Archive for the ‘Wind energy’ Category

Renewable energy with smart grid technology – The new complex relationship turning everthing upside down

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

The energy world is about to turn upside down. With the coming of smart grid, the electricity consumer customer becomes the electricity seller; the passive home appliance becomes the active energy manager; and the local 11KV DNO network becomes the power generation network itself.

Such an upheaval means that the energy world needs to start thinking about a new business model, says a recent report by IBM Global Business Services Energy and Utilities.

The fact that IBM is advising the energy industry is itself a point of interest, yet another signal of the new market opportunity emerging within the energy arena for information technology. This opportunity has drawn the attention of not only IBM, but also CISCO, Google and many others.

So how does IBM see the energy business model changing? First consider what it has been for the last century: a grow-and-build model. Utilities encouraged more and more consumption, and they built power plants and transmission to the far corners of the nation to serve the growing demand.

“The success of this strategy was remarkable. In the United States for example, from 1920 to the mid 1960s (excepting the period of the Great Depression), usage increased at seven percent annually – about five times the rate of usage of all forms of energy combined and three times the rate of economic expansion in general,” says the IBM report, “Switching perspectives: Creating new business models for a changing world of energy.”

But today we no longer need such expansion. The grow-and-build model is obsolete, yet continues to be used by utilities. As a result, utility stocks, which in the 1940s-1960s significantly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, now lag well behind.

Instead of expanding their territory, utilities are being called upon to change their product — to offer energy that is more efficient and clean and service that is more consumer-friendly.

Smart grid technology can help utilities meet today’s imperative. But it brings with it a new and complex relationship between customer and utility. This is because smart grid allows consumers to control energy usage via a home computer. With smart buildings into the mix and their appliances can control energy usage without the consumer doing anything. And with increased use of solar energy and other distributed technologies, the home also becomes power plant and storage facility for the electric utility.

“Companies willing to tackle industry model innovation and sit at the nexus of new complex relationships among business partners and customers will be well positioned to create and capture new demand for emerging products and services. Strong growth in revenues and profits – albeit accompanied by some risks – is achievable in multisided business models because of the embedded network economies of scale (i.e., margins increase with network size),” says the report.

IBM calls this new business model “a multisided platform.” What does it look like?

“Manufacturers, retailers and shoppers all benefit from having a single location where they can meet and transact business. A wider variety of stores and services brings more shoppers; more shoppers bring higher sales volumes for manufacturers and lower costs for retailers (and, in theory, also lower prices for shoppers). Thus, some element of network economy is bundled into the shopping center value proposition. The platform owner (the shopping center operator) extracts some of this value in the form of rent to store owners and, in some cases, service fees to shoppers,” says the report.

If indeed this is the future, it won’t be embraced quickly or easily by utilities, which are notorious for their caution. For those who do move forward, here is some of what IBM advises.

Be sure your current customer base is sizable enough to ensure that you get a meaningful head start.

But don’t hurry. History has shown that later movers may actually benefit from standing back from the first wave of early adopters.

Time the announcement of your new business model carefully to avoid shocking long-time constituencies or alerting rivals too soon.

But in the UK, the cat has already leaped out of the bag!

The UK Regulator – Ofgem’s duty to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development promoted this duty, placing it on an equal footing with its duties to meet reasonable demand and financing authorised activities. The principle objective, to protect the interests of consumers, refers to future as well as existing consumers. These changes underline Ofgem’s important and developing role in shaping the future of gas and electricity industries in a sustainable manner.The UK is facing a future that involves increased geopolitical risks to energy security, potentially higher energy prices and the need to do much more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making sure everyone can afford to adequately heat their homes.

While much of what is needed to deliver sustainability is not within the regulators direct control, a responsibility to facilitate change by engaging in the debate, trying to persuade relevant players to make changes where required and contributing information and expertise where it can.

Actions speak louder than words:

So whats already implemented in the UK?

  • Smart metering (CoP10) with import and export facilities – Coming to every home in the UK – See my blog on smart metering for more information
  • feed-in tariffs (FITs) for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation from 1 April 2010 – Customers own micro energy generation agreements connected to the local DNO grid – See FITs for more information
  • Climate Levy Tax incentives – Look at you next bill and spot this tax!
  • ROC’s – See my blog for more information
  • REGO – See my blog for more information
  • OGEMs – See my blog for more information
  • REC’s – See my blog for more information

The next step:

  • Informing the customer and proving ‘idiots’ guides to understand the available technologies and energy savings available.
  • Providing engineering design  and installation solutions.
  • The correct customer incentives to explore and implements these technologies.

What are Feed-In Tariffs?

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

The Government is introducing a system of feed-in tariffs (FITs) for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation from 1 April 2010. FITs are a per-unit support payment made directly to generators by electricity suppliers.

The new renewable electricity Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs) will be available from 1 April 2010. FITs aims to promote domestic and small-scale renewable generation technologies up to a maximum capacity of 5 megawatts (MW). Ofgem will be running the behind the scenes administration of the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

There are two routes to apply for FITs depending on the type and scale of technology installed:
• Generators with Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited solar, wind and hydro generating equipment up to 50kW in capacity that are installed by an MCS accredited installer can apply direct to a ‘FIT supplier’ – usually their energy supply company – with their installation details and to enquire about FITs payments. We expect the majority of installations will fall into this category.
• Generators with larger installations between 50kW and 5MW (or anaerobic digestion at 5MW or less) will first need to apply for accreditation through Ofgem’s Renewable and CHP Register before they can apply to a supplier for the tariffs.

Its intend that FITs will replace the Renewables Obligation (RO) as far as possible as the financial support mechanism for microgeneration (with a declared net capacity 50 kW or less) in Great Britain.
FITs will complement the RO by providing the simplicity and certainty needed to support householders, communities and businesses involved in small-scale generation. Installations with a capacity of 5MW or less will be eligible for FITs. Whereas the level of reward under the RO is exposed to fluctuations in the value of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs), FITs will guarantee a fixed level of reward for each unit of electricity you generate, for as long as you are eligible to receive support.The Feed-In Tariffs are based on the electricity generated by a renewable energy system and there will be an additional bonus for any energy which is ‘exported’ to the grid. This means you get paid more for the energy you don’t use than for that which you do which encourages energy efficiency.

At times when you are producing less electricity than you are using, the shortfall will be ‘imported’ from the grid and you will pay your electricity company for this in the usual way.

The Feed-in Tariff therefore gives you these three financial benefits:

  1. A ‘generation’ tariff based on the Total generation and the energy type, plus
  2. An ‘export’ tariff for any energy Exports when generating more than you need, and because you are now producing some of the energy you use
  3. Lower bills from your supplier for the energy you Import from them

What you need to do
You will require an additional electricity meter to measure the electricity that your system is generating, and also to measure how much is being fed back into the electricity grid.

Once you have installed your generating technology you must inform your chosen energy supplier that you are eligible to receive the FIT. The supplier will then register your installation onto the Central FIT Register, which is administered by Ofgem. Payments will be made by your energy supplier at intervals to be decided between you and your supplier. You may be required to provide meter readings to the suppliers if requested.

If you want to opt out of the guaranteed export tariff you must inform the supplier. You may want to do this if you chose to use a power purchase agreement.
Tariff levels, for technologies installed between 15th July 2009 and 31st March 2012

Technology___________Scale____________Tariff level (p/kWh)________Tariff lifetime (years)
Solar electricity (PV)____≤4 kW (retro fit)___ ____41.3____________________25
Solar electricity (PV)____≤4 kW (new build)______36.1____________________25
Wind_______________≤1.5 kW____________34.5_____________________20
Wind _______________>1.5 – 15 kW________ 26.7 _____________________20
Micro CHP ___________≤2kW _____________10.0 _____________________10
Hydroelectricity _______≤15 kW ____________19.9 _____________________20

Tariff levels vary depending on the scale of the installation.

The tariff levels shown in the table above apply to installations completed from 15th July 2009 to 31st March 2012 for the lifetime of the tariff. After this date, the rates decrease each year for new entrants into the scheme.

All generation and export tariffs will be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) which ensures that each year they follow the rate of inflation.
What payments will you be eligible for, and how can you claim them?

The tariffs available and the process for receiving them vary, depending on when the technology was installed, and whether the system and the installer were certificated under the MCS scheme:

The following advice applies to domestic installations. If you have installed a qualifying electricity-generating system non-domestic property with a grant from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, see the Low Carbon Buildings Programme website for further guidance.

Background:
In October 2008 the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, announced that Britain would implement a feed-in tariff by 2010, in addition to its current renewable energy quota scheme Renewable Obligation Certificates”. In July 2009, he presented UK’s new Feed-in Tariff Programme, expected to begin in early April, 2010. Miliband has given a new name, “clean energy cash back”, to this policy which falls fully within the framework of Feed-in Tariffs and is based on a few, extensively discussed, key elements:

a) Less than 10% of Britain’s electricity consumption, by 2020, will be provided by renewable energy sources. The 2% target requires the “green generation” of only 8 billion kWh (that is 8 TWh) per year. France, thanks to its system of Feed-in Tariffs, in 2008 generated already nearly 6 TWh, and only from wind energy; in the same year Germany generated more than 4 TWh from solar PV (photovoltaic), and reached 40 TWh from wind energy.

b) The project involves only renewables sources which can produce less than 5 MW energy; so, UK’s new FiT’s project cap is 5 MW. Depending on law, only renewable energy sources and generators within this cap can benefit from tariffs: the government still prefers resorting to the Renewable Obligation Certificates mechanism for developing larger projects.
To prevent companies from moving large scale (for example big wind) projects from the ROCs to the Feed-in Tariff programme, a number of anti-gaming provisions has been inserted in the policy design; this should avoid the breaking up of bigger projects into several small ones, to fit within the 5 MW energy size cap.

c) The contract term is 20 years, 25 years for solar photovoltaic projects: this means that, starting from 2010, British providers of Wind Energy, Hydropower, Energy from Biomass and Anaerobic Digestion falling within the Renewable Sources eligible in accordance with the provisions of the proposed FiT scheme will be rewarded with a tariff rate guaranteed for the next 20 years – 25 years for Solar PV generators. In this way UK’s renewable energy industry has a somehow long-term certainty, and can advantage of the FiT over other policy options.

d) Costs for the programme will be borne by all British ratepayers proportionally: all electricity consumers will bear a slight increase in their annual rate, thus allowing electricity utilities to buy renewable energy generated from green sources at above-market rates set by the government.

e) Generators can be green fields (they do not have to be metered customers).

f) The new UK’s Feed-in Tariff Programme review is scheduled for 2013.

Microwind turbines

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Typical pole mounted wind turbine

Generate electricity at home with small-scale wind turbines

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. Small systems known as “microwind” turbines can produce enough electricity for the lights and electrical appliances in a typical home.

40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for microwind turbines.

How do wind turbines work?

Wind turbines use large blades to catch the wind. When the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced.

There are two types of domestic-sized microwind turbine:

  • Mast mounted: these are free standing and are erected in a suitably exposed position.
  • Roof mounted: these are smaller than mast mounted systems and can be installed on the roof of a home.

If your microwind system is connected to the National Grid then you can make money by selling any generated electricity to an electricity supply company.

If the turbine is not connected to the electricity grid then unused electricity can be stored in a battery for use when there is no wind.

In the UK we have 40% of Europe’s total wind energy

The benefits of wind electricity

  • Harness a plentiful energy source: in the UK we have 40% of Europe’s total wind energy.
  • Cut your carbon footprint: wind electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.
  • Cut your electricity bills: wind is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced.
  • Store electricity for a calm day: if your home isn’t connected to the National Grid you can store excess electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.

Is wind electricity suitable for my home?

To tell if a microwind turbine is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:

  • Are there any large obstacles like buildings, trees or hills near your home? Microwind turbines work best in exposed locations, without turbulence caused by these type of obstacles
  • Is your home is a windy area? To be effective you need an average windspeed of more than 6m/s.
  • Is your home located away from the National Grid? Microwind systems are particularly suitable for use in remote locations where mains electricity is unavailable.
  • Do you need planning permission? Microwind systems normally do require permission from your local authority, so check before you install a system.


Ideally, you should undertake a professional assessment of the local windspeed for a full year at the exact location where you plan to install a turbine.

To find out if a microwind generator is suitable for your home use our energy selector tool – coming soon.

Making the most of wind electricity

To make the electricity you produce go further:

  • invest in energy efficient appliances
  • use energy when the wind is blowing – do your laundry on a windy day to take advantage of the free electricity
  • charge up your batteries whenever you have excess electricity

Costs and savings

Costs for a roof mounted microwind system start at about £1,500. Larger mast mounted systems cost between £11,000 and £19,000, including installation. These provide enough electricity for lighting and appliances in a typical home.

Savings: we’re currently monitoring a range of microwind systems to discover how much energy they save. At the moment there is not enough data from existing wind turbine installations to provide a figure.

Maintenance checks are necessary every few years, and a well-maintained turbine should last over 20 years. Battery storage life is typically between 6 and 10 years.

Ni-MH Batteries for PV & Wind

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Nickel–Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable battery modules specifically designed to meet the needs of off-grid photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems. This offers better performance, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), improved integration and better environmental profile than traditional batteries.

Stand-alone renewable energy sources are increasingly popular in applications ranging from street lighting and signage, water supply and irrigation, weather stations and environmental sensors, wireless local area networks and navigation aids. These applications benefit from reliable, maintenance-free and long-life energy storage. However, renewable energy storage in highly distributed, often remote locations in uncontrolled environments is characterized by a high number of shallow cycles, with erratic charge current and time, often under extremes of temperature. Today’s lead-acid storage batteries do not cope well in these conditions, and suffer from limited life, poor reliability and even sudden death – leading to high maintenance and replacement costs.

Despite its higher initial cost, the Ni-MH chemistry of the Smart VHT Module range has been shown to reduce total cost of ownership by 45 per cent, or more, when operating over a 15- year period in such applications. This is thanks to its longer life (typically 3–5 times), better failure resistance and wider temperature tolerance than lead-acid technology.

The design and production of the VHT range have been optimized to minimize water and energy consumption, reduce the production of greenhouse gases and toxic waste, diminish negative effects on global warming and the ozone layer, and curb the unnecessary depletion of natural resources. The Smart VHT Module enables direct integration of smart electronics – such as seamless charge/discharge management, battery condition logging and accurate state of health indicator – removing the need for separate PV controllers.

Available in 12V, 24V and 36V versions in 10Ah capacity increments (up to 80Ah). Modules can also be housed in a ruggedized aluminium casing providing added protection from the elements. They are directly interchangeable with traditional Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) battery modules.

Wind and Solar-Powered Street Lighting Skips the Grid

Friday, May 29th, 2009

French company Windela has created a street lighting system that works without any connection to the grid. The Windelux is powered by both a small vertical wind turbine and a solar PV panel.The lamp is comprised of 84 LEDs and automatically switches on when a photosensitive cell detects that it’s dark. A built-in control system stops the wind generator if the wind speed is too high and also allows the pole to act as a Wi-Fi relay.

Inside the pole is the battery that makes all this possible. A rechargable LiFePo battery stores the energy generated by the solar PV panel and wind generator and supplies four nights worth of light before needing to be recharged.

Street lighting accounts for a huge percentage of most cities energy use and costs. The Windelux seems to be an ideal solution for providing both street lighting and distributing Wi-Fi, without ever touching the grid. Currently, units have only been installed in France and Algeria.

Offshore wind

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Wind turbines can be installed offshore, where there is often more wind resource.

The UK has now started two rounds of offshore wind development and a third is approved in principle.

Offshore wind map

Some Round 1 sites have now been completed and others are under active development.

The Phase 2 sites are now starting to receive consents and some will soon be under construction.

Both these rounds are illustrated on the map shown.

Offshore wind map - round 3

UK wind energy market

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Overview of the UK wind market in 2009

The UK was one of the first countries to develop wind turbines in the modern era, and had a strong technological position in the 1980’s. When the commercial markets started to become established in the 1990’s however other counties adopted more business-friendly approaches and the lead was lost to Denmark in the first instance.

The first wind-farm was developed in the UK at Delabole in Cornwall in 1991, under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation.

Wind energy market and trends

Because the major driver for the industry is currently the Renewables Obligation, the main market is for merchant bulk generation through onshore wind-farms. Some 55% of the onshore wind capacity is owned by the licensed electricity suppliers on whom the obligation falls, and the vast bulk of this is the ‘big six’.

A further 20% or so is held by wind energy developers, who have retained some of the projects they developed, and the balance by dedicated ownership companies (some of which may in turn be owned by the groups listed above).

The renewable energy sector, including wind, is currently suffering from the economic circumstances common to the entire world economy. In particular there are constraints in obtaining project finance, and this is expected to inhibit growth in the short term. The forward projections in this report assume that this is a short term issue and that credit starts to flow again during the course of 2010, and more normal investment conditions return by 2011. That, however, is not a prediction!

The wind sector is expected to remain the highest growth part of the renewable electricity market for the immediate future, and the targets of 14MW onshore and 14MW offshore should be achievable provided that the planning and grid restrictions are eased.

Structure of the industry

As mentioned above, the UK lost its lead in wind energy technology as the large scale market started to develop twenty years ago. Except in the small wind sector (see below), the majority of wind generation technology is imported, though the UK does have some supply-chain capability in certain related components, such as blades and towers, and has aspirations to increase this capability.

The major domestic capability is in project development, financing, management, operation and maintenance. The UK has several strong project development companies, most of which also operate in international markets, such as the McAlpine subsidiary Renewable Energy Systems. It also has some of the leading international consultancies on wind energy technology, such as Garrad Hassan.

All leading wind turbine manufacturers supply into the UK market. Siemens was the largest supplier in 2007 and 2008, and is now second in terms of cumulative capacity behind Vestas. Other major suppliers in the last two years have been Nordex, Repower and Enercon.

Offshore wind

In 2001, eighteen companies successfully pre-qualified for Round One site development options and to date five windfarms have been completed: North Hoyle off northern Wales, Scroby Sands off Great Yarmouth, Barrow off the South Cumbrian coast, Burbo Bank off The Wirral and Kentish Flats in the Thames Estuary. Two more, Inner Dowsing and Lynn are nearly complete and delivering energy to the grid. There are a number of others either under construction or planned for the future.

In 2003 Crown Estate announced a competitive tender process for Round Two sites. The Crown Estate announced fifteen successful Agreements for Lease amount to 7.2 GW and including sites within and beyond territorial waters. The largest of these was the 1GW London Array in the Thames Estuary, originally developed by a partnership between E.On, Shell and Dong. In 2008 Shell pulled out of the project and sold its interest to the other two partners, and Masdar subsequently acquired part of E.On’s stake. There is still no firm information on when the project will proceed.

The competitive tender process for the licensing of Round Three offshore windfarms closed in March 2009 and, the Crown Estate announced it had received multiple bids for each of the nine zones, confirming the potential capacity to achieve 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2020. There were a total of 40 zone bids from 18 different consortia, including international companies from at least nine different countries

Small wind

The UK has an increasing number of producers of small wind turbines in the range up to 50kW. The best established of these is Proven in Scotland. Wind turbines hit the volume market when Glasgow-based Windsave negotiated a supply agreement with the national DIY chain B&Q. There are now a number of other devices on the market, mostly horizontal axis designs, but some using more novel approaches, such the vertical axis Quiet Revolution device.

Licensing, certification and legislative issues

Projects wishing to benefit from the Renewables Obligation need to be accredited by Ofgem to confirm that they meet the requirements. For wind projects this is typically quite straightforward. There is a procedure for obtaining indicative pre-registration to assist with project financing.

Small scale systems to be installed under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme need to be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The companies selling such systems must be members of the REAL Assurance Code of Conduct and installers need to be accredited under the MCS. It is anticipated that similar requirements will apply to the renewable electricity tariffs.

There is currently no preferential tax treatment for wind energy installations, though they may in future be eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances.

Market entry, barriers and opportunities

The UK is in principle a very open market. The renewable energy targets it has adopted to meet the EU Renewable Energy Directive require a ten-fold increase in renewable energy delivery in little over a decade. It is anticipated that most of this growth will come from the electricity sector and of that much will come from wind.

Bulk energy production

The most self-evident opportunity for overseas companies is in the supply of the core technology, especially wind turbines and power trains. In view of the medium term potential of the British market, there will certainly be opportunities for established suppliers, who need to expand their capacity, to set up subsidiary or licensed plant in the UK. Both national governments and regional agencies would be very supportive in bringing forward new capacity of that type.

The UK has a well established network of project developers, who are familiar with the process and particularly with the best ways of structuring projects to accelerate their progress through the planning and grid connection requirements. Companies interested in bringing forward projects would be well advised to work with incumbent players, especially in light of the obstacles facing developments described above.

The UK already has the world’s largest offshore wind capacity and this sector is projected to continue to grow strongly. Therefore this will present opportunities not only for wind energy technology but for the expertise and facilities associated with installing and operating plant offshore.

Decentralised wind energy

Though the bulk energy market has been the one where most development has happened in the past, the decentralised energy sector may be an equally exciting one for the future. New drivers, such as the renewable electricity tariffs and the Carbon Reduction Commitment, should stimulate a lot of new demand in this sector.

This will create new opportunities for those with expertise in community projects, energy services companies and technology aimed at energy users rather than energy suppliers.

All in all the UK promises to be a very interesting wind energy market in the coming decades!

Wind energy – An introduction

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Generation of electricity from wind is now one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy.

Wind energy has been harnessed for over 6000 years, first for powering boats, windmills and wind pumps, and now for generating electricity. Modern wind equipment ranges from small water pumps and chargers (used to charge batteries at remote locations) to large multi-megawatt wind turbines arranged in wind farms that supply power to the electricity grid.

World-wide, there over 25,000MW of installed capacity, mostly in Europe and the USA.

Wind power equipment has been developed to provide a range of power outputs, from under 100W up to 3MW. The overall reliability of wind turbines is high – 97-99% availability is standard for modern turbines – and modern machines are designed to have a useful life of about 25 years. Turbines can have fixed or variable speed rotors, can be pitch or stall regulated, or in the case of small turbines can have furling rotor blades. When used for electricity generation, turbines can generate either direct or alternating current. The flexibility of design of individual turbine components means that machines can be matched to areas with high, medium or low average wind speeds, from the Arctic to the Sahara, and from mountain tops to locations out to sea.

Within the design parameters necessary for conditions at any individual site, the size of turbine required will depend on the type of application:

Large-scale, grid-connected electricity generation

This requires a number of large turbines grouped together on one site to form a wind farm or wind park, either on- or off-shore. The power from the individual turbines is aggregated at a central point before it is fed through a power line to the point where it connects with the national grid. It usually passes through a transformer at the central point to match the voltage to that of the grid. The central point usually doubles as a command point, where computerised equipment can be installed to allow the remote control of the wind farm. This is particularly important for remote and off-shore wind farms, where adverse weather may prevent access for long periods of time.

Small-scale, grid-connected electricity generation

Where electricity grids are unable to accommodate large amounts of generation, typically in remote areas, it is still possible to deploy individual turbines or small clusters of turbines of varying sizes. Frequently the grids in these areas are at relatively low voltage in which case the installations are designed to connect directly into the grid with little or no additional voltage transformation. Where the grid is an isolated grid (not connected to the main national or regional grid), the wind turbines are usually run in conjunction with another form of generation, typically diesel (see hybrid systems below).

Stand-alone generation

Applications for stand alone wind power are more varied. They may be as small as a charger used to charge the batteries on an ocean-going yacht, or megawatt-size turbines used for powering a desalination plant on an arid coastline. The use of solitary wind pumps feeding water tanks has been a familiar sight in much of the world for over 150 years.

Hybrid Systems

Wind power is also very suitable for incorporation into hybrid systems. These offer flexibility, because they can provide power even when the wind is not blowing. Wind-diesel combinations are common, but more recent developments include wind-photovoltaic units, a hybrid option which offers power generation from 100% renewable sources.