E.On plans green restructuring in 2016
E.On has announced plans to focus on wind and solar from 2016by splitting its fossil fuels arm into a separate publicly-listed firm.
The German utility has revealed a restructuring that would see it split into two companies. The larger company would retain the E.On name and focus on renewables, primarily wind but with some solar, and employ 40,000 people. The smaller company would focus on the firm’s natural gas operations and employ 20,000 people.
E.On is making the change because of ongoing uncertainty in the energy market in continental Europe. The restructuring plan is likely to happen in 2016 and requires approval from E.On backers at a shareholders’ meeting, which is likely to happen in April 2016.
Johannes Teyssen, chief executive at E.On, said this was “the best way to secure our employees’ jobs”.
Dong and RES scrap 600MW First Flight
The First Flight consortium has scrapped plans for a 600MW wind farm off the coast of County Down in Northern Ireland.
The group, which is made up of B9 Energy Offshore, Dong Energy and RES Offshore, has ditched the £1bn 100-turbine project due to problems with subsidy regimes. Northern Ireland lags behind the rest of the UK in financial incentives for renewable energy projects.
First Flight has also raised concerns about delays in establishing a single electricity market across Ireland. Plans for a cross-border interconnector between Northern Ireland and the Republic Ireland have also been pushed back until 2019.
Alstom opens pair in Saint-Nazaire…
Alstom has opened two factories in Saint-Nazaire to make nacelles and generators for its Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbines.
The French manufacturer yesterday inaugurated the factories in the northwest of the country. They are expected to reach a production capacity of 100 turbines a year.
Production is due to start in 2015 to manufacture 240 turbines for three projects off the coast of France; and five for the Block Island offshore pilot project in the US.
…as France plans third offshore tender
The French government is set to launch a third offshore wind tendernext year in addition to the 3GW it has already awarded.
The government did not disclose how much capacity would be on offer in the 2015 tender. In 2012, it awarded the right to develop projects totalling 2GW to groups led by utility EDF and Iberdrola. It followed this in May 2014 by awarding the tender for two projects totalling 1GW to a group led by GDF Suez.
The country is aiming for offshore wind capacity of 6GW by 2020, but does not currently have any offshore turbines installed.
MIT: Turbines don’t harm human health
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has confirmed that “properly sited wind turbines are not harmful to human health”.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association appointed the US university in early 2014 to carry out a comprehensive review of scientific literature on wind turbines and human health.
MIT has now published its review in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine. The report concluded there is no clear link between turbine noise and human health; and that noise played a minor role in people reporting annoyance about turbines.
The Irish Government has unveiled changes to its second offshore wind tender that the industry said have created “massive levels of uncertainty”. We look at what this means for the up-to-80GW of offshore wind projects in development in Irish waters.