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2017-04-14. Germany Strikes Offshore Wind Deals, Subsidy Not Included.

posted Apr 16, 2017, 6:37 PM by Alan Gould
By Stanley Reed, The New York Times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: LONDON — European governments have spent large sums of money in recent years subsidizing giant offshore wind projects in hopes of creating a clean source of energy that could eventually pay for itself. Now that moment may be here — and a lot sooner than expected. On Thursday, the Danish company Dong Energy, the largest offshore wind developer, won the right to build two large wind projects in the German North Sea with no government subsidies — a highly symbolic first for the industry. The company will receive the revenues from the electricity generated by the wind farms.  ...In a news release, Dong cited several factors that underpinned its bids. By the time the projects are completed in 2024, the company said, it expects turbine makers to offer a new generation of machines almost double the size of the largest current models. In recent years, turbine makers like General Electric in the United States, Vestas in Denmark and Siemens in Germany have produced larger and more powerful machines up to 600 feet high. That means more power can be produced by fewer windmills, reducing costs. ...Dong also said that the new sites offered very high average wind speeds and that it can combine the operations with others in the area, further lowering costs. In addition, Dong assumes that electricity prices will rise from current levels, about 40 euros per megawatt-hour. ...The biggest uncertainty may be future electricity prices. Dong, without disclosing precise figures, says it expects power prices to rise in Europe as nuclear and coal-fired power plants are retired, increasing demand for new sources. Analysts, though, say that fast-growing renewable energy sources like wind and solar may bring electricity prices down. ...A small wind farm off Rhode Island began generating power last year — a first for the United States — and Dong is working on projects off the country’s east coast....  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/business/energy-environment/offshore-wind-subsidy-dong-energy.html