NWEA warns for wrong turbine choice in Regional Energy Strategies

© NWEA

While at the moment the draft Regional Energy Strategies (RES) are being drawn, the Dutch wind energy association NWEA warns for a potentially wrong choice of wind turbine to base calculations on.

According to the wind energy association it has received several signs that 3 MW wind turbines, the currently most installed onshore wind turbine, are being used for calculations in the RES. However, nowadays 4 and 6 MW wind turbines are commonly selected. Using smaller wind turbines could endanger the business case and the achievability of the renewable energy targets NWEA said.

Often the choise of wind turbine is limited due to height and/or rotor diameter restrictions imposed on a provincial level or too many turbines are installed in an area, NWEA indicates. When calculating the production of a wind turbine, the hub height, the turbine size and wind speed are considered. However, the increase or decrease in wind turbines size is not proportional to the production of a turbine. For example, doubling the size of a blade leads to four times more production. NWEA provides a few example calculations (in Dutch). At the same time, the difference between a 160 m or 200 m high wind turbine is less easy to register visually.

NWEA refers to the Climate Agreement which includes a defined cost price reduction path that is also considered in the annual SDE amounts. This can only be achieved with modern wind turbines. Depending on the location choise, a 4 or 6 MW wind turbine would generate relatively more and cheaper energy. That’s why after consultation with NWEA, the guideline RES 1.1 now also includes a 5.6 MW wind turbine.

To support the RES’, several experts, including NWEA, have worked together to publish the (Dutch) leaflet ‘Hernieuwbare Energie op Land’ (land based renewable energy). NWEA also indicates that its members are available for knowledge sharing in order to optimise the RES.

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