Building virtual utilities by developing renewable assets

But it is also possible to acquire new assets, a new virtual utility of sorts by directly purchasing generation capability. Munich, the Bavarian capital, had never given up its municipal utility, the Stadtwerke Munchen. Munchen decided to plan, de­velop and operate solar farms, with renewable company Gehrlicher Solar AG. The aim is to generate in two initial projects 30MW in capacity, part of a strategy to supply all Munich households with renewable electricity (Witt, 2008).

Virtual renewable energy utilities can be created by virtue of public-private partnerships, investing in renewable assets in wind, geothermal or sun energy, acquiring know-how and beginning the process of converting its internal and external power infrastructure into non-fossil, non-nuclear assets, saving billions of dollars in years and decades to come. As an example, off its east coast, the UK not only plays catch-up with its less windy but far more wind – powered neighbour to the south-west, Germany, but also lays the groundwork for a 100 per cent renewable London. Both the London Array, and one of the world’s largest wind farms, the 504MW capacity, 140-turbine Greater Gabbard project, are due to commence operation in 2011. They are being developed by Scottish & Southern Energy Plc, with Munich’s Siemens AG and Texas-based Fluor as the main contractors, for a total fee of $3 billion shared between both companies (Bergin, 2008).

Updated: October 27, 2015 — 12:31 pm