Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Sep 18

GE to Manufacture Offshore Wind Turbines

Posted in Wind Farms | Wind Power | Wind Turbines

Offshore Wind Turbines GE, the US industrial group, is promoting and showing confidence in offshore wind technology by buying ScanWind, which makes direct-drive turbine components. This move will help in generating thousands of new jobs in the field of designing and manufacturing turbines. This move will affirm the confidence of investors in the fledgling offshore wind industry, which has been weighed down by concerns about costs and reliability. GE is moving ahead with establishing turbine manufacturing facilities to serve the European markets at first. They have to make up their mind about the size of the investment and location.

GE is already a force to reckon with in onshore wind power: it sells about fifty percent of the new turbines being installed in the US. GE’s global share amounts to about 20 per cent. GE was not an enthusiastic participant in the offshore business till now. They were running the show for a small demonstration facility in Ireland. Their executives were quite apprehensive about the economics of offshore generation. But we know that none of the business ideas are permanent and they get approved or disapproved according to the external environment of a country or world. When we live in a country which is densely populated with coastal reasons, we know that there is not enough space for on-shore wind projects. But we have to cater to the clean and green energy demands of a nation. So off-shore wind turbines are the one of the best answers for such countries. Off-shore wind speeds are generally higher and wind blows at a steadier pace. We can use larger turbines to harness more wind energy – larger turbines that can be easily transported via marine route. If offshore turbines are directly connected to the power grids then there is no need for overland high-voltage transmission lines in heavily populated areas. Therefore GE executives are taking advantage of the external challenges of the European continent to provide clean and green energy. The EU has a bigger target of deriving 20% of its overall energy from renewable resources by 2020 and this requires huge expansion of offshore wind production.

Vic Abate, GE’s vice-president for renewable energy, said: “The company now believed the subsidies in place for offshore wind, such as Britain’s Renewables Obligation, were robust enough to encourage large-scale investment. Offshore wind is more expensive, so without the subsidies and other supports the economics can’t stand up.” Now governments too are creating the right kind of environment to invest in off-shore wind technology. Industrial houses are quick to grab the incentives offered by the governments.

Of course the viability of offshore wind production hinges a lot upon reliability because the turbines will be maintainable only by boats, or may be ships.

GE is expected to invest hundreds of millions of dollars setting up the business, and at the same time hold out the prospect of thousands of jobs being created. These jobs will create both directly employment such as in designing and manufacturing operations, and indirectly in activities such as installation and support services.

GE is also teaming up with a company with offshore oil and gas expertise, so that they can gain an insight into the sitting structures in challenging marine environments.

Mr. Abate said GE is still in the process of exploring its new offshore wind facilities location. He stated it was likely to be where the company was offered the best partnerships by governments and local businesses.

  • Francisco A Roque

    We need not 20% but 100% of the power to be generated by wind power now! The poles are melting… we should not use off all the oil from the ground for that. either to power our cars, big oil should be the ones starting in this alternatives, they can indeed generate jobs and cash.

  • Boneheaded1

    If you’re going to have offshore wind, why not do it in tandem with wave power. Where there is wind, there is waves. GE should team up with Pelamis or some other wave generation technology companies. If you’re going to install transmission lines, get the most use you can for the installation cost. If you’re going to have to maintain with ships, again, get double duty. The best way to justify the cost is to share the cost across multiple generation technologies that can work in tandem to increase output.

  • DWB

    The reality is, the wind doesn’t always blow, but our need for electricity is 24 X 7, 1440 hours a month day in day out. Right now I get 60% of my electricity from coal fired steam plants. If I could replace half of that coal fired steam with wind, what happens when the wind doesn’t blow? It takes days to get a steam plant up to generating capacity and they don’t have wind blowing, steam plant, off switches. If a steam plant has to run when the wind doesn’t blow to backup wind, where’s the green savings? There are none. Green energy is a good idea but not practical.

  • Boneheaded1

    DWB, Green energy not practical? That’s gotta be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever seen on this site. Green energy isn’t just a good idea, but a necessary one.

    Yes, green energy is capital intensive and the energy output vs the dollar input is much lower than fossil fuel plants. But fossil is not sustainable.

    You’re right, the wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine, the waves aren’t always big and the dams aren’t always full. But, you harvest what can be harvested. The goal is to cut down the portion of energy generated by coal. Through conservation and a build out of renewables across the spectrum we can eliminate a large chunk of coal fired power and use natural gas/bio-gas fueled power plants for the times when the renewables need supplementing.

    You are almost sounding like the owner of a coal fired plant. Make no mistake, coal built this country, but then again, so did cotton and tobacco. Time to move onward and forward.

  • Murphy

    Lets move ahead with clean coal technology in conjunction with green energy. Coal is abundant in this country, and reliable, and we have established coal fired power plants online. Furthermore, Coal can be converted to fuel. If we only took advantage of coal to liquid production to supply our military (airforce), which is the biggest consumer of petroleum; our dependence on foreign oil would be drastically reduced. Clean renuable energy is in our future, but lets utilize our countries abundant coal resource as we re-tool during the decades to come.

  • Sergei from Ukraine

    If everybody are concerned on reducing emissions via alternative (wind) energy, at the same time should be concerned why alternative energy equipment and other economic components are so expensive and producers doesn’t want to reduce their profits in favour of cleaning the air. Avoided costs are not accounted in official accounting. There is no emissions taxes, no labels on products about how much emissions are generated while producing them (as incentive for ordinary customers not to buy emission-intensive products). There are a lot of inefficiencies in wind turbine supply chain. There is a huge inefficiency in absence of standardization of certain components of wind turbines. Could you imagine that each car manufacturer will design its car as to use only “exclusive” wheels? Nonsense, but in wind turbines they do this with blades, towers, pitch mechanisms, ets. Wind turbines are utility function first-of-all, therefore, instead of 100 models and sises we should have 20, but more reliable and cheap, thanks to massive production of standardized parts. Making a serial turbine should not ne an art.

    Non-profit wind energy associations should have standardization and WT cost reduction as their key task.

  • Papatya

    There is no such thing as “clean” coal technology.

    Have a good day.

  • Heru

    Dear GE,

    I think wind power is cheapest and simplest technology on capturing energy among the others.

    The better place to ‘harvest’ his kind of energy is along shoreline which faces to open ocean. Indonesia has good place, since a big part of the country faces to Indian Ocean. Maybe GE has a plan to implant this technology in Indonesia, especially in East Nusa Tenggara, since they has relative long period of strong wind.

    Best regard,

  • mavis

    We need to do things differently, but why not make the ones accountable that are causing the most harmful emissions Like vehicle manufactures that should be building better and cleaner motors, jet transportation and resource scavengers of mining etc. and do we really need to go out to space, imagine all they put into the atmosphere wrecking the ozone layer. everyday ppl will buy whats out there, so industry and new inventions should have strict environmental standards. All government should be enforcing strict guidelines and making sound policies. they should be taxing industry and make them accountable for their low environmental standards, instead of allowing them to get off by buying carbon credits so they can continue on the way they are wreaking havoc around the world.

  • Lou Gage

    Mavis, Your comments on “taxing manufactures” to force them to build better engines misses a major point. That is, the consumer will pay with higher cost for more research but the market shows that the consumer, at least, in the USA is sitting on the sideline and those that are buying are still buying BIG. All cost possible including taxes are passed to the consumer. Maybe, it is time for you to rail and vent your anger at consuming people instead of businesses. Just my thoughts. LG

  • Max

    LG, I’m afraid Mavis has more the right of it though you do have a point. Manufacturers of fossil fuel using technologies are heavily subsidized, if by nothing else than by artificially low fuel costs, the oil and gas industry receives enough subsidies that gas prices would more than double if full price was paid. Consumers do not make good decisions because the real cost is hidden from them. If these industries had to pay the full cost of their technology the consumer would be able to make wiser choices.

  • Lou Gage

    Max, “right” is a concept usually reserved by victors writing histories. I am not sure I agree with your equation of low fuel prices with a subsidy? From who is this subsidy received by the petro industries? Are you referring to an not declared subsidy from society in the form of un or under regulated pollution. It is time that “greens” force themselves to put weak proposal out and let strong technologies survive. Me, I favor a national sales tax at every level and do away with the IRS. The tax code is new technologies worst foe. Just my thoughts. LG

  • subramani

    If one man among the BILLION HUMAN BEINGS among us can take initiative to establish an exclusive organization which is 100% non-profit to install wind farms through out the world where ever possible with 100% subsidies from the nations concerned ,the future of this little beautiful planet can be preserved for our future generations.

    A century back our forefathers left us this WONDERFUL planet with plenty of pure rivers,oceans,forests and everything to have a peaceful existence.

    But what we leave to our children and grand children, THINK IT OVER AS A DAD, AS AN GRANDPA TO YOUR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

  • DWB

    ?Boneheaded1, “?DWB, Green energy not practical? That’s gotta be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever seen on this site.”.

    Practical, as I define it ….. I like my electricity to be there at the flip of the switch. “Practically” all the time is not just when the wind is blowing.
    Where are the wind turbines not backed up by a coal fired steam plant or other power source? Nuclear and coal energy steam plants spin that turbine at a constant speed, generating 60 cycle AC, while the wind turbine can fluctuate, requiring converters to produce that power, (with converter losses). I may be dense, but if I have 10 MW of wind power that must be backed with a steam plant generating 10MW, where’s the savings? Maybe the savings is when the wind stops blowing, the coal quits burning, the electric goes away and you are in the dark. What’s the payback for that wind turbine?

    Here in the US, spending your tax dollars is never justified with real cost benefit analysis. It’s always gee, we need that, I want one of those, I think they are great, we can save with one of them.

    “?Make no mistake, coal built this country, but then again, so did cotton and tobacco. Time to move onward and forward.”

    It’s been hot this Summer and I’m wearing a 100% cotton T-Shirt since those Rayon shirts make me sweat while I’m outside enjoying my cigar. Some things just are hard for me to change.

  • Mkjon

    The switch to expensive renewable energy is all based on the supposition that CO2 makes the air “Dirty”. The fact is that CO2 is an essential ingredient of air. Nothing is greener than CO2. It is the bread of life for food plants and trees and and ultimately food for man.

    An increased amount of CO2 in air would greatly increase food plant growth and solve the world food shortage.
    Modern greenhouse practice adds CO2 to the air in greenhouses.

Tree Shaped Wind Turbines to be Installed in Paris


A French company called New Wind is installing tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The company’s founder, Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the idea

The Eiffel Tower Installs Two Wind Turbines


The 126 year old Eiffel Tower is going green! A pair of camouflaged VisionAIR5 wind turbines were installed inside the scaffolding on the second floor, and are expected to generate

The Lateral Axis Wind Turbine

Lateral Axis Wind Turbine Concept

Sri Lankan inventor Leelananda Jayasuriya just sent us this concept for a Lateral Axis Wind Turbine. The turbine functions just like a Ferris Wheel, with the blades orbiting in

Increasing the Efficiency of Wind Turbine Blades

Increasing the Efficiency of Wind Turbine Blades

To ensure wind turbines that are big in size work in a better manner, a new kind of air-flow technology may soon be introduced. Apart from other aspects,

The Wind Energy Industry is Nothing New

The Wind Energy Industry is Nothing New

Though our scientists may claim that they are inventing something new by using wind as a source of generating energy, the truth is that wind is being used for

South Korea Planning Massive Off Shore Wind Farm

South Korea Planning Massive Off Shore Wind Farm

Wind energy currently meets a mere 1.5% of global electricity generation. But scientists foresee a lot of potential in this alternative energy source. Asian countries are also trying to

Wind Energy Instruments getting Bigger & Better

Wind Energy Instruments getting Bigger & Better

Renewable energy production and demand growth is gaining momentum in many ways across the world. There is a booming demand of wind power today and all wind energy equipment

Fresh-Water Wind Farm on Lake Erie

Fresh-Water Wind Farm on Lake Erie

A fresh-water wind farm is taking shape at Lake Erie and when completed will provide 20 megawatts and get on to about one gigawatt power by 2020. Huge individual