Report - Repowering and Used Wind Turbines

In countries like Germany, Denmark, or the Netherlands, wind power is already so widespread that few onshore sites are left on which new units can be built. Two main paths are being followed to further increase the electrical power generated by wind: building offshore wind parks, and replacing existing wind turbines with new and larger types (3 to 5 MW). The older, replaced types are appearing on the second hand market and will allow other (developing) countries to start using wind power at lower costs.

The second booming development in wind energy technology particularly affects countries like Denmark and Germany that are running short of productive sites. In these countries, it is more efficient for investors to replace smaller and mid-sized turbines on highly productive sites with newer and larger turbines, rather than just building the new turbines on less productive sites. This process is known as “Repowering”.

The successful implementation of wind energy in Europe during the past decade and the continued economical support offered in national legislation have led to a developing market for secondhand wind turbines. Repowering of plants after five to 15 years of operation releases a large number of turbines into the market. For developing countries, this is an opportunity to gain experience in working with renewable energy sources, to establish their own wind energy industries and to profit from technology transfer with low capital expenditure.

This document describes the status quo regarding wind power for several regions and countries in the world, as at the end of 2007, It describes the principle of repowering (as performed in Germany and Denmark) and covers the developing market for used wind turbines.

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Highlights

  • Describes the situation regarding wind power in several regions and countries.
  • Defines repowering - replacing small/mid-size turbines on highly productive sites with newer and larger turbines.
  • Analyses the developing market for used wind turbines.
  • Discusses the option of re-using second-hand turbines.
  • Each potential project needs to be discussed individually.

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