Joined-up thinking

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Adam Barber
January 24, 2013
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Joined-up thinking

Wind Watch

Sometimes something comes along that doesn’t on the surface seem to warrant any more than the usual attention.

But taking a second look, and it seems apparent that occasionally, a particular development seems to be pushing the industry into a paradigm shift.

On the surface, the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding between UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte seemed like the passing of an incidental milestone on the way to another large scale wind project.

But the ultimate aspiration of the project actually demonstrates that the wind industry is reaching a new maturity.

Once constructed, the project, consisting of up to 40 individual wind farms in the Irish Midlands, will export all power to the UK using two interconnections across the Irish Sea, joining the UK grid at Bangor and Pembroke, respectively. The project would comprise between 500 – 700 turbines each at a height of 600ft, to take advantage of the strongest winds in the region.

What really makes this project interesting though, is it demarcates a new leap for the industry on the road to exporting renewable energy across borders and to the ultimate aim of a European supergrid.

When this kind of flexibility is inherent in the industry, then it will have reached a new level of maturity to rival energy generated from fossil fuels. And, in many respects it also starts to circumvent some of the challenges of energy storage, as surplus power can be distributed away from centres of oversupply.

Of course the project still has some way to go, and political cooperation doesn’t by any means guarantee the project’s future, especially given the planning considerations of building on protected peat bogs and the volume of turbines required, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s a reminder though that if the industry wants to keep moving forwards then it really needs to keep thinking big.

Wind Watch

Sometimes something comes along that doesn’t on the surface seem to warrant any more than the usual attention.

But taking a second look, and it seems apparent that occasionally, a particular development seems to be pushing the industry into a paradigm shift.

On the surface, the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding between UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte seemed like the passing of an incidental milestone on the way to another large scale wind project.

But the ultimate aspiration of the project actually demonstrates that the wind industry is reaching a new maturity.

Once constructed, the project, consisting of up to 40 individual wind farms in the Irish Midlands, will export all power to the UK using two interconnections across the Irish Sea, joining the UK grid at Bangor and Pembroke, respectively. The project would comprise between 500 – 700 turbines each at a height of 600ft, to take advantage of the strongest winds in the region.

What really makes this project interesting though, is it demarcates a new leap for the industry on the road to exporting renewable energy across borders and to the ultimate aim of a European supergrid.

When this kind of flexibility is inherent in the industry, then it will have reached a new level of maturity to rival energy generated from fossil fuels. And, in many respects it also starts to circumvent some of the challenges of energy storage, as surplus power can be distributed away from centres of oversupply.

Of course the project still has some way to go, and political cooperation doesn’t by any means guarantee the project’s future, especially given the planning considerations of building on protected peat bogs and the volume of turbines required, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s a reminder though that if the industry wants to keep moving forwards then it really needs to keep thinking big.

Wind Watch

Sometimes something comes along that doesn’t on the surface seem to warrant any more than the usual attention.

But taking a second look, and it seems apparent that occasionally, a particular development seems to be pushing the industry into a paradigm shift.

On the surface, the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding between UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte seemed like the passing of an incidental milestone on the way to another large scale wind project.

But the ultimate aspiration of the project actually demonstrates that the wind industry is reaching a new maturity.

Once constructed, the project, consisting of up to 40 individual wind farms in the Irish Midlands, will export all power to the UK using two interconnections across the Irish Sea, joining the UK grid at Bangor and Pembroke, respectively. The project would comprise between 500 – 700 turbines each at a height of 600ft, to take advantage of the strongest winds in the region.

What really makes this project interesting though, is it demarcates a new leap for the industry on the road to exporting renewable energy across borders and to the ultimate aim of a European supergrid.

When this kind of flexibility is inherent in the industry, then it will have reached a new level of maturity to rival energy generated from fossil fuels. And, in many respects it also starts to circumvent some of the challenges of energy storage, as surplus power can be distributed away from centres of oversupply.

Of course the project still has some way to go, and political cooperation doesn’t by any means guarantee the project’s future, especially given the planning considerations of building on protected peat bogs and the volume of turbines required, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s a reminder though that if the industry wants to keep moving forwards then it really needs to keep thinking big.

Wind Watch

Sometimes something comes along that doesn’t on the surface seem to warrant any more than the usual attention.

But taking a second look, and it seems apparent that occasionally, a particular development seems to be pushing the industry into a paradigm shift.

On the surface, the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding between UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte seemed like the passing of an incidental milestone on the way to another large scale wind project.

But the ultimate aspiration of the project actually demonstrates that the wind industry is reaching a new maturity.

Once constructed, the project, consisting of up to 40 individual wind farms in the Irish Midlands, will export all power to the UK using two interconnections across the Irish Sea, joining the UK grid at Bangor and Pembroke, respectively. The project would comprise between 500 – 700 turbines each at a height of 600ft, to take advantage of the strongest winds in the region.

What really makes this project interesting though, is it demarcates a new leap for the industry on the road to exporting renewable energy across borders and to the ultimate aim of a European supergrid.

When this kind of flexibility is inherent in the industry, then it will have reached a new level of maturity to rival energy generated from fossil fuels. And, in many respects it also starts to circumvent some of the challenges of energy storage, as surplus power can be distributed away from centres of oversupply.

Of course the project still has some way to go, and political cooperation doesn’t by any means guarantee the project’s future, especially given the planning considerations of building on protected peat bogs and the volume of turbines required, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s a reminder though that if the industry wants to keep moving forwards then it really needs to keep thinking big.

Wind Watch

Sometimes something comes along that doesn’t on the surface seem to warrant any more than the usual attention.

But taking a second look, and it seems apparent that occasionally, a particular development seems to be pushing the industry into a paradigm shift.

On the surface, the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding between UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey and his Irish counterpart, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte seemed like the passing of an incidental milestone on the way to another large scale wind project.

But the ultimate aspiration of the project actually demonstrates that the wind industry is reaching a new maturity.

Once constructed, the project, consisting of up to 40 individual wind farms in the Irish Midlands, will export all power to the UK using two interconnections across the Irish Sea, joining the UK grid at Bangor and Pembroke, respectively. The project would comprise between 500 – 700 turbines each at a height of 600ft, to take advantage of the strongest winds in the region.

What really makes this project interesting though, is it demarcates a new leap for the industry on the road to exporting renewable energy across borders and to the ultimate aim of a European supergrid.

When this kind of flexibility is inherent in the industry, then it will have reached a new level of maturity to rival energy generated from fossil fuels. And, in many respects it also starts to circumvent some of the challenges of energy storage, as surplus power can be distributed away from centres of oversupply.

Of course the project still has some way to go, and political cooperation doesn’t by any means guarantee the project’s future, especially given the planning considerations of building on protected peat bogs and the volume of turbines required, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s a reminder though that if the industry wants to keep moving forwards then it really needs to keep thinking big.

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Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.