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 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. continue reading »
After a meeting last week in Luxembourg, the board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) changed its energy lending policy. The EU’s main lending arm said it would stop financing most coal-fired power stations to help reduce pollution and meet climate targets, and devote 90% of its lending to clean energy.
In a press release, the EIB says it ‘will focus on financing energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy networks, as well as related research and innovation. These sectors are expected to require the most significant investment in coming years’.
According to the Guardian the EIB has loaned around €11bn ($14.5bn) to fossil fuel-fired plants since 2007, most of it to gas rather than coal, out of its total lending for power of €83bn.