2. The Next Generation of Wind
Wind energy continued to give stiff competition to thermal power. While wind power has benefited from explicit support in the form of preferential off-take, tax credits and other mechanisms, it is argued that conventional power too is unfairly boosted by hidden subsidies. 2013 saw improvements in efficiency as well as scale. Wind energy installations were boosted by growth in off-shore installations including floating turbines. Off-shore wind capacity crossed 7 GW in 2013 despite facing multiple obstacles.
GE introduced a new class of turbines that address twin concerns of intermittency and grid storage by using inbuilt storage and better use of IT. The 2.5 MW turbine has higher uptime due additional sensors and is more resilient to component failures. It can generate 15% more energy than its predecessors. Also with new weather prediction software and battery backup, developers can schedule wind power for small amounts of time.
Image credit: Steve Wilson