General Electric to test the world’s largest offshore turbine off the English coast
The subsidiary of the US-based conglomerate, GE Renewable Energy, will be testing the world largest and most powerful wind turbine off the British coast.
The firm has signed a five-year deal with Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a centre funded by the British government, to test the Haliade-X 12MW blade in Blyth, Northumberland.
The 350ft turbine has a 750ft diameter spin, allowing it to generate more energy in lower wind speeds.
“This is an important agreement because it will enable us to prove Haliade-X in a faster way by putting it under controlled and extreme conditions,” commented John Lavelle, President & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind.
Earlier in April, Vattenfall installed what was then the world’s most powerful turbine, at 8.8MW, in Aberdeen.
“Through our industrial strategy, we are making the UK a global leader in renewables, including offshore wind, with more support available than any other country in the world,” said Claire Perry, the UK’s Energy Minister.
“The offshore wind industry is exceptionally well placed to boost supplies of home grown clean energy whilst growing new jobs and opportunities,” she added.
The renewable energy centre will also receive £6mn (US$8.38mn) financing from Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund as part of the deal.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.