Wind power was the preferred technology for investments in the global clean energy sector last year, attracting €67 billion, says a new report issued earlier this week.
“Wind investment levels increased by 34% in 2010, and wind energy remains the leading recipient of clean energy investments,” according to the report, titled ‘Who’s winning the Clean Energy Race?’
“Investments in wind helped drive the addition of 40 GW of generating capacity and accounted for 48% of the annual clean energy investments in 2010.”
It’s probably not what traditional wind farm developers have in mind when they are considering the many benefits of harnessing wind power, but a popular American company has come up with two new reasons to appreciate the emissions-free technology — ice cream and iced tea.
Turkey Hill Dairy, which produces the fourth largest-selling premium ice cream in the US, announced last week its use of two wind turbines that generate a combined 3.2 megawatts will now power at least one-quarter of its annual electricity needs.
A press release from the Pennsylvania company said that equals enough power to produce six million gallons of ice cream and 15 million gallons of iced tea each year. Employing 700 workers, the dairy offers 46 flavors of premium ice cream and 18 different types of iced tea.
The simple idea behind Earth Hour, originating in Australia a few years ago, has taken off around the world. The project asks everyone to turn off their lights, for one hour, each year at the same time. The reason is to “take a stand against climate change”. This year, the date is Saturday 26 March, at 8.30, wherever you are on the planet.
This simple request has garnered massive support. In 2007, the first year of Earth Hour, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2000 businesses participated in Australia. One year later, 50 million people joined in across 35 countries. The Golden Gate Bridge and the Colosseum in Rome were among the landmarks that went dark to mark Earth Hour that year. For Earth Hour last year, 128 countries officially switched off to signify their support for the planet.
Scotland’s rapidly-developing offshore wind power industry got another major boost on Tuesday with an announcement that Doosan Power Systems will invest up to €195 million in the sector over the next 10 years.
Doosan says it wants to locate an R&D Centre of Excellence for Renewables at its site in Renfrew. The company says a second phase will involve establishing assembly and manufacturing facilities in Scotland — now Doosan’s favoured location for wind turbine prototype-build and manufacturing.
A new Green Investment Bank worth €1.18 billion (£1 billion) will “tackle risk the market cannot currently finance”, allowing new types of investment in green infrastructure, UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry told Wind Directions magazine recently. The Bank is due to become operational by September 2012.
At the same time, the UK is considering moving away from the Renewables Obligation Certificate support scheme it has used so far for wind energy, and implementing a Feed-In Tariff.