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BMT, IT Power and Ramboll provide best practice O&M guidelines for offshore wind farms in Taiwan

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BMT Asia Pacific (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, IT Power and Ramboll have partnered since mid-2014 to provide Taiwan’s offshore wind industry with a series of guidelines for the future developments around the island.

Funded by Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which is supporting the industry as co-ordinator and the primary technical institute, this project is producing recommendations based onbest practice approaches and case studies from European industries whilst reflecting Taiwan’s policy, environmental conditions and industrial setting.

Drawing on the related experiences of IT Power, Ramboll and BMT, the guidelines are providing practical, real-world advice to developers including how to select the appropriate technology to suit Taiwan’s environmental conditions building on existing guidelines, practices and standards, as applicable.

The first phase of the project provided guidelines for the design and construction of offshore wind projects and was presented in November 2014. The second phase of the project, focusing on guidelines for operations and maintenance, is now complete and consultants from the three companies travelled to Taiwan during October to hold a workshop on O&M with local developers and the wider industry.

The delivery of this work is particularly well timed following the installation of two offshore met masts over the past couple of months; the first offshore construction work for Taiwan’s demonstration projects. The final instalment of the guidelines, which will concentrate on the planning and preparation of future projects within zonal developments, is set to be delivered during 2016.

The Government of Taiwan is actively promoting wind energy, with a particular focus on offshore development, as part of its aim to achieve around 14GW of renewable generation capacity by 2030. Taiwan’s heavy reliance on imported hydrocarbons, abundant offshore wind energy resource and onshore spatial constraints all act as key drivers for developing offshore wind capacity.

The current plans are to establish at least two offshore wind demonstration projects by the end of 2016 and expand this by rolling out a series of projects by the end of the decade, expected to be between 100 to 300MW capacity each. By 2030 Taiwan intends to increase its overall wind power capacity (onshore and offshore) from the current ~600MW to 4,200MW under an ambitious renewable energy plan by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). The guidelines delivered by IT Power, Ramboll and BMT are directly assisting developers in achieving these future targets in an efficient, cost-effective and risk aware manner.

Dr Richard D Colwill, Managing Director of BMT Asia Pacific, comments: “It is very exciting to see Taiwan’s offshore wind projects gain traction this past year, as ideas are now being realised and development activities lined up.  As we enter the final stage of delivering guidelines alongside our partners BMT is delighted to continue contributing our expertise in analysing operational and safety requirements.”

Joseph Hussey, IT Power’s Offshore Energy Group Manager says: “The successful completion of the first two sets of guidelines in this series has resulted in positive feedback from the Taiwanese industry. The combined experiences from IT Power, BMT and Ramboll have been providing comprehensive insight to local developers, consultants and service providers and we are looking forward to continuing our work together over the coming year.”

Ben Wysome, head of Ramboll’s offshore wind department in the UK, says: “Alongside our partners, Ramboll is delighted to apply our experience from offshore wind farms in Europe and the rest of the world to the specific challenges faced by offshore wind in Taiwan for the operation and maintenance of wind farms, including the significant impact of local environmental conditions. We look forward to seeing these guidelines being put to good use as offshore wind developments in Taiwan gain momentum.”

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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