Everyone is Facing the Wind

windmill on grass field during golden hour

In Europe, and not only there, the wind power is one of the key factors impacting development of the oversize freight market. Growing public and private investments in this sector whip up the logistics segment, and largely thanks to this, it is not stagnating and successfully developing.

But what about us? Relatively low gas prices, indifference of population and a devil-may-care attitude of the state to environmental aspects prevent Russia from reaching even the average level of wind power generation performance in Europe. All the existing projects in this field can be counted on one hand.

This especially can be seen by those who visit Germany or, for example, Denmark where wind farms have become an integral part of the landscape. And the reason is not only “obsession” of Europeans with ecology and well-grounded distrust in Gazprom. Simple economy pushes the Europeans to develop “green” technologies. In USA, for instance, prime cost of wind power is 3.6 cents/kWh given the wind speed of 8.08 m/sec. For reference, prime cost of electricity produced on US coal power plants makes 4.5-6 cents/kWh. Average cost of electricity in China is 4 cents/kWh.

Another example. As forecasted by German Commerzbank, despite the impact of global finance and economic recession, the growth in wind power industry will come to at least 10% in 2011. It is clear that this kind of growth entails related sectors, including logistics.

Exemplary is one of the latest piece of news on the subject. In summer, the French government declared an invitation to bid to construct five wind farms with the cost of about EUR 10 billion. It is planned to build 1,200 wind generators on the north and east coast of France with the total capacity of 3 GW which will provide 3.5% of the overall power generation in this country. Construction will commence in 2015 and last for five years until 2020. And now imagine, how many pieces of this pie will be caught by transport companies.

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You can only dream about this in Russia. Our neighbors developing the wind power are a different story. In China, the law on renewable energy sources has been effective since 2006. It is expected that by 2020 wind power capacities are going to reach 80-100 GW. Everything is clear – this is China. But Azerbaijan is also building wind farms (by the way, equipment to this country was delivered by North-Western Shipping Company), Belarus as well. One more example: Turkey is now number one in the world in terms of wind power plants development rate with only 15% of potential used in this sphere.

But the most interesting example is another neighbor of ours – Ukraine. The key event for Ukraine’s wind energy sector for the last year was start-up of the first phase of Novoazovsky wind park on the Azov Sea coast in July 2011. In particular, 10 wind generators (produced by German Fuhrlander AG) were installed at the facility.

A year earlier, in July 2010, Fuhrlander Wind Technology enterprise was established in Kramatorsk. Fuhrlander AG became one of its shareholders. The purpose of this project is arrangement of wind generators production and supply in Ukraine. Prenecon SA Prime Energy Construction SA (Greece) is also targeting to implement a large-scale wind farm construction project with the overall capacity of 1,000 MW in Crimea. It its turn, Eurocape New Energy intends to build a wind farm with more than 300 MW of capacity in Zaporozhskaya Oblast. In 2011, Ukraine’s Eco-Optima and Japan’s Toshiba also declared their plans to build wind parks in Ukraine (Eco-Optima – wind park of about 5 MW in Western Ukraine, Toshiba – 6 MW, the first phase in Crimea).

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As of September 2011, overall capacity of operating wind farms in Ukraine is approximately 110 MW, in Russia – 16.5 MW. No comments…