the energy component is often exaggerated.

In principle (or is it principal?)this is possible. If you break down the whole supply chain, cost is down to labour and nothing else, even the cost of raw materials. The labour may be indirect, but high wages in law and finance have to be supported. I usually get shot down in flames when I say we all want too much for doing too little! What I am saying is a service economy has to be supported by raw materials being turned into usable hardware. If the financiers etc take too much out, then the materials and hardware become progressively and disproportionally more expensive. If you look at the rate at which China are building infrastructure it is obvious we can do a great deal. I think the UK was in this position say 40-50 years ago, when for example the bulk of our electrical infrastructure was built. Since then we have "sat back in the sun", "drinking" north sea oil, as if its all going to last forever.
Its time for the hard work of turning raw materials into infrastructure to begin again. I was the last mass intake of engineering apprentices in the UK, that was in 1980. After that year the numbers dwindled, manufacturing industry was asset stripped, utilities sold off to raise revenue and finance became king.

Last year it was regularly reported that the cost of raw materials and shortage of wind turbine components was putting pressure on the industry.

Not surprisingly; the industry has grown 25% per year for a decade, so capacity constraints are almost guaranteed in the short term. That growth rate is unlikely to continue for another decade, meaning that capacity should catch up to demand.

Moreover, I suspect you'll find that it was not shortages of raw materials that was the problem, but their price. Wind towers consume a small fraction of the world's steel output, so there are plenty of materials available if you're willing to pay for them.

For both manufacturing capacity and raw materials, my point is simply that any plausible level of wind turbine manufacturing will consume only a small fraction of the world's output of either, meaning neither one will be a hard constraint on a massive wind buildout. The question isn't the capability, it's the will.

The decreases in demand for cars and other 'consumer' goods should mean that the scarcity premium for steel, copper etc vanishes, since as you say the materials used in wind turbines are relatively little.
this is exactly what should lead to price decreases.

The question isn't the capability, it's the will.

When I talk about material shortages, I am referring to our will. With 6% of the earth's crust made up of iron there's a limitless supply. The will comes from the financiers who want to make a profit. They will only profit if the rest of us can afford the product, in this case electricity. How it will end I havn't a clue. The UK's effort towards wind is rather poor, given our potential. I think we have 2.5GW installed to date, which is pathetic given the targets set. If you read my post above I made reference to China's progress on infrastructure construction. They do have the will.

I have not made the words below up, the BBC may have done though. (repeated above)

The chief executive of E.On UK, Paul Golby, said he was disappointed by Shell's decision.

"While we remain committed to the scheme, Shell has introduced a new element of risk into the project which will need to be assessed."

"The current economics of the project are marginal at best - with rising steel prices, bottlenecks in turbine supply and competition from the rest of the world all moving against us."

Congratulations! Now that you know what you are doing, hope you can do them ten at a time!


Hi Jerome -congratulations! You are now 'lord of the energy manor' so to speak!

We had a post here on TOD previously that looked at the quantity of investment needed in the energy infrastructure over time (a theoretical model). I think it showed that as EROI declined the % of investment need to keep society going was set to go through the roof...

I wonder if the new definition of wealth in 50 years will be the # of Megawatts your investments can create! (This could be the new post dollar 'global currency': "The MegaWatt..." :o)

I also think that Ocean based OTEC will be big -Matt Simmons seems to be picking up on this one but there is very little investment interest. A holistic 'OTEC island' could be a real winner (Check out Marshall Savages slightly ecentric 'The Millenium Project':


MegaWatt-hour would be better. But it's such a strange metric, I'll vote for the Joule.

Congratulations on the inauguration of your new project.
I'd like to ask you though, the reason for the vast discrepancy in costs that I have seen between your figures and the British ones.
What is the build cost per MW installed?
Costs I have seen run at around £3million MW, and that does not look as though it includes connection or back-up:
World's largest offshore wind farm in the works | Environment | Reuters

I would love it is we could build the 33GW planned for the UK at less than the apparent £99bn this would seem to indicate,as it would get the UK out of a very sticky generating situation.
Can you shed any light on these costs?

Currently, offshore windfarms are being built for EUR 3 million/MW, all inclusive (ie with cable and financing costs). Depending on location, water depth, distance from shore and other parameters, it can be less or more.

But what ultimately matters is the price per MWh produced, which is in the 80-100EUR/MWh range.

Note that a lot of the price includes a premium to manufacturers that are "enjoying" production bottlenecks and scarcity and can (with their own suppliers) jack up prices. This is likely to change a bit as more capacity comes online, even if the cost of commodities (steel, etc...) does not go down.

Of course, I forgot to mention that given that most wind turbine equipment is manufactured in the eurozone or closely associated currency area (Germany or Denmark), the drop in the pound sterling to euro rate has directly impacted the price of wind turbines in the UK.

Thanks for the reply. It sounds as though the figures you give are cheaper but in the same ball-park as those I was using.
The reason I go for those rather than levelised costs is because so much of those depends on your assumptions - for starters, assumptions are made about financing costs over the amortisation of the project.
I've seen wildly different costs given.
I suppose the questions I have are twofold:
So you only hit the costs per MW hour you quote after subsidies?
Would you bid, or are you bidding for work in the UK?
I'd like windpower to work, so these are not idle questions.

Jerome, after reading your links to the financing issues on this project I have finally worked out how to ask the question I would like to of you without breaching confidentiality.
I wonder if you could put into context for us costs on the projected 33GW of off-shore build for the UK?
How would the costs likely look, and how much subsidy would be required?
The best article I have seen to date on the issues is this one:

This is based on a build cost of £2million MW, which is low.
From the figures here it looks as though the true cost of electricity from this source including subsidies and back up would be around £0.30/kwh
Does this sound in the right ball-park?

I appreciate that you are busy, but any light you can throw on a very important and complex issue would be valuable.

The 2M£/MW number should be right over the medium term - it's a bit low right now due to the fact that there is a sellers' market, but this will correct over time.

The current price range I have for offshore wind is 8-12c/kWh, ie 7-10p/kWh, much lower than the number you quote. Some of that needs to be supported by subsidies at current market prices (and for structural reasons I explain in one of my other posts, listed in the link near the top of the article), but it's also a price that won't go up as gas prices go up, so it's likely to turn out to be an excellent deal for government. As I note elsewhere, the subsidy paid in Denmark is already much lower than the price reduction achieved on electricity markets (wind being zero-marginal cost production, whenever it is available it brings the whole supply curve with it and thus prices down)

Thanks Jerome, I appreciate your reply.
I would go along with, ie I understand why prices in building wind power will drop - for a start the coming recession seems likely to take pressure off materials prices, as contrary to popular belief these are not closely correlated with energy costs.
To press you a little further, any idea of how the costings in the link I gave ended up in error?
Is their subsidy figure of £7bn incorrect?
Is the extra backup of 12GW needed too high?
Even the base price they quote of 10p/kwh for present electricity generating price is lower than the figure you give, so on the face of it little if any subsidy would be required.
Thanks again.

The numbers don't seem altogether unreasonable, cost-wise: there's a lot of guessing as to where things will go there. In terms of subsidy, while the gross figures are correct, I would not quite call them a subsidy, as they simply impose a penalty on carbon-based generators (they're the ones who pay for the ROCs), which can be argued is just a partial payment for their externalities (pollution and carbon emissions).

In terms of impact on consumer prices, it's not clear that they will increase, given that wind, when it blows, provides zero marginal cost power that brings prices down (the whole dispatch curve is move to the cheaper side by the number MW produced by wind): in Denmark, the overall impact of wind is actually favorable to consumers.

Finally, as regards spare capacity to cope with wind: all studies show that it's much less than the scare-mongering arguments used by opponents to wind. The French network operator report that I quote above explicitly states that wind actually reduces the need for peak thermal capacity (ok, France is special, with 3 independent wind regions, and the special weight for nuclear, but still). And offshore wind is a lot more regular and predictable than onshore.

I appreciate your point that much FF burning does not take account of the externalities, and so it is incorrect to speak of a subsidy.
Just the same, whether it shows as a bill on consumption or in general taxation, it is apparent that the cost of wind on your reckoning is high, although the back-up given in my link may be excessive.
From the argument you have made it seems that the figures per MW of supplied power you quote do not include subsidy from other sources such as general taxation, and thus the actual cost of supply are much higher.
Please correct me if this is wrong.

oh no, the cost I give is all-inclusive: 7-10p/kwh is what it actually costs. How it is paid for is different: it comes from power sales and ROCs, the latter being the subsidy, or playing-field levelling item.

Well, in that case I simply have no idea of how that kind of cost level is arrived at.
With build at around 3million euros MW installed, how it drops down to that sort of figure per kwh is a mystery yo me/
Without of course breaching any confidentiality, is there anywhere which breaks down this sort of figure?
British financiers at any rate even with massive subsidies tend to refer to off-shore wind as being marginally viable.
Euan was indicating that we might be paying over 100p/therm for gas before long.
Presumably on your figures that would be above the unsubsidised price of off-shore wind?
Don't get me wrong, the resource being economic would be wonderful news to me, as otherwise severe shortages in energy supplies seem inevitable in the UK.

With build at around 3million euros MW installed, how it drops down to that sort of figure per kwh is a mystery yo me

Keep in mind that 3M euro amortized over 20-25 years is about 400,000 euro/yr. At 4,000MWh per MW installed per year, that's about 100euro/MWh, or about 8p/kWh.

3M euro seems like a lot of money, but bear in mind that over the lifetime of the turbine you're getting about 100,000,000kWh for it.

British financiers at any rate even with massive subsidies tend to refer to off-shore wind as being marginally viable.

Of course they do; 10p/kWh isn't a competitive generation price in today's market, so the economics depends on the size of the subsidies.

Jerome, I have a question about costing. You can provide the windmills at a certain price to a power company but that isn't their total costs.

The windmills only produce power for ~40% of the time, requiring a large amount of backup generating capacity - this has to be paid for by the power company - so, do you include this cost when quoting how much the power from windmills costs?

You mention 'bottlenecks' - it isn't the size of the 'electricity from wind' reserve but the rate of supply which is the limiting factor - there is lots of oil and lots of wind in the world, I suspect there will be contraints to profitable supply of energy from both sources(and any other alternates!) Maybe power from wind can't be ramped up as fast as we would like for BAU, just like oil?

The task for the UK alone is at least an extra ~7000 5MW units by 2020, if they use the current 3.6MW units it becomes ~9000 - this is an exponential growth with a very short doubling time - on the face of it a challenge, to say the least. Can you tell me why you think this is possible.

You don't sell windmills to the power company, you sell MWh. There's no requirement for any backup of any kind, because the price MWh are sold in the market includes that constraint, via the balancing cost mechanism (ie you have to stipulate in advance how much power you will sell at any give ntime, and any deviation, up or down, triggers penalty payments). So wind is fully paying for the cost to the system of the intermittency.

In practice, what happens in the UK is that you sign long term power purchase agreements (called PPAs) with the utilities whereby they agree to take all the power you generate, whenever it is generated, and they then deal with the intermittency within their larger generating portfolio. They charge a discount to the spot market price for that service (of absorbing the intermittency) - again, that cost is already borne by the wind producer, and it's not that large.

The bottlenecks I am mentioning are in the industrial supply chain - long distance cables, bearings for gearboxes, that kind of thing. It is being solved by investment in new production capacity / new factories.

All manufacturers are ramping up their production capacity. Worldwide capacity for offshore wind turbines is 600MW in 2008 but is expected to ramp up to 3,000MW by 2012 and will probably increase further beyond that.

If you have predictable demand (and that's largely provided by regulatory stability), I fail to see any reason why the necessary ramp up in production capacity cannot happen. This is all well understood technology and industrial processes.


you have predictable demand (and that's largely provided by regulatory stability), I fail to see any reason why the necessary ramp up in production capacity cannot happen. This is all well understood technology and industrial processes

What sort of things does regulatory stability entail?

what regulation are you looking for out of the EU/france/where ever to enable a rapid growth in turbine production?

what specific policies should we look for in a political manifesto?


Well, feed-in tariffs are a proven solution as regards the economics of wind, as are the PTC in the US. You just need to have the certainty that the mechanism will still apply when you build your project (thus the problem in the USA where the PTC mechanism expires every year or two).

The other issue is about the permitting process. That needs to be stable, and to be reasonably straightforward, clearly identifying which permits are needed, which authorities needs to be involved, and what criteria need to be fulfilled. Without that, lots of random factors can play.

from wiki

A Feed-in Tariff (FiT, FiL, Feed-in Law or solar premium[1]) is an incentive structure to encourage the adoption of renewable energy through government legislation. The regional or national electricity utilities are obligated to buy renewable electricity (electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics, wind power, biomass, and geothermal power) at above market rates set by the government [2]
The higher price helps overcome the cost disadvantages of renewable energy sources. The rate may differ among various forms of power generation

ok an obligation to providers... these regulated obligations already exist? or do we need to look to policy makkers to increase this obligation.. in your opinion?

by permitting process I take it you mean what we brits would call planning permission or consent?


EDIT i see no reason why a specification for a lobby letter on detailed regulation (if wise) can not be constructed by you that we could then pass on to our MEP's MP's etc...

its only a email

You have ... much less hair than I envisioned. Oh, and fantastic job getting this done - every single kilowatt is precious when it comes from a clean source.

Jerome - could you say something about the 20-25 year lifetime. Does that reflect wear on equipment etc? Presumably after that period new equipment etc is just slotted in to the same place etc?

Can't really talk about the rotors (no experience), but for the gears, generators, switchgear, foundations, etc., you can go a lot longer than 20 years (as long as you do the maintenance).

Onshore, there is high confidence that machines will last that long - there's actually a good track record with the first industrial turbines from the early 80s, and good indications from the very big machines the Germans started installed from the mid 90s (600kW size, which uses essentially the same technology as the newer, bigger models).

Offshore, there is more uncertainty, as there is no track record, a harsher environment (salt, corrosion, etc) and much higher overall capacity use. But the various bits should last that long, with the right maintenance

Spain's wind power industry currently enjoys a 30% annual growth rate.

at those growth rates wind can very quickly grow to most of spain's power generation. when people ask where are we going to get the power to do this and that we should look to places like spain and denmark who get a large % of their power from wind. they can use wind to make solar panels, solar thermal, wind and any other process to make energy. if worst comes to worst we can use sail power to ship the solar panels and etc from Europe like the old days!

Sail power may be great for finished solar panels but it is much harder to ship mineral ores in economical quantities. (and yes I've seen the kite sail). Therefore cost of all these things will keep going up no matter how much fixed elecrticty they can ultimatley generate.

it is much harder to ship mineral ores in economical quantities.

as the costs of oil shipping goes up we'll move to ships and rail.

Mineral ores and other bulky/massively heavy commodities are already mainly moved by ship and rail. Even there, the costs are going up very quickly.

Termoil, in reference to costs for solar and wind components said,
"Therefore cost of all these things will keep going up no matter how much fixed elecrticty they can ultimatley generate."

Indeed, costs will go up, but will the costs of components for renewables rise more quickly than the cost of components to drill for oil and gas and the costs of the oil and gas itself?

And let us not forget about the "externalized costs" of fossil fuel electric power production. Costs for natural gas include a geo-political cost, for example. Europe is currently at the tail end of a long natural gas supply infrastructure that for the most part is controlled at the Russian end. The advantage of being able to produce electricity without being at the end of the Russian tether should be worth a great deal, but very hard to quantify in Euros.

The externalized costs of coal are even more daunting. the carbon release issue looms large, but the costs of infrastructure (rail, barges, ports, handling facilities) will only increase over time and Europe must travel further afield to buy coal(The giant European electric power producer E.ON Corp U.S. is headquartered in Louisville Kentucky, next to some of the largest coal deposits in the is not hard to guess why).

Costs for wind and solar energy show the promise of rising slower than the costs of fossil fuel provided energy, if not actually going down due to technical breakthroughs and economics of scale. What many forget is that time is on the side of the renewables. Energy returned on Energy invested is going up for the renewables and down for fossil fuels. The world is entering a new era. I just hope we haven't created unneeded pain by waiting so long to figure it out.


I also have a question sort of related to the seemingly short lifetime of these turbines. If I remember correctly a large Danish off-shore wind farm (whose name I don't recall) had issues with excessive corrosion and even had to refurbish most of their inner workings within the first few years of operation. Are these corrosion/wear issues now solved with regards to off-shore turbines, or is this a major contributor limiting the lifetime?

Yes, it's Horns Rev, the very first large scale offshore windfarm. It had gearbox problems (indeed because of corrosion, linked to insufficient protection from sea water and salty air) that ultimately required all of them to be taken down and replaced- at quite a cost.

The windfarm I financed actually uses the same turbine, so part of our job was to ensure that all the lessons from Horns Rev had been learnt, and that the improved version of the turbine would not face the same problems.

It's still going to be interesting to see how the offshore facilities hold up over the long term. The sea is remorseless and salt water nasty. Ships take constant maintennance to stay sea worthy. I would expect the same to apply to your turbines. Still, it's great to see these projects getting built out at larger and large scales.

when most people see wind turbines they see wind turbines. I see a good place to put solar panels...

Congratulations! awesome photos.

A large wind farm is being constructed locally. I was stunned by the scale of the thing.

Several of the turbines will be less than 1/4 mile from our property line. The company building them is constructing roads through prime farm land to service and erect them. This divides the fields in two and will make farming under the turbines less efficient.

I envisioned a turbine here and there near current roads when I first heard about the wind farm. I also envisioned turbine towers of about the same size as other wind farms over a relatively confined territory. But this wind farm is spread out over an area of about 5 x 10 miles. It is suppose to be a 100 Megawatt farm.

The blades are about the size of the one shown in the picture. The towers dwarf the surrounding countryside and make tall trees and farm buildings look like toys. Pickups parked next to them look like Hot Wheels play toys. Workers on top the turbines when the blades are hoisted by crane look like specks and can only be verified as human by their movement.

While I am in favor of wind power, it takes some getting use too. The scale is overwhelming for a person that has gotten use to a countryside that has barely changed in 50 years except that building sites were torn down one right after another.

x, where are you located?

Thank you Jerome. Thank you for your work at your "real" job and thank you for your many excellent contributions to TOD.

Congratulations Jerome!! I hope this deal resulted in some financial compensation for you in addition to the satisfaction you must feel at helping to direct civilization towards a sustainable path.

I think many TOD readers would appreciate your perspectives on another wind deal - the huge array in which T. Boone Pickens is choosing to invest. He sees a very interesting connection among electricity, natural gas, and motor fuel - i.e. that by displacing natural-gas-generated electricity with wind, some NG will be freed up for powering motor vehicles.

I also wonder whether Pickens might have inside dope on breakthroughs in energy storage. Wind could really stride into the "mainstream" if this problem is overcome.

Citoyen HanZiBoi

Any guesses as to what extent completion of Boone's project will depend on continued subsidies and various government regulations?

RW - who grew up in the Texas Panhandle and once played a tennis tournament in a sandstorm.

Any figures on the average amount of electricity produced compared to the headline capacity? I believe onshore is suposed to be ~30%, but I supose that offshore is higher, considering that the wind is more consistant.

Not sure about for offshore, but I work for a large UK utility and our largest wind farm acheived ~ 34% load factor for the period september-november 2007. For comparison over the whole fleet (approx half coal and half gas) we get ~ 75% LF.

The UK National 2006 figures are 27.4% onshore and 27.2% offshore. We didn't have much offshore in 2006 so I'd take that figure with a grain or two of sea salt.

Providing then build is affordable, and the maintenance, the output of wind farms for the UK is actually a lot more favourable than the raw capacity figures indicate.
That is because it matches peak demand very closely, being over twice as strong in the winter months:
This actually makes it an excellent match for nuclear in a low carbon economy, with base load being provided by nuclear and much of the peaking power by wind.
So a 33GW nominal build, hourly average 10GW, might produce around 6GW in the summer hourly average and 13GW or so in the winter.
Furthermore it would presumably fit in very well with schemes to generate electricity through tidal lagoons, as I assume that they could be made rather higher cost effectively and surplus power could be sent there and later released:
Tidal lagoons

Costs are still a big question mark in my mind though.

Am I right in thinking the average daily variation is also advantageous? Windy in the mornings and evenings... something to do with the rate of surface temperature change as the Sun rises and sets... correlating with load peaks in the morning and evening?

Absolutely - the report details this. Intermittency is still a bit of a devil, and one thing which we could do with anyway is much better connections to the grid in Europe, and ideally, Ireland, but Alan surprised me with figures, which stupidly I did not bookmark of relatively low build costs for DC lines.
If you check out Drumbeat of 05.06 I have linked to a map of the proposed British wind farms - it's towards the top of the thread.

Wind always blows somewhere, I suppose that someone has already calculated what would be the ideal location of several wind farms to mitigate this intermittency.

Stats on Ireland's windfarm capacity figures can be found here:

We only have one (smallish) offshore windfarm so far. The overall capacity factor is about 31% (806MW installed), but the capacity credit in terms of generation adequacy keeps on dropping as wind penetration increases. This is because in Ireland, we tend to have a single mode of failure - the wind is either blowing or not all across the country. In bigger countries, you can have wind blowing in one area or another - the wind is always blowing somewhere!

Contratulations, Jerome!

(I didn't notice at first, but now that someone mentioned it, it DOES look like you're about to be hung from the end of a rope. Another picture might be better.)

Nice work on the wind farm, I really enjoyed the pictures.

This summer I have been riding an electric motorcycle to work. I have logged 2700 EV miles so far. What if we combined massive numbers of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV's) with massive numbers of wind mills?

My EV is plugged into the grid 23 hours a day. It would be pretty easy to send out a network signal to say the wind is strong now, start charging.

I have a small car and a small truck that I am working on converting to electrical power right now. The car is near completion and the small truck will be the next project.

Thanks again for writing about wind,

Wind Power is one of the few things that gives me hope for the future. I hope there can be some way devised to store electricity at a large scale.

Wind power compliments hydroelectric power very well. The main reason is that unlike coal, gas or nuclear, hydroelectric power can react to a load change extremely quickly. The wind stops, the hydro plant can let much more water through. The wind starts, just turn down the knob. All the other power mentioned above require lengthy startup and shutdown times.

The resevoir behind a hydroelectric plant is the best battery. Its endlessy renewable and non toxic. I think we will see more hydro coupled to wind power in the future. If its windy and there's no demand, you can even pump water uphill into the resevoir to save it for a non-rainy day.

Jerome, a question for you.

How many Mwh is expected to be generated from a Mw capacity wind turbine/farm in its lifetime of 20-25 years?

A MW offshore will typically run at 40-50% net capacity, ie you can expect it to produce around 4000MWh per annum.

So you might produce up to 100 GWh per MW over the lifetime of the windfarm - in this case, it's a 120MW windfarm, so above 10 TWh over 20-25 year.

The typical figure for wind turbine that I read is 20%, yours is more than double than that (40-50%), is that because its offshore?

Is the figure of 4000 Mwh that you gave mechanical or electric? As far as I know it takes 3 mwh mechanical to make 1 mwh electric at steam turbines at 33% efficiency, not know the figure for wind turbine.

How much percentage of energy thus produced is expected to be lost in storage? Sure the energy thus produced is not exactly of quantity desired and is not exactly produced when desired, therefore need storage, and ofcourse some energy is lost during storage. This is a fundamental issue in all renewable energies that we have to count for losses during storage. Energies in fossil fuels are there already stored and not lose value as long as we keep the lid close.

A big reason for going offshore is to get steadier and stronger wind. There is also less turbulence so that components last longer.

Wind farms always are given in electrical energy. You are misunderstanding the distinction between mechanical and thermal energy. We extract mecahnical energy (also called useful work) from thermal energy in a cola plant or car engine. typically about a thrid of the thermal energy can be extracted and the rest is wasted. It is the conversion from thermal energy to mechanical energy that is inefficient. Converting mechanical energy to electrical energy is done with a generator and this is much more efficient. This is why mechanical energy is called useful. In wind, the energy is all flowing in one direction, so it is essentially mechanical energy already.

Wind does not require storage until it reaches a high portion of the total energy supply. When it does, it is often matched with pumped hydro and this is about 80% efficient as storage. With fossil fuels, we did not do the storing so it does not make a lot of sense to speak of storage efficiency. Converting wind power to methane using atmospheric carbon dioxide as a feedstock might be done at 50% efficiency with conversion back to electriciy giving an overall 30% efficiency. This is one of the attraction of ammonia. It is thought to store energy with greater efficiency than this. On the other hand, making aviation fuels from wind power could make a lot of sense:


Ok wind energy is already mechanical and is converted into electrical at wind turbines, got it.

At world's gdp of $48 trillion and energy consumption of 475 million trillion joules (or 475 exa joules), $1 of gdp is equal to 10 million joules.

If one mega watt plant can produce 100,000 mega watt hours in its life time and storage efficiency is 80% then it is 80,000 watt-hours per watt or 288 million joules or $28.8 in gdp. That is a return on investment of six times over 25 years, considering one euro cost per watt. Not know how much of this will go to the owner of wind farm.

We can increase joules-to-dollar efficiency of gdp by shifting from internal combustion engines to electric motors, a factor of 2.83 comparing 85% efficient electric motor to 30% efficient internal combustion engine, but that shift needs energy to make those electric motors.

Well, only a portion of the wind energy enters storage. So, you only want to apply the storage efficiency to the portion that is.

In terms of electric cars, you can get a slight advantage with coal and a bit better advantage with gas over using and ICE if the battery works OK in the application. There is no advantage at all with nuclear power. But, when we use direct to electricity technologies like hydro, wind, or solar PV then there is a big advantage over ICEs.

In terms of energy required to make electric vehicles, it is about the same as for making ICE powered vehicles so one is really just shifting energy that one was planning on using in any case. Cars don't last forever so you need to build more every year.


I do not understand your statement that there is no advantage with nuclear power.
For EV cars they are often lower weight as that is important and so the materials used for then differs from ICE cars.
Some of them are substantially more energy efficient, such as fibre composites, others are more such as aluminium.
Lithium batteries can also be reprocessed and the life of a EV rather than a hybrid should be substantially in excess of that of an ICE car as there is little to go wrong.
For an insight into the potential to reprocess and economise on energy in an EV see:
Energy inputs for the life-cycle of EV's are potentially far lower than for an ICE.

Some of them are substantially more energy efficient, such as fibre composites, others are more such as aluminium.

It is not really clear to me why electric cars will be lighter than ICE cars. Lithium batteries still have more than an order of magnitude less gravimetric energy density than gasoline or diesel, so people are going to pack in as large battery as is practicable. Aluminum and fiber composite bodies can be made for ICE cars as well as for EVs. Have you got any evidence that an EV with similar performance and driving range as an ICE car will actually be lighter? The Tesla Roadster is 730lbs heavier than the Lotus Elise and has a shorter driving range.

When it does, it is often matched with pumped hydro and this is about 80% efficient as storage.

Define 'often'. I know that Denmark sells excess wind generated electricity to Norway which turns off hydro power generation in order to absorp the wind generation. What other examples do you have of wind and hydro energy complementng each other?

I am quite skeptical about the economics of water electroysis as a means of energy storage. Electrolyzers are expensive pieces of capital equipment and if they are used only to absorb excess wind energy the the capacity factor will be low. Also the round trip efficiency from electricity ==> chemical potential energy ==> electricty is low.

What other examples do you have of wind and hydro energy complementing each other?

HydroQuebec, 100% hydro and a major exporter, plans for 2 GW of wind. The greatest value is to extend winter supplies of water (when no new water enters the reservoirs for several months).

Bonneville, hydro generator in US Pacific NW, also over 1 GW of wind and growing.

New Zealand, a hydro, NG, geothermal and wind grid. Hydro balances wind.

Sweden, half hydro and half nuke.

Ontario, mostly hydro & nuke.

And Manitoba, almost all hydro, has a bit of wind (a few hundred MW).


The "water-saving" perspective cannot be mentioned too often. It's a very pedagogic way of explaining how these systems would work.

Another reason for going offshore is the huge amount of NIMBYism in Europe and the US. You can see how small the turbines appear in the final photo and reference the earlier comment of they're ugly. In the UK I believe that almost all proposals for wind farms are fiercely fought by people objecting to either the noise or view being spoiled or birds or... They are quite happy for other people to have the coal/gas fired stations etc. just as long as they don't spoil "their" view.

IMHO if those people were disconnected from the grid they would be begging for a turbine to be instlled as quickly as possible.

Why is this a French project? I mean we the Dutch have centuries-long experience with windmills. Sort of our trade mark, isn't it?

Anyway, it's good to have it. Also for the fish, I presume, as this park cannot be trawled.

It's not a French project in any meaningful way. It's in the Netherlands, owned by Dutch investors, built by Dutch and Danish companies, and financed by a consortium of European banks (and mine is not even French, formally, even if I'm based in Paris)...

Re your second question, that's correct: there will be no fishing within the wind farm territory. There are discussions to set up mussles colonies, or similar localised activities, but there are actualyl good hopes that these areas could become sanctuaries for wildlife as there will be minimal human presence.

Jerome congratulations

i would be interested to know peoples opinions on whether the UK's target build of 7000 turbines by 2020 is feasible.

Thats approx 580 per year or more than 1 turbine per day?



Great work Jerome. I recently visited a local deployment of 3 x 2GW turbines. These are set to be joined by two more soon.

More Photos

Several Swedish utilities (Eon, Vattenfall) are claiming that the cost of both sea and land based wind power have risen sharply (essentially doubling in two years), and will continue to rise, mostly due to lack of supply and competition. Supposedly, sea based wind is so much more expensive now, that all of their new projects are land based. How do you view the economics of wind power in the near and intermediate future?

I am a convert to wind power. How many windmills per capita did Holland have in the 1800,s. Now those were really ugly and grossly inefficient. I suspect they were as noisy as hell too. Yet we now revere and paint romantic pictures of them.

I think we will see lots of shipping accidents in future. I nearly hit an oil platform once.

I only have one question: When the Olduvai Theory is on short finals, can a Wind generator be made, transported, erected out at sea, computer controlled, and connected to the grid, without Oil inputs?? Maybe we are only delaying Olduvai for the 25 year lifespan of the newest mill.

Congratulations Jerome, on getting this across the line; and in difficult market conditions too! I know how it feels being cooped up in lawyers offices while they argue over the (very) small print at E500 per hour. What time of the day did you sign? Mine seemed to be after midnight on most occasions.

Heh, in that case, we signed around 10am, so it was a very long night indeed.

I can outlegalese the lawyers, but I cannot undersleep like many of them are able to, so we were about even...

Congratulations Jerome.

I'm glad someone mentionned the fishery repletion issue - I saw a tv program sometime ago (possibly an episode of coast) - they focused on the fish stocks building up around the turbines and the additional trade that could be done granting day sea fishing licenses (single line fishing only). This served not only to maintain the fish stocks but also as a useful PR exercise in getting the core message across 'Windfarms at Sea are a GOOD THING'.

Once again - congratulations.

Price of oil this morning (6/6/08) went back up to 131.08

If there was a speculation bubble to the price of oil, wouldn't it have popped by now?

I am curious to know if anyone has read or critiqued The Solar Fraud by Dr. Howard Hayden.

Jerome said "...will be generating clean energy for the next 20-25 years - at a price guaranteed not to increase for the whole period."

I've been thinking about how this may not be true, because it seems like a core assumption of the project's viability. I can't come up with any convincing arguments against it--which I think is significant, because I think that the potential for uncontrolled future price increase is one of the core PROBLEMS with many other energy "solutions."

Just a few of the less convincing arguments from brainstorming:

- Radical increase in maintenance costs. I'm sure there will be some maintenance, but the only related cost that I can think of that could increase rapidly would be fuel for the service fleet. Not very convincing.

- Wind farm piracy. As the value of the electricity generated by wind-farms increases, and as the scarcity of energy in general for our society increases, so, too, will the ROI for attacking wind-farms (or making a viable threat to do so). How secure are they? Are there critical/cascading failure points for the whole farm that could be targeted? What threat-group capability is required to carry out such an attack? Would a small shaped-charge attached to the column do the trick? What about a team intent on salvaging the increasingly valuable raw materials in the structure and generator? I assume that these kinds of questions have been asked and answered--if not, I know someone with experience doing exactly this who's available :)

"...Wind farm piracy..."

A big advantage for off-shore massive structures then since they would be very difficult to salvage.

Chère Jerome,

Mes Félicitations!

Great news - I hope this experience will affect what happens here in the UK for the better. Almost as good news, was an unbiased report that Wind might substitute for baseload at as high a level as 20% nameplate capacity, and that you see the cost of offshore Wind dropping significantly with experience.

At some later time, when you are over your celebrations, it would be nice to hear more about this from you.


Everybody sees the UK and Germany as the biggest markets for offshore wind in the coming years. I'm working on the financing at least 2 UK projects right now. This is the next frontier for us.

Hi Jerome, what do you think about the work on Tubercles on the leading edge of the turbine blades?

Congratulations, Jerome, on your fine success!

TOD is a serious blog, so it is good to photoshop out the windmill growing from your head! But we know its there, anyway ;)