Wind power and other renewables can play a significant role in a new global “green economy” while also helping mitigate climate change between now and 2050, according to an exhaustive new report released on Monday.
Produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the 624-page report identified the energy industry as one of the key sectors that will underpin a green economy.
The report said investing 2% of global GDP into the key sectors “can kick-start a transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy” that replaces the “existing, resource-depleting, high carbon ‘brown’ economy” by mid-century.
The wind power industry in England has just published a Protocol statement that will see communities living near future onshore wind farms larger than 5 MW realise significant additional economic benefits.
“We, as an industry, are committed to ensuring that a proportion of the benefits delivered by these projects are realised within the communities that live near them,” noted a study by the renewable energy trade association and EWEA member RenewableUK.
The association said on Wednesday that a community benefit scheme will receive support equivalent to a minimum value of at least £1,000 (€1,185) per megawatt of installed capacity annually.
A recent survey revealed that renewable energy development comes second as a priority for cooperation between EU Member States after the stability of energy prices. 27% of respondents to a Eurobarometer survey chose renewables as the number one priority, with the group supporting energy price stability just fractionally bigger, at 29%.
And in response to another set of questions, twice as many Europeans thought that in the event of a supply crisis, they would be better protected by coordinated EU rather than national measures (60% against 32%).
Yet this distinction between cooperation priorities is somewhat arbitrary given that renewable energy can and does stabilise prices by providing energy at a knowable cost, unlike oil and gas which have to be imported and whose prices go up and down.
A Native American leader from southern California is promoting wind power as a valuable tool for her tribe’s economic development and environmental stewardship strategies.
Monique La Chappa, chairwoman of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County, said on Sunday that the first wind farm the tribe developed was so successful that another wind farm is currently being planned.
La Chappa said in a newspaper article that wind power is clean, creates jobs and wealth, preserves habitat and poses no national security threats.
Although many politicians in the US are still in denial about global warming and the nation’s frightening addiction to expensive, imported oil, President Barack Obama’s government continues promoting the development of an offshore wind sector.
The latest evidence of the government’s realisation that wind power can help mitigate climate change, provide increased energy security and be part of a new green economy occurred earlier this week with an announcement that $50.5 million (€37.1 mn) has been earmarked to support the offshore sector.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the money will be used for projects that support offshore wind power deployment and several high priority wind energy areas off the mid-Atlantic coast “that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.”