WES-100-wide-4

Eerste ‘Volksmolen’ op Windpark Zijpe is een succes!

Windpark Zijpe, het eerste commerciële windpark van Noord-Holland dat sinds 1992 duurzame energie opwekt. De laatste jaren had dit park een ietwat treurige aanblik doordat maar liefst 3 van de 9 oude turbines stil stonden. Na 25 jaar duurzame energie te hebben geproduceerd zijn deze turbines ‘einde latijn’.

Postcoderoosproject
Op initiatief van Kennemerwind (coöperatieve-eigenaar Windpark Zijpe) en Wind Energy Solutions uit Spanbroek, is het Volksmolen-project opgestart, waarbij één van de drie stilstaande turbines zou worden vervangen door een nieuwe turbine van exact hetzelfde formaat maar met een hogere opbrengst. De nieuwe turbine is begin december 2019 geïnstalleerd waardoor de eerste Volksmolen een feit is. En dit allemaal dankzij de lokale gemeenschap. Samen, lokaal, duurzaam investeren!

Tijdens de start van het duurzame project werd in Burgerbrug (Gemeente Schagen) een eerste informatie-avond gehouden waarbij de ruim 70 aanwezigen werden geïnformeerd over ‘de Volksmolen’, een postcoderoosproject waarbij huishoudens, bedrijven en verenigingen uit de directe omgeving de mogelijkheid kregen om een zogenaamde ‘windkavel’ te kopen in de Volksmolen. Een oude stilstaande windmolen wordt hiermee vervangen door een WES 80, een nieuwe wind turbine van exact dezelfde hoogte, met exact dezelfde rotoroppervlakte, maar met een hogere opbrengst in energie dan de oude turbine.

15 jaar lang goedkope energie
De diverse deelnemers die een windkavel hebben gekocht krijgen 15 jaar lang vrijstelling van de energiebelasting op elektriciteit. Op deze manier is elke deelnemer gegarandeerd van 15 jaar goedkope energie, die ook nog eens lokaal is opgewekt. Een win-win-situatie.

Veel animo voor windkavels
Na diverse informatieavonden te hebben georganiseerd in onder andere Burgerbrug, Schoorl, Bergen, Groet, Petten en Koedijk bleek de animo voor windkavels onder de lokale geïnteresseerden groot te zijn. Een signaal dat lokale duurzaamheid leeft in deze omgeving. Al vrij snel waren de windkavels uitverkocht en kon de nieuwe windturbine worden besteld.

En sinds begin december 2019 is het zover, de allereerste Volksmolen is gerealiseerd. Dit allemaal dankzij de lokale gemeenschap met een hart voor groene energie uit de directe omgeving.

Heeft u interesse in een soortgelijk wind-project in uw regio? Neem vrijblijvend contact op met Sjoerd Overpelt, projectleider van de Volksmolen.

Sjoerd Overpelt
06-83 52 38 56
info@volksmolen.nl

Zon-en-wind-Agri

Bezoek de AgriBex in Brussel en ontdek wat Wind Energie voor uw landbouwbedrijf kan betekenen!

Van 3 tot en met 8 december vindt in Brussels Expo de AgriBex 2019 plaats. Agribex, Internationale Beurs voor Akkerbouw, Veeteelt, Tuin en Groene Zones is in de loop der jaren uitgegroeid tot een uniek evenement waar landbouwers, loonwerkers, vertegenwoordigers van de toeleverende industrie, overheden, onderzoekers en groot publiek elkaar ontmoeten.

Wind Energy Solutions WES B.V. zal dit jaar aanwezig zijn met een stand in Hal 6 (stand 6102) waarbij de bezoekers een inkijk krijgen in de mid-size turbines welke een ideaal middel zijn voor verduurzaming van landbouwbedrijven in België.

Windenergie voor landbouwers
Zelf je elektriciteit opwekken op je land- en tuinbouwbedrijf met behulp van een windturbine, is een heel beloftevolle techniek. Ben je een landbouwer en ben je van plan om een middelgrote windturbine op je erf te plaatsen, dan kan je in aanmerking komen voor investeringssteun.

Tot 70% investerings-steun via het Vlaams Energie Agentschap
Dit steunprogramma richt zich tot de investering in windturbines op land met een bruto nominaal per turbine groter dan 10 kWe tot en met 300 kWe. De steun wordt toegekend in de vorm van een investeringssubsidie. Voor meer info, klik hier.

40% investerings-steun via VLIF-subsidie
Landbouwers die investeren in windturbines kunnen sinds 1 oktober 2019 rekenen op VLIF-steun van 40%. “Investeren in technologie en innovatie op onze land- en tuinbouwbedrijven is één van de hefbomen om de uitdagingen van de sector samen aan te pakken”, zegt Vlaams minister van Landbouw Hilde Crevits. Voor meer info, klik hier.

Met de bovenstaande aanwezige steun-subsidies voor mid-size wind, wordt windenergie zeer rendabel en kan een landbouwer de windmolen binnen een acceptabele periode terugverdienen. Bovendien is men zelfvoorzienend, duurzaam aan het innoveren en niet afhankelijk van eventuele prijsstijgingen doorgevoerd door een energieleverancier.

Benieuwd wat een mid-size windturbine voor de verduurzaming van uw landbouwbedrijf kan betekenen? Bezoek de stand (6102) van Wind Energy Solutions WES B.V in Hal 6 en laat u informeren over alle mogelijkheden.

Kortingscode t.w.v. €5,-
Wil jij graag een kijkje nemen op de Agribex beurs? Vul hier je email adres in en ontvang een kortingscode ter waarde van €5,-. Met deze kortingsbon zal een entreebewijs slechts €12,- kosten in plaats van €17,-.

Meer informatie of alvast een afspraak inplannen met één van onze Project-ontwikkelaars? Neem contact op met onze project-ontwikkelaar Sjoerd Overpelt voor advies en begeleiding.

Sjoerd Overpelt
sjoerdoverpelt@windenergysolutions.nl
Tel: +31 6 8352 3856

763 (1)

New Future for small and medium size wind turbines in Belgium!

‘More wind turbines in a shorter period of time’, those were the main principles in the ‘Windpower 2020’ wind plan by Flemish Minister of Energy Bart Tommelein and his colleague Joke Schauvliege from the department ‘Environment (CD&V)’. Steps have already been taken to remove a number of obstacles for the construction of wind turbines. Minister Tommelein has introduced a ‘support-system’ to encourage the construction of small and medium sized wind turbines.

Small wind turbines are turbines with a hub-height of up to 15 meters. Medium sized wind turbines start with a hub-height of 15 meters up to a capacity of 300 kilowatts. For small business companies, farms and hospitals, small and medium sized wind turbines are an excellent way to produce their own renewable ‘green’ energy. Initiators receive investment support at the start of their project which can be as high as 70 percent of the investment.

The first call has delivered 14 new wind turbine projects. The call ran from December 3, 2018 to January 24, 2019 and worked with a comparative bidding procedure. Projects that did not make it were either too expensive or did not meet the conditions. The selected projects will only receive investment support so afterwards there will no longer be any production aid in the form of green certificates during the operational period of the wind turbine.

Flemish Minister for Energy Lydia Peeters: “The Flemish energy policy focuses on renewable sources. As wind energy can also be generated at a lower altitude, we worked out a specific call for small and medium-sized wind turbines. The selected projects can therefore count on investment support to realize their project. ”

26 projects were received in two months; 18 of these projects were declared admissible and 14 were finally selected. It concerns agricultural and waste processing companies and even includes a single brewery. The majority of applicants, no fewer than 12, come from West Flanders. 2 projects will be realized in the province of Antwerp. The projects were assessed and ranked according to the intended return in proportion to the aid applied for. Projects that were too expensive were therefore not eligible.

So far, this new call has been an unlikely big success. It shows that more and more organizations and small and medium sized companies are seeing the possibilities that a small or medium-sized wind turbine offers them. Thanks to investment support, many new wind turbines can be built and the Flemish government avoids over subsidization.

The second call of 2019 ran from March 28 until May 30 2019 and there are serious plans for a third call in 2019 as well. Flemish companies that are interested in a mid-sized wind turbine between 10 and 300 kilowatts can have a look at our website www.windenergysolutions.nl or contact our Project Manager Sjoerd Overpelt for more information, advice and support for a possible wind project.

Sjoerd Overpelt
sjoerdoverpelt@windenergysolutions.nl
Tel: +31 6 8352 3856

Wind farm in Basilicata – Italy

Italy’s draft National Energy and Climate Plan needs to ramp up on ambition

Italy needs to set out explicit measures to support wind energy in the next decade – including on repowering of existing assets – if it is serious about meeting its climate targets.

On 4-5 June WindEurope participated in the E-Talia Summit in Milan, where the focus was on the development of Italian solar and wind energy and discussed the state of affairs in Italy’s draft National Energy and Climate Plan.

Italy already has 10 GW of onshore wind capacity installed, and only one offshore wind farm in Mediterranean waters, which is currently under construction. The country has the resources to significantly increase its share of wind energy – both on- and offshore – and the National Energy and Climate Plan is an obvious means of preparing the map for the future of Italian wind energy.

In its draft National Energy and Climate Plan, submitted to the European Commission in January 2019, Italy has already pledged to reach 17.5 GW of onshore wind capacity and 900 MW of offshore wind by 2030. However, as our assessment shows, this draft offers no indication of how these targets will be reached. The plan lacks substantial details on all topics directly relevant to the wind power industry, such as support to renewable energy production, renewable corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), electrification, investments in Research & Innovation.

This will not be sufficient to meet the key challenges facing the Italian wind sector. One major challenge is repowering. More than half of Italy’s currently installed onshore wind fleet will reach the end of its operational life between today and 2030. At present, there is uncertainty as to the future of those wind turbines. Some of the current wind parks are located in areas where – due to changes in regulation over recent years – further installations are no longer possible. This is despite the fact that these areas have excellent wind speed and potential.

Moreover, Italy adopted a law in 2014 – the so-called Spalmaincentivi Volontario – that now prevents many repowering projects from accessing revenue stabilisation mechanisms. The law effectively obstructs repowering, contrary to the provisions in the new Renewable Energy Directive that asks EU Member States to facilitate repowering.

Italy’s current draft National Energy and Climate Plan does not clarify what measures and policies will be implemented to comply with these provisions of the new Renewable Energy Directive. In particular on how to simplify and reduce the authorisation processes for installing new and repowered turbines.

The recent EU elections show that there is widespread public support for a cleaner and more sustainable European economy. Italy has the potential to play a strong role in this. But if Italy fails to plan, it plans to fail.

Retrofitting

The sustainable and profitable path forward for owners of aging wind turbines

The wind energy sector is set for a development boom for the coming years. Nations around the world are gearing up for a substantial expansion in renewable energy to offset concerns over energy security and to meet strict environmental targets and timetables.

When it comes to wind power most of the focus is being put on offshore projects and the promise of larger than ever wind farms and turbines far out to sea. But operators and developers should not be so quick to downplay the potential of the onshore wind sector.

Too old some say, citing farms dating back to the 1980s. Not enough popular support to develop on new greenfield sites say others, and anyway all of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been taken haven’t they?
All true, and indeed given that a typical wind turbine has a product lifetime 20 years there are therefore increasing questions over the reliability and productivity of hundreds of existing onshore wind farms worldwide as developers and operators strive to meet ever more stringent quotas and demand.

 

All of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been taken haven’t they?

 

Onshore wind farms

Onshore wind farms can substantially contribute to the great new era of wind without the need for new site locations.

The options are retrofitting, essentially improving an existing turbines efficiency and capacity by fitting new technology such as better grid connections or the latest blade designs, and repowering, decommissioning an existing turbine and building a more modern and powerful version. The UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the US are undertaking the majority of repowering and retrofitting projects at present. This is perhaps unsurprising given their ‘pioneering’ status in the wind industry and hence a greater number of aged wind farms than elsewhere.
Emerging wind markets such as China and India though hold significant long-term potential with India already seeing some repowering activity.

The likelihood of failure simply increases in older turbines.

 

Repowering vs retrofitting

The likelihood of failure simply increases in older turbines and therefore the repair costs rise in proportion. This enormously enhances the potential profitability of repowering or retrofitting the old technology. The only real question is which of both options to take? The first, i.e. replacing old wind turbines with new ones, has its drawbacks because acquisition prices are high and the replacement involves a number of administrative steps that can get to last longer, besides having to add the time of acquisition and installation of the wind turbine itself.

Replacing part or all of the turbines before the end of their lifetime with new more efficient and more powerful machines

Repowering can refer to a single wind turbine or to a whole wind farm replacing part or all of the turbines before the end of their lifetime with new more efficient and more powerful machines. It can also be used to rearrange the location of the turbines in order to better integrate them into the local planning of residential areas. It is seen as a better option than building a new site at a different less windy location as most of the ‘windiest’ sites have already been developed on.

The ability to re-use part of the infrastructures already developed on site such as roads and grid connection also means less capital investment than building from scratch. Planning permission should also be easier from an existing site.

Overall an operator’s O&M costs are reduced after repowering projects thanks to newer and more efficient technology and economies of scale.
Prohibitive factors against repowering included temporary loss of revenue until the completion of a project, deemed only particularly beneficial for small-size turbines, more expensive and too complex.

 

Retrofitting

The second solution that owners or operators can choose is the overhaul of the turbine, which means to renew some electrical and mechanical components of existing turbines and update the wind turbine control system.

Fitting in new technology such as better grid connections or the latest blade designs.

The main benefits of retrofitting include reduction of future running costs due to the better reliability of the replaced parts and increased productivity. Indeed it is estimated that retrofitting can improve reliability and productivity by up to 30%.

The cost of a retrofitting option varies but in general, components that are suitable for retrofitting don’t cost more than the O&M specified components and take no longer to install. It also has little effect on a turbine’s insurance or certification.

 

How are turbines retrofitted?

The retrofitting process consists in integrating a frequency converter equipped with the latest technology in power electronics and the renewal of some mechanical and electrical components.

The integration of the converter allows the wind turbine operate at variable speed to adapt its speed to the wind conditions as do the new wind turbines following current standards. This allows them to work at the optimum operating point for maximum energy transfer between the wind and the blades and smooth operation of the mechanical drive.

In addition, the cost of retrofitting is significantly less than the equivalent of a new wind turbine and its installation time is reduced depending on the owner’s needs and the conditions existing prior to retrofit.

The cost of retrofitting is significantly less than the equivalent of a new wind turbine.

 

Political support

Some industry players want to see better financial incentives given to operators such as more generous feed-in-tariffs to make repowering projects more economic. However that isn’t proving easy in today’s financial climate. I heard one leading developer say: “There is a strong belief that in the next few years there will be an easier planning regime, but that isn’t visible at the moment. So in all permitting is a problem.”

Whatever option is taken continued political support is vital. The ability of repowering and retrofitting to boost the wind sector’s capacity and productivity, not only in developed countries but also emerging markets, will be mute if governments are cutting renewable subsidies.

 

Wind Energy Solutions

At WES we have developed a solution to modernize aging wind turbines so that they can be profitable again. Although new wind turbines occupy their own position in the wind energy mix, there is also a growing demand to revitalize assets of a certain age.
With the maturity of the market for onshore wind power, assets are aging and many turbines have already completed their lifetime period.

Repowering and retrofitting offer a sustainable and profitable path forward and the opportunity should be grasped by all.

View all our turbines and options

 

Do you want to know what the best solution is for your business?

Zon-en-wind-Agri

De belangrijke rol van de landbouw in de transitie naar 100% groen.

Welke rol spelen agrariërs in de levering van duurzame energie? Zelfvoorzienend zijn is één, maar kunnen zij ook als producent van duurzame energie een voorname rol gaan spelen? De mogelijkheden zijn er zeker, echter moet er wel steun komen wanneer men deze rol ziet weggelegd voor de gemiddelde landbouwer.

Naar schatting leverde de agrarische sector in 2018 al meer dan 15% aan groene energie voor de huishoudens in ons land. Nederland is zich steeds meer bewust van het feit dat onze groene energie nauw samenhangt met de duurzame kwaliteiten van de agrarische sector. Echter zijn we er nog lang niet wanneer het verduurzaming van Nederland betreft. De komende jaren zullen er nog veel meer kansen ontstaan en benut moeten worden om Nederland en met name de agrarische sector, te vergroenen.

Energieleveranciers zijn zich bewust van het aandeel dat boeren hebben in de verduurzaming van Nederland.


Opwekker, verbruiker en leverancier

Ook Energieleveranciers zijn zich bewust van het aandeel dat boeren hebben in de verduurzaming van Nederland. Men verwacht dat in de komende jaren minimaal 25% van onze duurzame energie afkomstig is van agrariërs. Met de inzet van bestaande en de komst van innovatieve mogelijkheden om zelf energie op te wekken, kan dat percentage zelfs nog veel hoger uitvallen.

Veel agrariërs gebruiken de opgewekte energie in eerste instantie voor het dagelijks verbruik in hun eigen bedrijf. De energie wordt gebruikt voor machines, de productie van gewassen, het koelen van opslagcellen en het voeren van dieren. De energie welke niet wordt gebruikt, het overschot, wordt via het net terug geleverd aan energiebedrijven. Deze energiebedrijven kunnen de terug geleverde energie op hun beurt weer verspreiden naar derden zoals particulieren en andere bedrijven. Op deze manier is de wisselwerking tussen enerzijds de agrarische sector en anderzijds de energieleveranciers weer een stapje verder.

Duurzaam delen op lokaal vlak

Om het lokale aspect uit te lichten zijn er al plannen waarbij agrarische energie-producten nabijgelegen woningen direct voorzien van duurzame energie. Nu zijn deze plannen nog kleinschalig, zodat alleen de directe omgeving kan worden voorzien. Met alle duurzame technische innovaties in het vooruitzicht zal dit gebied al snel opgeschaald worden.

Tijdens de wintermaanden hebben veel agrarische bedrijven elektriciteit nodig maar is er weinig zon. Omdat het in de winter en ook herfst meer waait dan in andere jaargetijden biedt een windmolen een prima oplossing.


Combineer Wind en Zon

Een mooi voorbeeld waarbij een agrarisch bedrijf zo goed als energieneutraal is en tevens als energie-producent kan worden beschouwt is een zogenaamde wind-zon combinatie. Veel boeren hebben naast een windturbine tegenwoordig ook zonnepanelen op één of meerdere schuren liggen.

Tijdens de wintermaanden hebben veel agrarische bedrijven elektriciteit nodig maar is er weinig zon. Omdat het in de winter en ook herfst meer waait dan in andere jaargetijden biedt een windmolen een prima oplossing. In de lente en de zomer is het net andersom, de zon schijnt vaker en feller, zodat tijdens deze periodes de zonnepanelen uitkomst bieden.

Zowel bij een overschot aan energie opgewekt door zon als wind kan er terug geleverd worden aan het net, waardoor andere partijen weer kunnen worden voorzien van duurzaam opgewekte energie. Op deze manier voorziet de boer niet alleen zichzelf maar ook derden van groene stroom.

Energy sources C3 EN

Cablepooling

Een ander voordeel van een zon-wind combinatie is het zogenaamde ‘cablepooling’. Wanneer men voor de aanleg van een zonnedak een speciale kabel dient aan te leggen is de dikte van deze kabel vaak gebaseerd op de piek-momenten van het zonnedak welke slechts een aantal keren in de lente en zomer voorkomen. Op andere momenten, vooral in de zonarme maanden, wordt deze kabel niet optimaal benut.

Wanneer de zonnepanelen vlakbij een windturbine liggen kunnen beide duurzame bronnen via één kabel worden aangesloten. De momenten dat zowel zon als wind volop aanwezig is en de kabel voor een uitdaging stellen zijn uitermate zeldzaam en de productinstallaties zijn daar goed op af te stemmen. Zo kunnen zowel kleine als grote producenten van zonne-en windenergie veel geld besparen en tevens de aangelegde kabel optimaal benutten.

Wanneer de zonnepanelen vlakbij een windturbine liggen kunnen beide duurzame bronnen via één kabel worden aangesloten.

Niet alleen de producenten maar ook de netbeheerders zullen, gezien alle investeringen welke de noodzakelijke aanpassingen in het net met zich meebrengen, erbij gebaat zijn dat de kabels zo efficient en rendabel mogelijk benut worden. Minder kosten aan netverzwaring en onderhoud voor de netbeheerder, een slimmer gebruik van de bestaande infrastructuur en een toenemende CO2 besparing; het duurzame mes snijdt aan meerdere kanten.

De techniek staat voor niets en alle innovaties die de komende jaren op zullen duiken zorgen ervoor
dat er voldoende mogelijkheden zijn voor agrarische bedrijven om nog eenvoudiger energieneutraal te worden en tevens derden te voorzien van duurzame energie.

Delen is vermenigvuldigen

Het is vooral een financiële discussie. Investeringen in verduurzaming zijn vaak groot en alles uit eigen zak betalen is vaak niet mogelijk. Daarom is medewerking vanuit de overheid met behulp van subsidies een must. Krijgen de boeren de benodigde hulp om daadwerkelijk te investeren in mogelijkheden waardoor men naast zelfvoorzienend ook in staat is groene energie te leveren aan derden? Het probleem van de overheid, de uitputting van onze huidige grondstoffen voor het opwekken van energie, zou voor een groot deel opgelost worden.

Zon-en-wind-Agri

The essential role of agriculture in the transition to 100% green.

What role do agriculturists or farmers play in the supply of sustainable energy? Being self-sufficient is one thing, but can they also play a major role as a producer of sustainable energy? The possibilities are available, but support must be provided when the average agriculturists has to become an energy supplier.

It is estimated that in 2018 the agricultural sector already supplied more than 15% of green energy for households in our country. The Netherlands is increasingly aware of the fact that our green energy is closely linked to the sustainable qualities of the agricultural sector.

However, we are not even close when it concerns reaching our sustainable targets. In the coming years, many more opportunities will arise and must be exploited to make sure, the Netherlands and especially the agricultural sector, will become more sustainable.

Energy suppliers are also aware of the share farmers have in making the Netherlands more sustainable.


Producer, consumer and supplier

Energy suppliers are also aware of the share farmers have in making the Netherlands more sustainable. It is expected that at least 25% of our sustainable energy will be produced by farmers in the coming years. With the use of existing and the arrival of innovative possibilities to generate green energy yourself, that number will undoubtedly rise

Many farmers initially use the energy generated on regular basis in their own business. The energy is used for machines, the production of crops, the cooling of storage cells and for feeding the animals. The energy that is not used, the surplus, is distributed to energy companies via the grid. These energy companies can distribute the energy from the farmers to third parties such as private households and other companies. In such a way, the interaction between the agricultural sector and the energy suppliers is a step further.

Sustainability at local level

To highlight the local aspect, there are already plans in which agricultural energy producers provide nearby households with sustainable energy. At the moment these plans are still small-scale, so that only the immediate environment can be provided. With all sustainable technical innovations in prospect, the size of this area will soon be scaled up.

During the winter months, many agricultural companies need electricity but the available sunshine is scarce. As there is more wind in winter and also in autumn than in other seasons, a wind turbine offers a great solution.


Combine Wind and Solar

A good example in which an agricultural company is practically energy neutral and can also be regarded as an energy producer is a so-called ‘Wind-Solar Combination’. Nowadays many farmers own a wind turbine and also add Solar-panels on one or more of their shed roofs.

During the winter months, many agricultural companies need electricity but the available sunshine is scarce. As there is more wind in winter and also in autumn than in other seasons, a wind turbine offers a great solution. In the spring and summer, it is the other way around. The sun is shining more often and brighter, so that the solar panels offer a perfect solution during these periods.

The surplus generated by wind or sun can be distributed to the grid. In this way, other parties can be supplied with sustainably generated energy as well. The farmer provides himself and other (third) parties with sustainable energy.

Energy sources C3 EN

Cable pooling

Another advantage of a Wind-Solar combination is so-called ‘Cable pooling’. If a special power cable is necessary for the construction of a Solar PV installation, the thickness of this cable is often based on the peak moments of the PV installation which occur only a few times during spring and summer. During months with less sun hours, this cable is not used optimally.

When the Solar PV is installed near a wind turbine, both sustainable sources can be connected via the same cable. The moments when both sun and wind are fully present are extremely rare and both product-installations can be monitored if necessary. In such a way, both small and large producers of solar and wind energy can save a lot of money and also make optimal use of the installed cable and grid connection.

When the Solar PV is installed near a wind turbine, both sustainable sources can be connected via the same cable.

Not only energy producers but also the network operators will, given all the investments that entail the necessary adjustments to the network, benefit from the cables being used as efficiently and profitably as possible. Fewer costs for network reinforcement and maintenance for the network operator, smarter use of the existing infrastructure and increasing CO2 savings; multiple benefits.

The future of technology is endless and all the innovations that will pop up in the coming years ensure that there are sufficient opportunities for agricultural businesses to become even more energy-neutral and also to provide others with sustainable energy.

Sharing is Caring

It is primarily a financial discussion about this topic. Investments in sustainability are often large and financing everything with equity is often not possible. That is why government support in the form of incentives is a must. Will farmers receive the support they need to actually invest in opportunities that enables them to supply green energy to third parties in addition to being self-sufficient? The problem of the government, the depletion of our current raw materials for generating energy, would be solved to a large extent.

wind and sun

Solar and Wind energy, the perfect match


Combining wind and solar energy, the big picture


Solar panels are very popular and are becoming cheaper by the day. Not only are they easy to place on roofs or vacant pieces of land, they are one of the least intrusive renewable technologies available on the market at the moment. When placed on top of buildings their placement and size making them almost invisible. Because of all these positive traits of solar panels. we frequently hear the question: ‘’Why should we purchase a wind turbine when we can also have solar panels?’’

Solar panels are a great source of renewable energy, they can be put on roofs and pick up electricity during daytime. But unfortunately the sun goes down every day. Even in countries where the sun is at full strength, windmills are an excellent addition. Why? The answer is surprisingly simple: for all the hours that there is insufficient sun.

 

Solar can’t provide the energy peak needed when most households do their chores within the same part of the day.

 

In countries near the equator the sun is at its fullest strength but actually only shines half the time. This will supply electricity for the daytime peak where all offices and factories run. At noon people go home from work and use a lot of home utilities to comfortably enjoy their leisure time. Solar can’t provide the energy peak needed when most households do their chores within the same part of the day. The combination of sun and wind energy can ensure everyone to enjoy their day to the fullest. In this blog I will explain how these different renewable sources should be deployed together in perfect harmony.

The energy consumption or “load”  


The daily energy consumption of households is as follows:Energy sources grid@4x

This graph represents the energy load of a small community. As you can see, the peak of energy demand is during the evening. This peak is caused by the fact that during the day, people are often at work or engaged in other outdoor activities. In the evening everyone often starts cooking food at the same time, turning on the air conditioning, home media systems, dishwasher, laundry machine and the lights.

In the image above we assume that no sustainable energy is used. The energy consumed in this case is obtained entirely from the grid. In many countries this grid is supplied by fossil fuel-fired plants, which is not only a “dirty” solution, but also an expensive one. In addition, being dependent on the central grid is also dangerous when there is a power outage due to external reasons and can’t be repaired immediately. This will have devastating consequences for public health, social security and businesses, as were seen after Maria hit Puerto Rico. The hidden losses of a power outage are enormous. Want to more about the unforeseen consequences, read this article. More and more authorities choose to privatize the power utility market and let businesses and communities be self-reliant in their energy needs.

 

In order to generate enough electricity to power houses both during the day and store it for the consumption during the night, you would need twice as many solar panels, and even more batteries to provide renewable energy all day.

 

The supply of sunlight, and the times of shortage


The biggest “shortcomings” of solar panels are now quite clear. When the sun is down, no energy is generated by the panels, and when it is cloudy, less will be generated. The image below clearly shows why this is a problem. Most of the energy is generated during the day, where it is not quite as necessary as in the evening. This means that most of the energy will have to be stored in order for it not to go to waste, and to have enough energy to power all the homes in the evening and night. But this brings with it its own problems, the main ones being storage efficiency and cost.

Energy sources 2@4x

In order to generate enough electricity to power houses both during the day and store it for the consumption during the night, you would need twice as many solar panels, and even more batteries to provide renewable energy all day. This is because quite a bit of power lost when storing electricity, and lose even more when it is later distributed. Not to mention the costs of all the batteries needed to store enough energy to power a small community throughout the night. Furthermore, this solution requires the solar panels to generate enough electricity all the time, which as mentioned is dependent on how cloudy the skies are during the day. By utilizing several different energy sources, this dependency on the weather is drastically reduced!

 

By adding wind to the energy generation a much smaller-scale storage source (for example, a battery or hydrogen) is needed.

 

Wind fills the substantial gaps


The solution is to combine renewable sources. The big plus of wind energy is that it is a more constant source of energy. This allows you to properly cover the energy gaps during the day! In areas with sufficient wind, the generation of wind energy is several times cheaper than storing solar energy in batteries. A good example are the islands in the Caribbean. The Lesser Antilles for example have lots of sun and a strong constant wind, an ideal situation for setting up an all renewable energy solution. I hear you think, and what if a hurricane comes by and blows away the wind turbines? We came up with a solution for that. We designed an in-board-hoisting-crane that can lower its own rotor and blades before the hurricane arives, no external hoisting cranes will be imported to do so. 

Below you find a graph where a combination is made of wind and solar energy. By adding wind to the energy generation a much smaller-scale storage source (for example, a battery or hydrogen) is needed. The surplus from the afternoon can be stored and re-used when necessary. This battery capacity can be much smaller and cheaper in comparison to when you were only installing solar panels. In short, by combining in sustainable energy sources, a total green solution is a lot closer!

Energy sources 1@4x

On locations with less sun you can also reduce your fossil fuel consumption dramatically by adding a turbine to your local infrastructure. My colleague Wim Joosten has previously written an interesting blog about adding a wind turbine to a network that acts on (bio) fuel-fired generators, Which can be read here. 

This article gives an interesting insight into hybrid grid solutions, where a grid gets the best out of both technologies: the reliability of diesel generators, and the effective and costless energy from wind turbines.

Want to find out what solution is best fit for your scenario?


Are you curious whether this method can help you to make your energy supply ‘green’, more stable and cheaper? Just contact us, we would be happy to help you and to analyse which combination of energy sources suits your situation best.