Media sources have today published reports claiming that wind farms can cause local temperature increases. The news, based on a study carried out on large wind farms in Texas, has been widely reported and, in some cases, falsely linked to global climate change.
The study, headed by a researcher at the State University of New York-Albany, says that a wind farm in Texas has warmed local night-time temperatures by up to 0.72°C. This is because wind turbines create turbulence that conducts warmer night air higher in the atmosphere to the ground, where temperatures are cooler at night.
Kite-surfing off the coast of Brazil
With a 63% increase in installed wind capacity last year, Brazil continues turning to the emissions-free generating technology to help the nation diversify its power mix and satisfy a growing electricity demand.
Recent evidence of this rapid expansion occurred just last week when Alstom was awarded a contract worth an estimated €130 million to supply and install turbines at four wind farms in the southern part of the nation.
Anti-wind protestors in the UK have been dealt a blow by a series of polls which show strong support for clean energy, continued renewables subsidies, and for a decrease in reliance on burning fossil fuels like gas.
New York tycoon Donald Trump is one of the more prominent wind critics, as he seeks to develop a golf course in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. Today Trump is appearing in front of Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee to claim that turbines will affect the tourism industry and that wind power cannot survive without subsidies.
It sounds almost too good to be true, but Europe could save €20 billion on fuel costs, improve its air quality and create up to 1.5 million new jobs, according to a new report. How? By moving to a higher climate target for 2020.
The European Commission report looked at the impact of moving to a target for a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the financial crisis and industry slow-down, the current target – for a 20% cut – has become easy to reach.
Socialist candidate François Hollande may have won the first round of the French elections, but what are his plans for wind energy if he manages to pip Nicholas Sarkozy to head the country in the second round next month. And, if Mr Sarkozy manages to turn the situation around and retain his title, is he likely to support renewables during a second term as the president of France?
Unsurprisingly, renewable energy was not the main consideration of the majority of the French voters on Sunday. Indeed, despite the clear need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Europe’s commitment to be leader in the fight against climate change, Green candidate Eva Joly received only 2% of the French votes. However, after the initial result was announced, Joly immediately called for her supporters to vote for Hollande in the second round.