Intelstav is a consulting company providing services in design, construction and maintenance of wind parks, as well as forecasting future production. We offer a wide range of expertise and technical services for the whole cycle of the wind park. The construction and operation of the wind park is a complex and difficult task. Intelstav has the knowledge and technical resources to objective expertise required for the successful development of a wind park.We are updating our software packages for data sets needed to integrate wind power in Bulgaria continuously. We work closely and use the products of world-renowned leaders in the modeling and simulation of weather forecasting.
- Business Type:
- Consulting firm
- Industry Type:
- Energy - Wind Energy
- Market Focus:
- Internationally (various countries)
- Year Founded:
The energy of wind has been exploited for thousands of years. The oldest applications of wind energy include extracting water from wells, making flour out of grain,andother agricultural applications. In recent times, the use of wind energy has evolved to, primarily, generation of electricity. The field of wind energy blossomed in 1970s after the oil crisis, with a large infusion of research money in the United States, Denmark, and Germany to find alternative sources of energy. By the early 1980s, incentives for alternative sources of energy had vanished in the United States and, therefore, the wind energy field shrank significantly. Investments continued in Europe and, until recently, Europe led in terms of technology and wind capacity installations. The data presented in this section is from the World Wind Energy Report 2009 by theWorldWind Energy Association. According to this report, in 2009, wind energy was a 50 billion Euro business in terms of revenue and it employed about 550,000 people around the world.
In 2009, 159.2 GW of wind capacity was online. The pace of growth of new installed capacity has increased. In fact, the world market for wind capacity grew by 21.3% in 2004 and has steadily increased to 31.7% in 2009. The United States leads in wind capacity installations with 35.1 GW, followed by China and Germany at 26 and 25.7 GW, respectively. The UK leads in offshore installations, with a total capacity of 688 MW followed by Denmark at 663 MW. In terms of penetration of wind energy in the total electricity supply, Denmark leads with 20%, followed by Portugal, Spain, and Germany at 15, 14, and 9%, respectively. Penetration in the United States is slightly below 2%. The prominence of wind in the last half of the first decade of the twenty-first century is evident in the fact that it is the leading source of newly installed electricity generation capacity in the United States. In the United States, out of a total of 20GW of new electricity generation in 2008, 42% was fromwind energy.2 The percentage has risen steadily since 2005, when wind was 12% among generation types in annual capacity addition. Froman energy standpoint, the prominence ofwind is even more impressive. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) report predicts, “almost 60% of the nation’s projected increase in electricity generation from 2009 through 2030 would be met with wind electricity. Although future growth trends are hard to predict, it is clear that a significant portion of the country’s new generation needs is already being met by wind.” The LBL report used forecast data from Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy (DOE).
Cost of Wind Energy
The cost of wind energy is comparable to fossil-fuel–based energy, when cost of greenhouse gas emissions is taken into account. Average cost of energy from coal is about €80 per MWh, while wind energy at a site with average annual wind speed of 7 m/s is slightly less than €80 per MWh. The advantage of wind is that it has no fuel cost. According to the DOE report, the amount of economically viable onshore wind power is 8000 GW that can be produced at a cost of $85 per MWh or less.
Benefits of Wind Energy
The primary benefits of wind energy are environmental and cost. Wind energy production results in zero emissions. Compared to fossil fuel–based energy generation, no pollutants are produced. In the United States every megawatt-hour of wind energy production that is not produced by a conventional source reduces greenhouse gas emission by an equivalent of 0.558 tons of CO2. According to the DOE’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 Technical Report,4,5 overall 25% of CO2 emissions from the electricity production sector can be reduced in the United States if 20% of electricity is produced by wind energy. In the United States, wind energy production in 2007 reducedCO2 emissions by more than 28 million tons. Wind energy is among the cheapest sources of renewable energy. The cost of electricity production using wind is comparable to fossil fuel–based electricity production. In most cases, the cost is lower or about the same when cost of greenhouse gas emissions are taken into account. In addition, wind energy is available in abundance in most countries. In addition to the above benefits, wind energy provides income to farmers, ranchers, and landowners that have sufficient wind resources on their property. The income is in terms of land lease payments, while majority of the land is still available for other uses. Wind turbine generators are available in wide range of capacities, from small to utility scale. On small scale, wind energy can be used to power remote locations that do not have access to an electricity grid.
Wind Energy Is Not a Panacea
Despite the significant benefits, wind energy is not a cure-all. The primary disadvantages of wind are variability of the resource, requirement for large investment in transmission, and impact on the environment. Wind energy production depends on wind conditions. Unlike solar energy, which is ubiquitous and can be produced in most locations, wind energy can be produced economically only in areas that have average annual wind speeds above 6.5 m/s at 50-m height. For instance, most of the southeast part of the United States has no wind resources, other than in coastal areas. Even in areas with abundant wind resources, there is a high degree of diurnal and seasonal variability. When the wind is not blowing, there is no energy production and other sources of electricity must be deployed. People do not like to live in areas that have high wind. Therefore, high-wind areas are usually far away from population centers. This implies electricity generated from wind energy must be transported to population centers, which requires expensive transmission lines. In conventional methods of electricity generation, fuel is transported to a population center and electricity is produced close to a population center. In contrast, wind resource cannot be transported and longdistance transmission is required. From an environmental perspective, wind farms can cause harm to birds, bats, and other wildlife, although most studies suggest that the harm is minimal. Aesthetic impact is another area of concern if the wind plant is located in an area of scenic value. Wind farms require significantly more land per kilowatt compared to fossil fuel–based electricity plants; however, continued use of the majority of the land mitigates this concern. Other disadvantages of wind energy are reliance on government subsidies and significantly higher cost of small wind projects. Like other electricity generation, wind relies on moderate to low-level subsidies from governments. Over time, as the cost of greenhouse gas emission is built into the cost of traditional forms of electricity generation, these subsidies may not be required. Small winds projects (less than 100 kW), especially wind projects of size 15 kW or less, are expensive. The capital cost per kilowatt may be 3 to 5 times the cost per kilowatt of a large wind farm. In conclusion, any potential negative impacts should be rigorously analyzed and strategies put in place to mitigate the impact. On balance, there is compelling evidence that wind energy delivers significant benefits to the environment and the economy.
Intelstav is a consulting company providing services in design, construction and maintenance of wind parks, as well as forecasting future production.
We offer a wide range of expertise and technical services for the whole cycle of the wind park. The construction and operation of the wind park is a complex and difficult task. Intelstav has the knowledge and technical resources to objective expertise required for the successful development of a wind park.We are updating our software packages for data sets needed to integrate wind power in Bulgaria continuously. We work closely and use the products of world-renowned leaders in the modeling and simulation of weather forecasting.
The result is a prediction of the amount of electricity that will be produced over time, accounting for changes throughout the day, week, month, year. We have a database for all over Bulgaria, divided by geographical and administrative criteria, which is crucial for the development of numerical simulations weather forecast and other statistical techniques. We are offering free statistical data for 11 years for the period 2000 - 2010, the (SYNOP, METAR, QSCAT), with an average speed and wind direction, temperature, power density (W / m²), etc.. with interval recording 180 minutes for 10 m height above ground and three monthly data on height above ground of 100 m for the period October, November, December 2011 (3TIER) with an interval of 60 minutes recording.
We have detailed profiles of land,potentially suitable for the establishment of wind parks, with 10 minutes recording and horizontal resolution of 2 km. The integration of the energy,produced by wind power,in the grid in Bulgaria, creates major challenges given the changing nature of wind.
Ensuring the reliability of the network on the one hand requires investment in infrastructure, such as new transmission lines and new energy technology dispatching stations, on the other hand, the use of meteorological statistics and methodologies for forecasting the produced electricity. The coordinated approach to weather forecasting will justify if the investments in the grid are necessary.
Northeastern Bulgaria has the best wind resources in the country and installation costs become more competitive.
What remains unclear is the cost of integrating large amounts of wind energy into the grid and what is required is how market and infrastructure adapt to upcoming and newly build capacity.
We see the development of wind power and renewable energy sources not only as a means to combat climate change and increase our energy independence, but also as a form of sustainable economic growth and like a possibility of creating new work places.