Orthodox community embraces renewable energy in the Czech Republic

» By | Published 28 May 2013 |

Global Wind Day on 15 June – the annual day for discovering wind power – is fast approaching.

Continuing with the “wind energy stories” series Robert van Waarden, photographer and wind energy enthusiast, travels to the Czech Republic to uncover the personal stories behind wind energy.

High on a wind turbine, hidden amongst the cherry orchards and the wheat fields of Eastern Czech Republic, is a painting of a raven with a piece of bread in its mouth. The prophet St. Elias the Tishbite was kept alive by ravens feeding him bread when he was hidden in the desert. This is the St. Elias wind turbine and it belongs to the Pravoslavná Akademie Vilémov, a non-profit Orthodox NGO specialised in renewable energy.

“Everything was given to us by God to survive,’ says Roman Juriga, director of the Akademie, “that includes the energy and the capacity to create energy, that is why we have named our turbine St. Elias.”


A little wind power goes a long way

» By | Published 21 May 2013 |

By Fran Witt, Renewable World

One kilowatt may not seem like a lot – some heaters in the West use this much energy every hour. But in Songambele, Tanzania, comparatively little energy is going a long way.

Renewable World, the UK based charity who work to provide renewable energy to remote communities in the developing world, is helping the off-grid community of Songambele to power itself out of poverty.

Climate change has impacted its 21,000 inhabitants, with crops becoming increasingly difficult to grow, resulting in adults and children working longer hours for smaller wages. Today, power provided by a new wind turbine is being used to improve crop yields directly by pumping water for irrigation. This enables children to spend more time at school and provides both time and opportunities for adults to expand their skill-sets.

Together with Tanzanian partners ALIN, and local wind power firm Wind Power Serengeti, Renewable World has established a wind/solar hybrid system which powers a Maarifa (information technology) Centre.  In addition to solar panels, a 1kw wind turbine has been installed to power the Centre, to provide additional power for productive uses, such as access to modern information technology services. The 12 metre tall horizontal axis turbine is locally produced and is designed to cut in at low wind speeds. It produces an average of 3kwH of energy per day.


Wiping the slate green

» By | Published 02 May 2013 |

This week, as part of the Global Wind Day wind energy stories series, photographer Robert van Waarden takes readers to the UK’s first wind farm in Cornwall.


A wind farm for all seasons – Estonian turbines inspire photographer

» By | Published 26 Apr 2013 |

By Tuuliki Kasonen, Estonian Wind Power Association

Janne Põlluaas is an Estonian woman who has had a passion for photography and nature since spending her childhood summers at a beach called Laulasmaa, a 30 minute drive from the Estonian capital, Tallinn. As a child Janne would sit with her father in the darkroom and watch the pictures develop, feeling that photography must be magic. Today, Janne is a landscape architect and a garden decorator, an occupation which allows her to regularly observe the beauty of nature.



Poland’s true wind energy potential is 13 GW by 2020

» By | Published 16 Apr 2013 |

wind farmPoland is the biggest wind energy market in the EU’s newer Member States, but wobbles in government support have made investors nervous. We spoke to Ewa Kurdyła, Director of the Polish Wind Energy Association, to find out what’s going on…

 Poland’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan indicates that cumulative wind capacity should increase by an average of 500 MW per year to reach 6,650 MW in 2020 – do you think this will happen?

Despite significant growth of the wind energy sector in the recent years it may be very difficult to meet our targets – in particular for 2020. This is caused by the lack of regulations enabling a stable development of the sector. In recent months the mood among the investors has been very bad. However, we mustn’t forget that the true market potential of wind energy in Poland by 2020 is approximately 11.5 GW onshore and 1.5 GW offshore, according to the independent Renewable Energy Institute.

These figures are much higher than those in the Polish National Renewable Energy Action Plan. Therefore, I think that in the long term the industry may substantially increase its share in the national energy mix. This is primarily due to technological development. The climate of political will, which today determines the development of renewables, may also be of key importance.