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.
“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.
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.
By Angelika Pullen, WindMade
Finally, after many months of deliberations with technical experts, environmental NGOs and potential user companies, and after various rounds of corporate and public consultations, we’re proud to present the WindMade Product Label.
This is exciting news for WindMade. From now on, progressive brands can apply to use the WindMade label directly on their products. This will give them a real competitive edge with increasingly conscious consumers.
This label, which can be applied to all products using a minimum share of 75% of renewable energy in their total electricity consumption, will be a great way to recognize companies for their efforts while empowering consumer choice, giving them a tool to vote with their wallets and demonstrate their support for wind power. Because we know from poll after poll that the vast majority of the public backs wind power, both in the U.S. and in Europe.
With Global Wind Day 2013 taking place this weekend, we’re continuing the ‘wind energy stories’ series as Robert van Waarden travels to Thailand to explore low-wind solutions.
“I know that 70% of the area in the world has a low wind speed. I thought, if we want to promote the wind machine, 70% is a lot of the world,” Dr. Roy said.
Dr. Wirachai Roynarin or (Dr. Roy as he is more commonly known), is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at RMUTT in Bangkok and owner of Prapai Technologies, a company that specialises in low wind-speed turbines. He grew up in a small farming family, where he learned to respect the land, before going to England to study. He returned to Thailand believing he could help his country and he set his sights on the wind.