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16 October 2019

Wind to the rescue

Visiting European countries, entrepreneurs could not help but see a lot of windmills. In Ukraine, wind generation is not as popular as the use of solar energy, but this is temporary. In 2019, the wind farm has serious advantages. He is advised by the board member of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association, the head of the small and medium wind energy sector, the owner of GRESA-GROUP LLC Nikolay Savchuk.

The main advantage of wind power plants over solar ones when they are built for the sale of electricity at the "green" tariff is year-round operation without loss of productivity in the autumn-winter period.

Nevertheless, the development of wind energy was hindered by a lower tariff for energy obtained using wind. So, from January 2020, the “green” tariff for wind farms will be 9.05 eurocents per 1 kW * h, for SES it is higher - 11.26 euro cents per 1 kW * h. However, it is necessary to take into account not only the tariff. Entrepreneurs should be aware that the coefficient of wind productivity is 2-3 higher than the productivity of the sun. 1 kW wind farm is capable of generating 2200-3200 kWh of electricity per year - 2-3 times more than a solar power plant of similar capacity.

The advantage of wind farms is also that they occupy a smaller area than solar power plants. So, for a wind farm with a capacity of 1 MW only 30-50 hectares of land will be needed, while for a wind farm with a similar capacity - about two hectares. Wind farms can be as close as possible to connection points: wind farms> 20 MW can be located 700 m from settlements, household 150 kW - just 40 meters (according to DSTU). Wind generators, unlike SES, are allowed to be placed on agricultural lands (there is a procedure for allocating a site). Therefore, a new group of renewable energy producers is being born - farmers, farmers.

The wind of change

Changes in renewable energy legislation this year have been favorable for wind generation. So, in May, the Law “On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine regarding Ensuring Competitive Conditions for the Production of Electric Energy from Alternative Energy Sources” came into force.

Now the “green” tariff under the simplified system can be received by households, consumers and energy cooperatives with generating capacities of up to 50 kW from wind, from the sun and combined wind-sun systems. That is, the construction of wind farms to ensure autonomous energy consumption has become even more profitable (only solar power plants are not able to ensure the autonomy of the system and wind generators were usually added to them).

The mentioned law introduced a new subgroup of electricity producers - small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises using up to 150 kW of energy. They got the right to a simplified connection system and receive a “green” tariff without a license.

In accordance with the law, since 2020 participation in the auction is mandatory for business entities that intend to produce electric energy at electric power facilities (queues) with a capacity of: for SES - more than 1 MW; for wind farms (except for facilities with three wind turbines, regardless of the installed capacity of such wind turbines) - over 5 MW. Consequently, objects that generate electricity from wind energy up to 5 MW or objects with three wind turbines, regardless of the installed capacity of such wind turbines, may not participate in auctions and continue to work on the “green” tariff.

These innovations make the construction and commissioning of wind farms (including facilities with three wind turbines, regardless of the installed capacity of such wind turbines) up to 5 MW, for sales at the “green” tariff, attractive to investors.

Renovation to help

The main disadvantage of wind farms for Ukrainian users is their cost is higher compared to solar panels. So, the turnkey construction cost of 1 kW of a wind turbine is about 3.5 thousand dollars (SES costs 700-1000 dollars per 1 kW). That is, a wind farm with a capacity of 1 MW costs $ 1,200,000. Accordingly, the payback period is postponed and reaches 5-7 years.

Chinese cheap wind generators are designed for a higher wind speed than usually blowing in Ukraine - from 12 m / s, but for the most part we have winds blowing up to 8 m / s.

There are no Ukrainian manufacturers of low-cost wind generators for small and medium-sized wind farms with a capacity of 50-150 kW, the segment is just beginning to develop. Therefore, we do not have a massive spread of wind generation.

In Ukraine, there are no government lending programs and incentives for builders and manufacturers of small and medium-sized wind generators, in contrast to the EU countries. Above there is a “green” tariff. For example, in Denmark it is 35 euro cents. Therefore, the payback of European-made windmills in Ukraine is three times higher than in Europe itself.

Since 2019, renovated wind generators began to be imported to Ukraine - these are restored generators that underwent a full testing cycle, replaced the necessary components and assembled from original spare parts at the manufacturer (or authorized enterprise) of wind generators.

Such a wind generator works like new for another 15-20 years. “The cost of restored wind generators is 3-10 times lower than new ones. Accordingly, the payback period of projects is 1.5-2 times faster than when buying new ones, and reaches a period of 5 years, ”says Savchuk. In Ukraine, wind generators from Europe with capacity from 100 kW to 3.5 MW of production of world brands are offered: VESTAS, Nordex, General Electric, Suzlon, Enercon and others.

For example, the price benchmark for renovated wind generators in the Ukrainian market is as follows: Vestas 2008 with a 3 MW output cost 600 thousand euros, Nordex 2.5 MW - 350 thousand euros, Enercon 3 MW - 350 thousand euros.

According to Savchuk, middle-class businessmen with existing SES purchase such windmills for extra money at the “green” tariff.

RES Orchestras

If an entrepreneur sets the goal of an autonomous energy supply, it is usually recommended to install hybrid wind + solar systems to cover electricity consumption in winter. SES will provide financial flow in the summer, and wind farm - the necessary electricity in the winter.

If you rely only on the sun, then the power rating of the SES should be 2-3 times higher than required so that the drop in generation in winter does not lead to downtime. For example, not 150 kW, but 450 kW. In this case, it will be necessary to install panels of greater power, and then the solar power station will be equal in price to the wind.

The “green” tariff for combined systems (sun + wind) is higher than for a separate type of energy: up to 50 kW (households, consumers, energy cooperatives) and 150 kW (small and medium-sized businesses) from January 2020 will amount to 12.28 eurocents.

Predicted generation per kW installed power:

1 kW of the sun - 1000 kWh per year

1 kW of wind - 2200-3200 kWh per year

Rotor - part of a windmill

In addition to the usual horizontal windmills, there are so-called vertical wind generators. Their advantage declared by the manufacturers is low noise, as well as rotation and generation of electricity even at a low wind speed of 2 m / s. At the same time, you need to know that with a wind of about 11 m / s a vertical rotor of 2 kW produces about 300 watts of energy, that is, it has a significantly lower generation coefficient. The efficiency of horizontal wind generators is 30% higher than that of vertical ones, but their noise level is also higher by the same 30%.

Also a disadvantage for their mass use will be the price, which is three times more expensive than a conventional horizontal windmill.

According to Savchuk, 20% of vertical windmills in the world are used at mobile communication stations to ensure uninterrupted energy supply. In this case, it is not the cost that matters, but the guarantee of work.

Important Nuances

You can build a wind farm in any region of Ukraine, but specialists should be entrusted with the choice of the type of wind turbine and the installation location. The place and type of windmill must be selected taking into account the direction and strength of the wind, the terrain, the presence of trees. It is especially important to take into account all conditions for small wind farms of the household segment with a mast height of 17-30 m. For industrial wind farms 80-120 m high it is already easier - there is always wind at this height, but they are also preferred to be placed in the region of the Black Sea-Azov basin, where there is strong Rose of Wind. These are the Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Nikolaev, Odessa, Dnieper regions. Therefore, companies that are engaged in the installation and maintenance of wind farms in Ukraine are few. But as demand grows, so does supply.


262 MW of new wind power capacities were commissioned in Ukraine in the first six months of 2019, which allowed the country to occupy an honorable 5th place among European countries in wind power capacity installed for the first half of 2019.