The Act on Facts map of Australia
Vestas, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, as well as Greenpeace and other environmental groups, have launched a campaign to push back at a virulent anti-wind lobby that continually distorts the truth about the electricity-generating technology in Australia.
“The wind industry is being challenged by an anti-wind lobby that often disregards factual information,” Vestas said, adding the new “Act on Facts” campaign is the company’s way of ensuring global citizens have an informed and balanced perspective about emissions-free wind energy.
In a statement, Vestas said atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark and are well on the way to the 450 ppm tipping point after which there’s no turning back. Saying the effects of climate change are very real, the company added extreme weather events are becoming more frequent while ice caps are melting, forests are burning, and coasts are flooding.
“As part of the solution, wind power helps tip the balance back in our favour,” the company continued. “Yet anti-wind activists sometimes via deception and misinformation are threatening a promising move toward a clean energy future and the investments and jobs that that future holds.”
Wind energy at work is the theme that united all winners of this year’s Global Wind Day photo competition. From a turbine tower being lowered into place to turbines set in agricultural backgrounds juxtaposed harmoniously with nature all around, this year’s photos show the beauty and the working reality of wind power.
“In 2005 during a family vacation in Ireland, I photographed my first wind turbine and something just went off in my head, like a lightbulb, that this is my calling,” overall winner Joan Sullivan from Canada said explaining her dedication to photographing wind energy. The winning photo was taken in Mont Louis, eastern Quebec. Sullivan climbed to the top of the middle tower section and took the photo as a crane lowered the top section down. “I hope that my photographs will contribute positively to the global dialogue about the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”
There is huge potential for wind energy in the coldest regions of the globe, a new report from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggests.
The VTT cites the latest forecasts, which show that between 45 and 50 gigawatts of wind energy will be built in cold climates by 2017. This would mean an increase of as much as 72% since the end of 2012 and investments amounting to approximately €75 billion.
VTT has conducted what it claims is the first ever study into the feasibility of building wind turbines across the globe in areas where cold climate and icy conditions place special demands on wind turbine technology. In addition to Scandinavia and Canada, these areas also include parts of Central Europe, the US and China. Cold climates represent encouraging potential for wind energy companies because of their sparse population and favourable wind conditions, says the centre.
“This is a huge opportunity,” says VTT research scientist Tomas Wallenius. “We already have the tools to harness the potential of cold climate wind energy cost-effectively.”
There was a party atmosphere on 14 June in the Turkish capital, as parents, children, wind energy representatives and government officials came together for wind energy. They were attending the opening ceremony of the exhibition of paintings and photos organised by the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TWEA) for Global Wind Day on 15 June.
Children from local schools in Ankara had submitted brightly coloured paintings showing what wind can do – from blowing kites high in the sky to making boats sail. Their proud mums and dads looked on and took photos as their offspring – dressed in their finest – received their awards from Turkish Energy Minister Yildiz. The winner of the photo competition had gone for a far more haunting and mysterious black and white image of numerous hot air balloons rising above the clouds.
On Global Wind Day itself the action continues in Turkey as a bus-load of people is making the overnight journey from Ankara up to Izmir on the Aegean coast to visit Turkey’s first wind farm and tour Enercon and Vestas factories.
Global Wind Day is the worldwide annual day for discovering wind energy and what it can do.
Find out what is going on near you by having a look at the interactive map.
By Jessica Anania
The countdown to Global Wind Day marks more than just a wait for a fun-filled day spent outside discovering wind energy. It is also a chance for the public, politicians, and industry officials to discuss wind energy and its benefits, sharing ideas, exchanging opinions, and deepening their knowledge and understanding along the way.
Across Europe, wind farms are open, wind energy is the theme of festivals and wind energy information points will be set up across the continent from Lisbon to Warsaw.
In Denmark, Folkemødet, an annual political conference of over 30,000 participants and 1,300 events spanning four days, coincides with Global Wind Day.
“For the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA), Folkemødet was the obvious place to incorporate Global Wind Day due to the nature of Folkemødet and the philosophy of Global Wind Day, where it is about bringing knowledge of wind to the public,” stated Anders Mika Dalegaard, Head of Events at DWIA.