Norway put development of its first planned offshore wind farm on hold until further notice, with the company involved citing a lack of political support, a setback in European efforts to boost renewable energy production.
“The necessary support for offshore wind from political leaders is absent,” causing wind power developer Vestavind Offshore AS to halt the construction of a 350-megawatt wind farm until further notice, Wenche Teigland, chairman of the board, said today on the company website.
Norway has some of Europe’s best conditions for wind power production, with strong winds distributed across large areas and the potential to install as much as 30,000 megawatts of offshore turbine capacity, according to the country’s energy and water directorate.
Norway could increase annual electricity output from wind power and hydro sources by 13.2 terawatt-hours over the next eight years, and boosting the amount of renewable energy as a proportion of total energy use by 7.5 percentage points from 2005 levels to 67.5 percent, according to a study commissioned by the Norwegian power industry association.
Germany is dumping electricity on its unwilling neighbors and by wintertime the feud should come to a head.
Central and Eastern European countries are moving to disconnect their power lines from Germany’s during the windiest days. That’s when they get flooded with energy, echoing struggles seen from China to Texas over accommodating the world’s 200,000 windmills.
Renewable energy around the world is causing problems because unlike oil it can’t be stored, so when generated it must be consumed or risk causing a grid collapse. At times, the glut can be so great that utilities pay consumers to take the power and get rid of it.
“Germany is aware of the problem, but there is not enough political will to solve the problem because it’s very costly,” Pavel Solc, Czech deputy minister of industry and trade, said in an interview. “So we’re forced to make one-sided defensive steps to prevent accidents and destruction.”
The power grids in the former communist countries are “stretched to their limits” and face potential blackouts when output surges from wind turbines in northern Germany or on the Baltic Sea, according to Czech grid operator CEPS. The Czechs plan to install security switches near borders by year-end to disconnect from Europe’s biggest economy to avoid critical overload.