Experts’ Predictions for Future Wind Energy Costs Drop Significantly

Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey led by Berkeley Lab of the world’s foremost wind power experts. Experts anticipate cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements.

Low-Level Jets Create Winds of Change for Turbines

Global wind power capacity has increased more than fivefold over the past decade, leading to larger turbines, but low-level jets are one cause for concern. The effects of these strong, energetic wind flows depend on how high the wind flows are in relation to the turbines. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers considered three different scenarios in which the LLJs were above, below, and in the middle of the turbine rotors.

Wind Power off the Oregon Coast Could Provide More than Electricity

A recent study found that 2 to 3 gigawatts of electricity from winds off the coast of Oregon could be carried by current transmission lines. That’s enough to power up to 1 million homes—a significant number since there are 1.5 million homes in Oregon. But just as significantly, it also means that delivering that power would not require much additional investment in new transmission infrastructure.

Tulane University launches new degree program in renewable energy

With the growing role of renewables in the nation’s energy mix, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has launched a program to teach students how to bring renewable and sustainable energy projects from concept to completion.

Climate Change Impact on Green Energy Production

As the climate of the planet is changing, many researchers are looking to more renewable energy sources. In the Journal of Sustainable and Renewable Energy, researchers investigate whether the power generated by solar and wind farms would differ between current and future climates. The researchers focused on sites in Australia where variable renewable generators are located or are likely to be located in the future based on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s system plan.

ASSEMBLING OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES

To meet the current and anticipated demand for offshore wind, we’re going to need marshalling ports, large waterside sites with the acreage and weight-carrying capacity necessary to assemble, house and deploy the huge wind turbines ready to ship out into the ocean. A new study from the University of Delaware has identified two prime east coast locations for marshalling ports on either side of the Delaware bay.

FSU engineering researchers harness wind data to help meet energy needs in Florida

Florida is one of several states in the Southeast where wind energy is virtually nonexistent, which is one reason wind farms have not been an economically viable energy source in the region. But a new study from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering shows how upcoming technological advances could make wind energy a hot commodity in the Sunshine State.

Geoengineering is Just a Partial Solution to Fight Climate Change

Could we create massive sulfuric acid clouds that limit global warming and help meet the 2015 Paris international climate goals, while reducing unintended impacts? Yes, in theory, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Earth System Dynamics. Spraying sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere at different locations, to form sulfuric acid clouds that block some solar radiation, could be adjusted every year to keep global warming at levels set in the Paris goals. Such technology is known as geoengineering or climate intervention.

Finding Balance Between Green Energy Storage, Harvesting

Generating power through wind or solar energy is dependent on the abundance of the right weather conditions, making finding the optimal strategy for storage crucial to the future of sustainable energy usage. Research published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy identifies key indicators that will help achieve balance between green energy storage capacity and harvesting capability and determine the energy potential of a region.

Researchers design floating turbine to harvest deep-ocean wind energy

The wind over deep-sea waters offers the potential to become one of the country’s largest renewable energy sources.
University of Texas at Dallas researcher Dr. Todd Griffith has spent years working on an offshore turbine design that can convert those deep-ocean winds into electricity. Recently, Griffith received a $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to take his technology to the next level. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) award provides support for his team to design and build a prototype for a floating offshore wind turbine.
The new grant was part of $26 million in funding from ARPA-E for 13 projects to accelerate floating offshore wind turbine technologies through the Aerodynamic Turbines, Lighter and Afloat, with Nautical Technologies and Integrated Servo-Control (ATLANTIS) program.

Supporting Structures of Wind Turbines Contribute to Wind Farm Blockage Effect

Much about the aerodynamic effects of larger wind farms remains poorly understood. New work in this week’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainably Energy looks to provide more insight in how the structures necessary for wind farms affect air flow. Using a two-scale coupled momentum balance method, researchers theoretically and computationally reconstructed conditions that large wind farms might face in the future, including the dampening effect that comes with spacing turbines close to one another.

Saving Bats from Wind Turbine Death

Wind energy holds great promise as a source of renewable energy, but some have wondered addressing climate change has taken precedence over conservation of biodiversity. Wind turbines, for example, kill some birds, and the fatality rate for bats is even higher. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, scientists report the results of a survey of stakeholders in the wind energy field about attitudes toward the relative emphasis on climate change versus biodiversity issues.

Go With the Flow: Scientists Design New Grid Batteries for Renewable Energy

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have designed an affordable ‘flow battery’ membrane that could accelerate renewable energy for the electrical grid.