Post-Durban, Vestas Ends 2011 With Over 6 GW of Orders

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Countries like the Ukraine, Poland, Pakistan, and Brazil have not previously been required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Last month at Durban, that changed. Orders from nations like these boosted year-end wind turbine business at Danish wind giant Vestas.

The company ended 2011 with a total 6.2 GW of orders, and said that late orders coming in will be included in its annual report due early February, which are expected to take the total over 6.5 GW.

The flurry of orders came a month after international climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, delivered a surprise stipulation that every nation has agreed to, to share binding, international cuts in greenhouse gas emissions within just 8 years.

The unequal requirements of the precursor agreement, the Kyoto Accord, which cut developing nations a break, had long prevented US agreement, and its elimination has resolved a longstanding dispute that prevented international agreement on carbon reductions. Some of these formerly “developing” nations, like Brazil, are now among the world’s highest emitters of greenhouse gases.

Like other European renewable energy companies that grew to world domination because Europe adopted tough Kyoto Accord rules that required that Europe use clean energy, Vestas is likely to be a beneficiary of the new agreement. Over the next eight years, all nations will need to rush to get their clean energy in time for the changed climate rules, ready or not.

Some nations simply have never had clean energy and are not yet prepared to approve clean energy proposals in a timely manner. Fortunately for these nations, Vestas’ contracts include supply, installation and commissioning of the turbines as well as a service agreement with an availability warranty.

Even in the “old Kyoto nations” of the EU, used to complying with the rapid deployment of responsible energy needed to forestall climate destabilization, wind farm development can take a few years to pass environmental reviews, NIMBY opposition and bureaucratic hurdles that vary from place to place.

The Kyoto Accord rules were extended at the Durban climate talks for another 6 to 8 years to provide continuity during the intervening period before the full international agreement begins in 2020.

The “old Kyoto nation” orders are for wind farms in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden.

An Italian farm took 19 of the 2.0 MW turbines. France got 24 MW-worth of the 3 MW turbines for a farm near Orleans. Sweden’s Jädraås wind park bought another 23 of the 3 MW for a 69 MW order in addition to an earlier order totaling 129 MW at the same farm.

Two of the orders are for mysterious unnamed customers. One customer from the UK snapped up 18 of the 3 MW size, or enough electricity to power a small township of 30,000 average homes. A very similarly sized order, 17 of the 3 MW turbines went to another unnamed customer in Poland.

Pakistan took 50 MW worth of a more modest size turbine, 1.8 MW. The largest of the last minute orders went to Brazil, with an order for 127 of the 2 MW machines for farms in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, following another 254 MW order earlier in the week.

Neither Pakistan nor Brazil were included in the original Kyoto Accord which was the precursor to the Durban Platform agreed to in South Africa last month, because under the original agreement, developing nations were not required to develop clean energy. In eight years, they will be.


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