Adopt a turbine competition winners revealed

» By | Published 14 Jan 2011 |

With an exciting battle between a brother and sister, the Breath of Fresh Air campaign’s ‘Tell a friend’-contest came to an end on 20 December 2010 midnight.

Over 10,000 people have participated in the Breath of Fresh Air campaign since its launch in April 2010, adopting turbines all over Europe or voting for those their friends adopted.

The top five countries for adoptions were Spain (491 turbines adopted), Italy (433), UK (427), France (420) and Germany (231). But wind energy enthusiasts adopted turbines everywhere in Europe: from the Faroe Islands to Turkey, from Norway to Portugal, from Poland to Switzerland.

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Can the EU and the US ever agree on climate change?

» By | Published 12 Jan 2011 |

Representatives of the EU and the US agreed that a global climate change treaty is necessary and achievable at a debate Wednesday. However, while the EU saw achieving US legislation on the matter as crucial, the American line, surprisingly, was to dismiss the relevance of domestic climate change legislation.

Jos Delbeke, the European Commission’s Director General for Climate Change, expressed the EU’s disappointment at the lack of progress on the US legislation issue, particularly on the falling through of a proposed cap and trade scheme on carbon emissions.

“We would have liked to create a trans-Atlantic carbon market”, he said, adding that it was hard to see how the US would reach the 17% emission reduction target confirmed at the Cancun summit without a cap and trade system.

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Empire State Building switches to wind energy

» By | Published 11 Jan 2011 |

The US wind power sector received two huge endorsements last week involving the first proposed offshore wind farm in the country and the nation’s favourite building.

Cape Wind, a 130 turbine project that was first proposed a decade ago, received its final permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, allowing it to begin work on the 468 MW wind farm in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts.

In a press release, Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said the permit represents 10 years of work for the company and 17 federal and state agencies.

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Wind power, capacity, watts and kilowatt hours – how is it all connected?

» By | Published 10 Jan 2011 |

Complicated things sometimes can be explained in only a few words – check out EWEA’s FAQs to find the answers to your wind questions you were always looking for.

When talking about wind turbines and their capacity – that is, their ability to generate electricity — the word megawatt is used all the time. Capacity is measured in watts which is a very small unit, so people talk instead about kilowatts (1 kW = 1,000 watts), megawatts (1 MW = 1 million watts), and gigawatt (1 GW = 1 billion watts) when they want to describe the capacity of generating units like wind turbines.

The electricity production and consumption, on the other hand, is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). A kilowatt hour means one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electricity produced or consumed for one hour. That means one 50-watt light bulb left on for 20 hours consumes one kilowatt-hour of electricity (50 watts x 20 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt hour).

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Kangaroos, didgeridoos…and wind turbines?

» By | Published 07 Jan 2011 |

I have just come back to a chilly Belgium still streaked with snow after nearly a month in the Australian summer. Australia is a vast country, soaked in sunshine and swept by strong winds. Yet on my travels from Perth in the west to the central deserts and onto the east coast, I did not once spy a wind turbine in the endless landscape.

Australia is rich in coal, on which it has historically relied for its energy needs – and unsurprisingly, it is one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters per capita. Yet the signs are that it may be waking up to the importance of tackling climate change and slowly turning towards renewables: in 2009, a national target was set of 20% of electricity supply from renewables by 2020.

Moreover, former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s decision to delay the implementation of a carbon trading scheme was part of the reason he was replaced by Julia Gillard last year, as public support for climate action increases.

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