Wind power in Africa to increase ten times over

» By | Published 30 May 2013 |

Wind power in Africa is likely to experience a huge boost in installed capacity over the next few years, according to an African Development Bank (AfDB) study.

While wind power on the continent currently makes up only 1% of total electricity, or 1 GW, there is an additional 10.5 GW in the pipeline, the study, Development of Wind Energy in Africa, shows.

Africa is faced with the challenge of generating more power to meet existing and future demand as more than 500 million people on the continent lack access to electricity, the study says, adding at least eight African nations are among the developing world’s most endowed in terms of wind energy potential.

Noting that wind power is one of the world’s fastest-growing energy resources, the study said Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Mauritania, Egypt, Madagascar, Kenya and Chad have large onshore wind energy potential.

Exploring 76 African wind energy projects, the study found that only 24 are completed. Of the completed projects, the study said 74% are located in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – which collectively accounted for 99% of total installed capacity at the end of 2010.

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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.”

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Meet a Canadian writer who believes in telling the wind power story

» By | Published 24 May 2013 |

PrintQualitycanwea-CBF-8x12-IMG_5491_smContinuing with the series of “wind energy stories” from around the world, in association with Global Wind Day, Chris Rose from Vancouver speaks with fellow Canadian Chris Forrest.

As a student in Ottawa, Chris Forrest admits he was a bit of a “class clown” interested in writing, music and other creative pursuits. Maths and science did not engage him at all. As a young man, Forrest drifted into newspaper journalism and later the murky but thrilling world of writing crime novels.

Now, at 41, he appreciates the effort, the stamina and the discipline required to reach and hold an audience. And well he should considering he is Vice-President of Communications and Public Affairs with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

“Communications is at the very core and heart of what we are doing,” said Forrest, who has been involved with the Canadian wind energy industry since 2008. continue reading »


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.

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Tell a G8 leader to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy

» By | Published 15 May 2013 |
An image from the Wake-up Call app

An image from the Wake-up Call app

The global temperature is rising. Freak weather events are multiplying. Climate change is happening.

And yet governments are giving $6 to polluting fossil fuels for every $1 dollar that goes to clean renewables.

World leaders must move now to renewable, clean energy sources like wind energy.  And with the new Global Wind Day app you can tell them to do it and why.

On 17 and 18 June, leaders of the governments of the world’s eight wealthiest countries are meeting in the UK. The leaders of these countries, such as Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and François Hollande, are ultimately responsible for the continuing and growing support for dirty fossil fuels given by their governments. Such subsidies are up nearly 30% from 2010 to $523bn in 2011 (IEA, 2012) compared to $88bn for renewables.

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