Tags Posts tagged with "offshore wind farms"

offshore wind farms

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Airbus Helicopters views the support for offshore wind farms as a business segment that is undergoing global growth and expects demand for up to a thousand helicopters over the coming two decades, corresponding to revenues of approximately €9 billion.

Helicopters are an integral part of any logistics concept for offshore wind farms. Airbus’ helicopters can complete missions for wind farms in a particularly quick, economical, safe and environmentally friendly manner. Helicopters can be used to deploy technicians or medical personnel in emergencies, even in rough seas, and can also transport operating personnel between the shore and the wind farm. Helicopter transport means that personnel avoid problems with seasickness caused by travelling by sea in rough weather conditions. The probability of mistakes being made by seasick technicians is considerably higher than in the case of healthy technicians; in severe cases, the error rate climbs dramatically.

With turbine output rising, leading to a higher rate of electricity production, wind farm operators rely on an efficient, rapid-response logistics system, relying on high availability, to keep losses to a minimum should a malfunction occur. At the same time, wind farms are being built further and further from the shore. A helicopter can cover 40 nautical miles (approximately 74 km) in 20 minutes, meaning it can reach the site and return to shore faster than a transport vessel.

Airbus Helicopters has developed a logistics calculator for wind farm operators, which takes into account all relevant factors – weather, location and the number of turbines in the wind farm – to determine the most economical and environmentally friendly logistics solution which includes options on the mix of transport and special-purpose vessels.

Companies do not usually purchase the means of transport themselves, but lease the services from operators. Airbus Helicopters offers the H135, H145 and H175 rotorcraft for crew transport, maintenance and rescue missions. In future, the H160 is also expected to be available to this market. With their two engines and four-axis autopilot, these Airbus helicopters have the ability to hover in the air and safely and precisely winch down personnel or goods to exactly where they are needed.

Airbus Helicopters will present its supply, maintenance and crew transport solutions at the WindEnergy expo, which will be held in Hamburg from 25 to 28 September.

Source: Airbus Helicopters

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After one year from ROMEO’s kick off meeting, consortium partners have met the 5th and 6th of June in Copenhagen to celebrate their General Assembly. The main objective of this internal meeting is to perform a follow up of the project and define the next steps in order to achieve the success. All consortium partners have had the chance to show the project progress and coordinate the next steps.

The meeting has been hosted by Ramboll, in Copenhagen, marking a milestone in the development of ROMEO. This project is awarded by the European Commission with a Horizon2020 Programme grant of €10 million and a total budget of approximately €16 million running for 5 years.

The General Assembly meeting is a useful opportunity to develop constructive discussions about the different areas, and, to move forward towards the final objective of the project: reduce the cost of offshore wind energy and boost the renewables industry.

ROMEO project aims to reduce the operation and maintenance costs of offshore wind farms through the use of advanced monitoring strategies and tools, as well as to analyse the performance of the wind farm turbines in real time.

To reach this achievement ROMEO develops a cloud-based platform which will accommodate models for diagnosing and predicting faults in WT components. This platform will promote better understanding of the performance of the main wind turbine components in operation, aiming to extend their lifetime and to reduce operation and maintenance costs.

Project requirements defined as a solid roadmap

During the first year of ROMEO, project requirements have been defined as a solid roadmap to ensure that is developed under a methodical approach towards a condition monitoring strategy for relevant critical components.

Additionally, a common framework for structuring the project and the designations to be used has been established. This is particularly important for the three windfarm pilot scenarios in terms of turbine and structure components.

As one of the first steps of ROMEO project, FMECA workshops were organized. The objective of the Failure Mode Effect Analysis Workshops was to define components/failures to be analysed in the project, both for the wind turbine and the substructure. The failure modes that apply for predictive maintenance were identified according to their criticality. The output of this set of workshops laid the basis for validation of the technical work packages included in the project.

Backbone of O&M Information Management Platform starts to be developed

Other key milestone that will allow set the solid structure of the project is the O&M information management system already configured. The platform will be able to suit processing and interrogation of all incoming data streams, from a variety of sources from both, human and machine interfaces.
At the same time, ROMEO has started the development of physical models for a running design and specification of support structure monitoring problem for wind warms is already done.
During the KoM, the partners also discussed the progress of the three pilot tests that will be developed in the framework of ROMEO and will allow to test and verify the data analytic and O&M tools. Last December Iberdrola successfully connected Wikinger (Germany) wind farm, one of the three multi-scale offshore pilots. Some innovations of the project will be also tested at Teeside and East Anglia ONE (both in the UK) wind farms. To that end, the definition of architecture for data acquisition and analytics ecosystem has been almost finished for the 3 pilots during the first 12 months of the project.

The meeting has been also a good chance to present the latest advances of the dissemination and communication strategy of the project focused on reaching the stakeholders and the general public, building a solid ROMEO knowledge.

Finally, steps towards the definition of the exploitation strategy of the project have been defined. Partners are working on the definition of their results, products and services expected to hit the market.

About ROMEO project

The consortium of the project, made up of European companies and entities covering the entire value chain of the sector, is working on the development of an analytical and management platform enabling the decision-making process to be improved and facilitating the development of current Operation and Maintenance (O&M) strategies based on corrective measures to innovative strategies in real time, and on the degradation of the components of the main wind farm structures.

Through their participation in relevant events and conferences, is expected that ROMEO partners will reach all the main stakeholders of the sector. On this way the ROMEO project will contribute to improve the wind Energy sector, as one of the most innovative in the world and the best set down at the forefront of the European industry.

The ROMEO project, due for completion in 2022, consists of a consortium made up of 12 entities from 6 EU member states and one associated country. In addition to IBERDROLA (project Coordinator), the consortium include EDF, ADWEN, Siemens Gamesa, RAMBOLL, IBM Research Zurich, INDRA, BACHMANN, LAULAGUN Bearings, UPTIME Engineering, ZABALA Innovation Consulting and Cranfield University.

Source: ZABALA Innovation Consulting

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The Dutch Government has awarded Vattenfall in a tender to develop the twin Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farms. The two 350 MW wind farms, to be built by 2022, will be the world’s first to be built without public subsidy.

The costs of offshore wind in Europe have been falling dramatically in recent years as manufacturers bring ever larger turbines to the market. Going zero-subsidy means the wind farms will sell their electricity on the wholesale power market instead of relying on a revenue stabilisation scheme (e.g. a Contract for Difference) that locks in a fixed revenue.

The news follows the zero-subsidy offshore wind tender in Germany last year that was a landmark for the industry. The German offshore tender was the first to attract zero subsidy winning bids. But the projects will only be built in 2024-25, so after Hollandse Kust Zuid is commissioned.

Following the German tender, the Dutch Government accepted offers from any developer prepared to submit a zero-subsidy bid. Bids were then assessed according to a range of qualitative criteria. The Dutch Government takes on some of the risks involved in offshore wind projects, such as the cost of the grid connection.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “This news shows zero-subsidy bids are possible for some developers in some markets not least where Governments take on and manage a share of the project risk. In this instance the Dutch Government taking care of the grid connection is a significant factor. Plus the Dutch Government has successfully minimised the risk linked to offshore wind by giving clear visibility about future market volumes. And the new Dutch Government has committed to bring in a carbon floor price at national level which will help the business case for offshore wind. Wind energy is showing again and again that it can deliver ever more capacity for less cash. That’s the key message other governments should take from this: they should revise their ambition upwards in their national energy plans and offshore wind is a great way to help them do this”.

Source: WindEurope

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Van Oord, as contractor, will use Seajack’s state-of-the-art Scylla as the main installation vessel for the works, the world’s largest and most advanced working in offshore wind. The contract will support 140 current positions with Seajacks, and allows the company to create up to 75 new jobs.

Seajacks will recruit at least 5 new local apprentices as part of the contract, which will see the Scylla vessel engaged on the project for at least six months, starting in April 2018. Scylla has 105m legs, and is capable of working in water depths of up to 65m. Deck space is 5000 square metres and it has a load capacity of just under 9000 tonnes.


Standing over 65 metres tall, and weighing more than 845 tonnes, the three-legged steel jacket structures support the turbine towers, nacelle and blades.

Source: Iberdrola

Vattenfall has won a tender to build two offshore wind farms with a record-breaking bid of EUR 60 ($67.33) per MWh – 20% lower than the previous record set by Dong Energy in July. The low bid is supported by the location of the wind farms, which are in close proximity to the shore in the Danish North Sea, leading to lower costs for foundations and transportation. This tender may not be the final word, however. Vattenfall still needs final approval from the Danish government, which is considering an end to support for near-shore wind farms.

If approval is forthcoming, Vattenfall will initiate final preparations for the wind farms, including procurement, services, optimisation and final design, with the aim to start construction in 2019 and to begin producing power in 2020. The projects are expected to have a total capacity of 350 MW and will provide sustainable energy for 375,000 households once complete.

In other news in the region, Innogy, the renewables, grid and retail business being split out of German utility RWE, will announce plans for an initial public offering to raise about EUR 2bn ($2.2bn). The Essen-based company is expected to publish its intention to float a 10% stake in the company through an IPO and it is also considering a secondary share offering.

German power companies have begun separating conventional plants from their green-energy initiatives in reaction to the government’s shift toward wind and solar generation. The policy has hurt profitability at traditional utilities and driven down wholesale energy prices. EON, for example, spun off and bundled its renewable, energy network, and customer solutions business, from the rest of the company in January this year.

Meanwhile, a group of 44 countries in Europe committed to participate in a global carbon market for airlines starting in 2021. The European Union, its 28 member states, and 16 other nations adopted a political declaration on emissions ahead of a United Nations’ aviation body meeting next month. The International Civil Aviation Organization plans to agree on how airlines are charged for carbon emissions after 2020. According to the European Union, direct emissions from aviation account for roughly 3% of the bloc’s total greenhouse gases, with a large majority arising from international flights.

The US recorded a 43% surge in solar installations in the second quarter. This was due to a wave of utility-scale projects taking advantage of an extension to the federal Investment Tax Credit. The ITC was scheduled to expire in December last year, but was unexpectedly extended by Congress at the end of 2015 for another five years. Developers added 2,051 MW in the quarter, up from 1,436 MW a year earlier, according to the US Solar Energy Industries Association. With an additional 7.8 GW under construction, more solar capacity is on pace to be connected in the second half of this year than has ever come online in a single year, the Washington-based industry group said in a report.

Finally, in emerging markets, Argentina received huge interest in its renewable energy auction held on 5 September – over six times the capacity it could accept. In response, the nation’s energy and mines minister, Juan Jose Aranguren, told reporters the interest “exceeded our expectations” and described it as a good sign for the country’s ambitious clean energy plans. The government invited bids for 1,000 MW of renewable power, but it received offers for 6,366 MW. Winning bids are scheduled to be announced in October, and Aranguren expects “to sign the contracts as soon as possible”. The nation currently gets about 2% of its power from renewables but targets 20% by 2025.

This article is an extract from the BNEF Week in Review published the 13th of September

Source: BNEF

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Deutsche Windtechnik and Vattenfall GmbH further expand their cooperation in the offshore segment:

After working together extensively with Deutsche Windtechnik on the DanTysk offshore wind farm, Vattenfall has once again chosen the independent specialist in wind energy services to oversee the construction and commissioning of the Sandbank offshore wind farm.

Engineers and technicians from Deutsche Windtechnik are currently supervising the preassembly and installation of the 72 SWT-4.0.130 wind turbines at the port of Esbjerg. The Sandbank offshore wind farm is set to begin operating in 2017.

The over 100 employees of the Deutsche Windtechnik offshore team can draw on almost ten years of offshore experience for their work at Sandbank offshore wind farm. Service teams from the offshore unit are currently working at the offshore wind farms of Butendiek, DanTysk, Meerwind, Nordsee Ost, Nordergründe, Trianel Windpark Borkum and Baltic I. For example, Deutsche Windtechnik has been in charge of many tasks involved in the construction supervision and production control for the Butendiek and Nordergründe offshore wind farms since 2012. The company’s in-house departments are able to handle all relevant aspects, including operational safety, quality management, expertise and consulting.


Source: Deutsche Windtechnik

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The independent service provider Deutsche Windtechnik Offshore und Consulting GmbH and the world’s leading manufacturer and provider of impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems Corrosion (formerly Corrosion & Water Control BV) will be working hand in hand from now on: an extensive framework agreement will regulate collaboration for the maintenance of foundation structures at four offshore wind farms with immediate effect.

The agreement covers a total of 284 ICCP systems for which the company Corrosion has to fulfil the warranty obligations (81 in Butendiek, 81 in Dan Tysk, 81 in Meerwind, and 41 in Trianel Windpark Borkum West 2). The service offered by Deutsche Windtechnik was particularly impressive thanks to its integrative project management which exploits synergies specific to offshore wind farms in the operations planning between ICCP and other service applications for the benefit of rapid, effective and cost-optimised handling.

“The negotiations were characterised by respect, trust and a healthy dose of pragmatism. For the maintenance of the ICCP systems, we provide personnel who are already working at the respective wind farm, which as a result saves the customer work and expense, for example, in the areas of logistics, transport and access control. Not only are we faster at the site of operations, but waiting times for the return transport are also reduced or avoided altogether,” explains Ingo Hälke,Division Manager Operation & Maintenance at Deutsche Windtechnik Offshore und Consulting GmbH, in his description of the core elements of the contractual package. For its part, Corrosion will give the personnel of Deutsche Windtechnik special training for the ICCP system, whilst ensuring a free supply of replacement parts and providing the necessary documentation along with engineering support. “We´re on the same wavelength and we have a mutual interest in positive progress,” summarises Marcel Qualm, Service Manager of Corrosion.

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The new offshore wind power substation project, Marin-el, was presented on 17 December at an event held at the Higher School of Naval Engineering (ETSIN) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). The project is headed up by Iberdrola and backed by the Government of the Basque Country with a project consortium featuring the participation of the Tecnalia technological centre and the Construcciones Navales del Norte (La Naval) shipyard among other firms from the naval and renewable energies sectors.

The event was attended by Cristina Heredero, director of Renewables Technology and Sustainability at Iberdrola; Ignacio Pantojo, project coordinator; Luis Pedrosa, director of the Energy and Environment Division at Tecnalia; Elías Hidalgo, head of the Marin-el Project at La Naval; and ETSIN professors Luis Pérez Rojas and Ricardo Zamora.

The Marin-el project focuses on creating a new type of substation based on the needs of offshore wind farms of the future, optimised to operate in the North Sea, with reduced installation and transport costs and adapted to different depths and types of sea beds. It is designed for wind farms generating around 500 MW, situated some 50 km offshore and at depths of 50 metres.

Given the trend for locating wind farms at greater distances from the coast, larger capacity wind turbines at greater depths, this project aims to standardise and innovate technology to meet today’s challenges in offshore wind power. The main aims of this project are to strengthen Basque industry at the same time as creating a self-installable unmanned installation, in other words, a substation that can be remotely operated and installed thereby minimising the use of special vessels that have major repercussions on both the budget and installation schedules.

The design concept encompasses:

• The topside which houses the substation containing all the electrical equipment needed to transform the energy produced before it is transported to land.
• The self-hoisting system comprising 6 feet integrated into the topside that slot into each other and is positioned over the jacket, raising the topside above sea level through its vertical movement.
• The barge to transport the topside from the mainland to its location at sea where it is positioned over the jacket.
• The jacket: a lattice structure that rests on the sea bed and provides the base for the topside. It forms part of the foundations and its type will depend on the depth of the water.

This is a flexible design created to be able to replace the jacket with a gravity platform or other system or even anchor it directly to the sea bed.

Unlike other substations, this concept replaces the substation buoyancy module with a reusable barge thereby reducing the overall weight of the structure.

The topside concept where the substation will be installed comprises four housings: the cables housing; the housing that contains all the electrical equipment; the housing with all the auxiliary services and additional services needed in the event of employing operators; and the helipad housing.

The presentation of Marin-el at the ETSIN included two simulations of the testing that has been undertaken these past months at the School’s hydrodynamic experiences canal to study its behaviour at sea.

The first simulation was a tugging test. As the barge is not self-propelled, this test is carried out to ascertain resistance to forward motion to then determine the characteristics of the tug that will be required to tow it out to its location. The test was performed by towing a 1:48 scale model in calm waters and at varying speeds.

The second simulation is the installation test that evaluates the movements of the model by the waves generated in the canal in order to study limitation vs. accelerations. In other words, to identity the maximum structure accelerations that allow the team to perform the substation installation activities on the jacket. To do this, a scale model of a jacket was built and placed on the bed of the canal above which the barge transporting the substation is positioned, mooring it with lines to simulate the bollard pull of tugs at sea.

In addition to these tests, whose simulation formed part of the presentation, tugging tests in waves and installation tests under extreme conditions during the months of November and December were performed at the ETSIN canal. These tests will continue during January 2016 in the tank at UPM’s School of Civil Engineering.

During the tugging test in calm waters, a significant wave height of up to 3 m was taken into account, with wave periods of between 6 and 12 seconds and speeds of between 3 and 8 knots. During the installation test, the significant height was 1.5 m; and in the extreme conditions test, the wave height was up to 14 m with wave periods of between 12 and 16 seconds.

The consortium, headed up by Iberdrola, includes Ingeteam, Ormazábal, Arteche and OASA, companies that offer innovative solutions for substations. La Naval is responsible for carrying out works to improve the manufacturing process, designing the barge and the manufacturing process for both the topside and the jacket. Tecnalia is providing support to the design of the substation, the transport barge and the jacket.

The project encompasses several important aspects. On one hand it addresses the transport and installation design of the substation, barge and jacket, and on the other, the updating of electrical designs to achieve a reduction of 15% in the size of the substation with the aim of creating a smaller, simpler and more economical substation.

The project also includes an assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed substation through a life cycle analysis carried out via a tool to study the life cycle of each of its components.

All this is combined with the goal of making savings in energy costs, by means of an eco-design that uses less critical and lower energy consumption raw materials.

The next phase of the project takes into account costs reduction (manufacturing optimisation, improved equipment) and risks reduction (reducing the number of feet of the self-hoisting system from 6 to 4 and increasing the significant wave height at the installation). Lastly a business analysis will be carried out.

The final results will be presented in May 2016.

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Within the framework of the creation of the first French offshore wind farms of Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp, 44 ha of port land alongside a heavy-load quay with a bearing capacity of 15 t/m2 is already available in the Port of Cherbourg for the marine renewable energies sector .

With the on-going extension works undertaken by Ports of Normandy Authority, 100 ha altogether will be available for use at the port in 2016, representing 100 million € of investments. The port thus has the capacity to accommodate any new offshore wind players.

The adaptation works of the outer harbour of Caen-Ouistreham will start in the first semester of 2016.

Meeting the industrial and logistics immediate requirements of the MRE sector: 44ha on the roadstead and new heavy-load quay already available

Aimed at the industrials, energy and logistics providers of the offshore and tidal wind energies sector, 44 ha is already available on existing port land, at the Quai des Mielles.

A new heavy-load quay has also been in service since March 2015. With a length of 320 m, a bearing capacity of 15 t/m2 and a dredged trench of 14 metres CD, this new wharf is particularly well suited to the requirements of logistics operators in the renewable energies sector.

Other works for access roads and railway lines complete this major project. They will be achieved by the end of 2015.

Image: ©Biplan

Apace progress of the large-scale extension works: additional land spaces delivered as early as 2016

Ports of Normandy Authority, the managing entity for the Port of Cherbourg in charge of developing, promoting and marketing the port land and infrastructure, started large-scale development works of the port.

In the second semester of 2016, the port will have completed its development.

Another 50 ha of port land undergoing development will soon add to existing port land:

– In the immediate vicinity of this space, 39 ha of port land has been under construction since March 2015.

– A 17ha business area in the vicinity of the new port land, whose land is controlled by Ports of Normandy Authorities, will also be available

All these improvements will bring the total available land up to 100 ha as early as the second semester of 2016.

Image: ©Robert Lebarbier/Source : PNA

Capacity to build new extensions

In February 2014, 317 ha of the marine area located in the roadstead were handed over to Ports of Normandy Authority by the French State.

This unprecedented operation in France provides the Port of Cherbourg with the possibility of constructing new port land, if need be.

The outer harbour of Caen-Ouistreham, future use and maintenance base of the Courseulles-sur-Mer wind farm

The Port of Caen-Ouistreham was selected to ensure the maintenance and use of the wind turbines for the Courseulles-sur-Mer wind farm.

In order to accommodate this new activity, Ports of Normandy Authority will launch the site’s development works in the first semester of 2016 for expected delivery in 2017. The objective is to allow the wind farm contracting authority to construct business offices and accommodate vessels bringing workers and cargo to and from the offshore wind farm. During construction of the Courseulles site, vessels aiding in the said construction will also make use of these new installations.

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Worldwide investment in renewable energy and energy-smart technologies totalled $70bn in the third quarter of 2015, just 1% below the equivalent figure a year earlier, according to the latest data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A 25% rise in investment in the US, and much larger jumps for Brazil and Chile, were among the highlights as global investment reached $70bn in the third quarter

The largest projects to be financed in Q3 this year included CSP, plants in China, Israel and South Africa, and four offshore wind farms in Chinese waters – the first real wave of sea-based wind projects to get the go-ahead outside that technology’s original market, Europe.

However, the countries enjoying the biggest-percentage gains in investment in the third quarter of 2015 compared to Q3 2014 were mostly in the Americas. Brazil saw investment jump 131% on a year earlier to $2.3bn, thanks to a rush of wind project financings, while Chile leapt from $180m in Q3 2014 to $1.6bn in the latest quarter, and the US enjoyed a 25% surge in investment to $13.4bn.

Part of the explanation is the ongoing improvement in cost-effectiveness of solar and wind relative to fossil fuel generation. That is enabling those renewable energy technologies to attract a big share of power sector investment everywhere from China and Japan to Latin America and South Africa.

The detail of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s data shows that asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects totalled $47.3bn in the third quarter, down 4% on the same quarter of 2014, but spending on small-scale projects, such as rooftop solar, increased 21% to $19bn.

Among the big utility-scale projects funded were the Qinghai solar thermal plant in China, at $866m for 200MW, the Longyuan Haian Jiangjiasha offshore wind farm, also in China, at $856m for 300MW, and the SolarReserve Redstone solar thermal complex in South Africa, at $749m for 100 MW.

Investment in specialist clean energy companies by venture capital and private equity funds shot up 92% in Q3 this year to $2bn, helped by a $500m VC round for Chinese electric vehicle company NextEV and a $150m financing for View, the California-based electronically tinting window technology developer.

Public markets, meanwhile, invested $3.7bn in clean energy companies in Q3, down 38% compared to the same quarter in 2014. The biggest equity-raisings were a $750m issue by Tesla Motors, the electric car maker, and a $675m initial public offering by TerraForm Global, a US-based “yieldco” owning renewable energy assets in emerging markets.

Breaking the figures down by region, China was once again the largest centre for investment, at $26.7bn in Q3, some 5% up on the same period a year earlier. The US was second, at $13.4bn, boosted by financial close for a succession of solar and wind projects worth several hundred million dollars each.

Asia-Pacific outside India and China was the third biggest region, at $11.4bn, down 1% on Q3 2014. However, Europe saw investment of just $5.8bn in the latest three months, down 48% from the third quarter of last year and its weakest performance since Q4 2004.

Angus McCrone, senior analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The drop in European investment reflects in part a lull in offshore wind financings in Q3, after no fewer than three deals worth more than $2bn off the coasts of the UK and Germany in the second quarter. But it is also the case that support policies have become less friendly to wind and solar investors in several countries, including Italy, Germany, Denmark and, most recently, the UK.”

Looking at the global numbers by sector, investment in solar slipped 1% to $43.9bn in Q3 2015 compared to a year earlier, while that in wind fell 5% to $20.5bn. Among the smaller sectors, biomass and waste-to-energy attracted $1.3bn in Q3, down 26%, while small hydro-electric projects of less than 50 MW harnessed $1.5bn, up 41%, and geothermal $530m, down 16%.