You could call Father Iustin a pioneer. He installed a wind turbine long before the hundreds that you can now see from this hill appeared. He was the first monk in the Constanța region to power his monastery with renewable technology and now he gladly advises other monasteries to do the same.
“I like being a monk,” says Father Iustin Petre, one of the founders of the Casian Monastery in Romania. “It is free, no stress.”
It is quiet up here. Birds float on the wind over a landscape that would be at home in the Mediterranean. A small wind toy spins on a post and even the cats and dogs that inhabit every Romanian scene are friendlier.
The announced purchase last week of an Irish wind farm by IKEA is just the latest indication that the world’s biggest home furniture company may succeed in its stated aim of becoming totally energy independent by 2020.
IKEA has agreed to buy from Mainstream Renewable Power its 7.65 megawatt Carrickeeny Wind Farm located in Leitrim in the North West of Ireland when it begins generating power next year.
“We feel like we’ve won the lottery.”
Mirosława and Mieczysław Horodiuk sit on a couch in their living room, their aged cat stares through the window. Here in Kończewo in north western Poland a late spring snow has fallen, delaying the spring planting for this farming family. They rest easy knowing that summer will come and they now have a guaranteed income.
10 years ago a wind energy developer approached the Horodiuk family to rent part of their farmland for a wind turbine. They were sceptical about this opportunity. It would have been difficult for them to agree if they were on their own, but they had support.
The citizens of Kobylnica had been prepared for such an event. Leszek Kuliński, mayor of Kobylnica, became interested in wind turbines while on holiday in Denmark. (His wife complained that 80% of the photographs he took were of wind turbines.) Leszek wanted to bring this industry to Kobylnica. He travelled to Germany to research and to investigate if it was safe for the community. He returned determined to make his commune attractive to wind energy developers.
The wind industry is the fastest-growing source of power in the United States and employs over 80,000 American workers, two new government studies show.
“The tremendous growth in the U.S. wind industry over the past few years underscores the importance of consistent policy that ensures America remains a leader in clean energy innovation,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an accompanying press release.
Moniz’ reference to the importance of consistent policy contrasts with many European countries where governments are cutting or changing their renewable energy policies, creating massive uncertainty in the wind sector and putting growth at risk.
Piet Willem Chevalier
“If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say identity,” says Piet Willem Chevalier, owner and operator of I Love Windpower. “On my first trip to Mali, I saw this group of people that were really shy, that didn’t want to ask questions, they had no confidence. After we made that first turbine, we threw a party and it was quite amazing to see how this sense of identity grew.”
One day while driving in the Netherlands Piet became transfixed by a set of wind turbines and literally drove off the road,. He couldn’t have known at that time that this incident would change his life. In a few years he would be bringing wind power to Mali where the poorest communities often pay the highest rates for energy.
One thing led to another and Piet started working as an engineer for Siemens wind. After about a year Piet discovered the work of Welsh engineer, Hugh Piggott. Mr. Piggott is the inventor of an open source, affordable, small-scale wind turbine design. Piet invited Hugh to come and teach a workshop in the Netherlands. It took some convincing, but Mr. Piggott finally agreed.