Every day newspapers are full of the latest Eurozone crisis. In 2010, Tom Murley from private equity firm HgCapital described the economy to Wind Directions as having had the equivalent of “open-heart surgery”. Today, he says: “Depending on what happens with the Eurozone we may be wheeling the economy back into surgery again.”
The offshore wind energy industry is particularly vulnerable to the current squeeze. Banks are now having to pay more for the long-term loans the sector requires, so they are becoming more reluctant to offer them.
Tapping into the vast potential of America’s wind power and solar industries while also increasing the nation’s traditional domestic energy supplies formed a major part of US President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address last week.
Before an estimated television audience of 38 million viewers, Obama said the country could develop a lasting economy by building on energy, manufacturing, job skills and a renewal of American values.
Much in the news this past week was a major new study conducted for Massachusetts which found there is little or no evidence that wind turbines cause so-called “wind turbine syndrome” that some critics have been employing in their anti-wind campaigns.
Health and engineering experts who completed the study for the US state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Health were also dismissive of previous work done by Dr. Nina Pierpont who has claimed that vibrations and noise from wind turbines cause an array of detrimental health effects.
In a recent interview, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol pointed out that “fossil fuel subsidies are a hand brake as we drive along the road to a sustainable energy future. Removing them would take us half way to a trajectory that would hold us to 2C.”
Mr. Birol is of course referring to the fuel subsidies that governments around the world give towards lowering the price of fossil fuels, such as the $409bn spent by 37 governments in 2010. He is also referring to the fact that these subsidies encourage the use of polluting substances, and that eliminating the subsidies would go a long way towards achieving the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees.
What does the power of the wind that blows across our land mean to you? Do you have a keen eye for new and exciting ways to capture wind energy on camera? Are you interested in winning a €1,000 Amazon voucher? Then this is the competition of a life-time for you.
Today the European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council are launching an international photo competition – ‘Wind in Mind’ – inviting all photographers to snap wind energy technology in ways that have never been seen before. The competition will run until 6 May and winners will be announced on Global Wind Day – 15 June 2012 – the annual day for discovering the power of wind energy.