Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind plans to re-train Wyoming coal miners for wind energy jobs – a move which has sparked resistance from the fossil fuel lobby. We ask whether this approach could be the answer to promoting renewable power while also protecting jobs in a dwindling sector.

We also consider technical solutions to the operations and maintenance challenges faced by the wave and tidal energy sectors, take a look at a demonstration project for distributed solar energy storage technologies in Texas, and explore opportunities in the growing market for microgrid maintenance.  

Plus, we review the Trump administration’s plan to privatise transmission assets in the US Pacific Northwest, and talk to GE Power about the potential for future innovation in coal-fired power generation.

In this issue

Making Waves: Marine O&M challenges
Operating and maintaining marine energy equipment has always been a challenge for the industry. Patrick Kingsland asks Dr Tom Denniss, inventor and CEO of Wave Swell Energy, whether reducing the number of mechanical parts could make a difference.
Read the article.

The Big Job Switch
Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind’s free programme to retrain Wyoming coal miners as wind farm technicians has reignited the debate about the future of renewable energy in the state. Julian Turner asks if such schemes are the answer to promoting wind power and protecting jobs.
Read the article.

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Austin Shines: America’s Solar Storage Test Bed
Texan public utility Austin Energy is collaborating with a host of industry partners to test and demonstrate distributed solar energy storage technologies under the US Department of Energy’s SHINES initiative. Chris Lo investigates these new systems.
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Room for Innovation?
GE Power plans to convert its Birchwood Power Facility in Virginia into the Global Steam Plant Innovation Center to show off its latest tech to improve the efficiency, availability and eco-performance of coal-fired steam plants. Chris Lo asks GE’s experts whether space for innovation that still remains in coal-fired power generation.
Read the article.

Opportunities in Microgrid Maintenance
Operated on wide ranges of scale, from solar rooftops to military bases, microgrids are now being used on all continents and the future of the microgrid maintenance market looks bright, as Ross Davies reports.
Read the article.

Privatising the Northwest’s Transmission System
The Trump administration’s most recent budget proposal includes plans to sell off the publicly owned Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets in the Pacific Northwest. Molly Lempriere finds out more.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

Syria’s power grid has been decimated by many years of war, leaving thousands in the dark or with intermittent power. Now, The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations is installing solar panels in buildings such as hospitals to help bring reliable off-grid power to those in need. We look at the current state of Syria’s energy sector and ask just how effective the support of renewable energy technologies is.

Similarly, we speak to PamirEnergy about its work renovating abandoned hydropower plants in Tajikistan and through public-private partnerships, and plans for expanding into Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We also consider the precarious position of the UK’s tidal sector, find out more about the Caribbean’s only nuclear reactor, examine the future of clean coal following the failure of the flagship carbon capture project at Kemper power plant in Mississippi, and learn about a breakthrough in wireless power transference over short distances.

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