“We would be very keen to have 2030 targets” – Irish EU ambassador

» By | Published 14 May 2013 |
Ambassador Tom Hanney

Ambassador Tom Hanney

Irish Ambassador to the European Union Tom Hanney is in the throes of a six month stint at the heart of decision making in Brussels, as Ireland currently holds the EU Presidency. The Deputy Permanent Representative says holding the Presidency is “a marathon, from January to June”. We met him to find out about Irish commitments to wind energy and why they have given so much support to Global Wind Day this year.

What motivated the Irish Presidency of the EU to support Global Wind Day 2013?

From a national point of view, wind energy is very important to Ireland. In the Irish government’s Renewable Energy Strategy, wind is identified as a key resource.

We have a lot of wind sweeping over the country given our geographical location. An increasing amount of our energy is produced from wind. We are committed to reaching our renewable energy targets under EU energy policy and we will be a net wind exporter. Overall, wind is a very important resource for Ireland and an increasing one, so therefore we support Global Wind Day.

Ireland is not on track for EU emissions targets and the reductions, but is well on track for our 20:20:20 commitment – that 20% of your energy has to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2020. We are at around 18% at the moment.

Do you think the EU needs 2030 renewable energy targets, similar to the 2020 targets?

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Three mayors, three communities, one wind

» By | Published 09 May 2013 |

In association with Global Wind Day, photographer Robert van Waarden travels to three different communities in Romania that have been inspired by wind energy. Read their stories below, and think about submitting your own wind energy inspired story and photo to the Global Wind Day 2013 photo competition which closes on 12 May!


Roşu Nuţi

Mayor of Progresu and Fácáeni


Population: 7200

Roşu Nuţi was born in Progresu and has been the mayor here for 10 years. Her ambitious spirit is apparent the moment she walks in a room and if you need proof of how hard she works, one glance at her overflowing desk should help.

When Roşu first heard about the plan to construct a 44 turbine wind farm in the community, she immediately saw the benefits. However, as is always the case with something new in a community, there was some confusion and pessimism among the citizens.

Roşu spent a lot of energy organising and convincing the village that this was a good idea. Eventually they came around and ground will be broken on the project this year.

For Progresu and Fácáeni the money injected into the local economy will have a clear benefit. Infrastructure here is underdeveloped: roads are poor and horse-and-cart is still the mode of transport for many. Any local jobs that are created will be welcome in a village with an unemployment rate of 45%.

“The earth won’t be able to give us fossil fuels for eternity, and when we take into account the nuclear plant nearby, we prefer to have a field of turbines,” says Roşu.

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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.

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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.


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Wind dreams in Nepal

» By | Published 16 Apr 2013 |

Continuing with the series of “wind energy stories” from around the world, in association with Global Wind Day, Robert van Waarden travels to Nepal to meet Amrit Singh Thapa in Kathmandu.

Amrit points it out as we zoom past on his motorbike.  If you look closely, past the Nokia sign, past the other motorbikes, over the jumble of electric wires, and let your eyes drift upward, you might see it. It is a solution to the energy problems of Nepal, turning in the wind. Amrit turns a corner, jokes with a security guard and drives into the grounds of the Kathmandu Engineering College. A few minutes later we are on the roof, listening to the whirling of his homemade wind turbine and looking out over this crowded and noisy city called Kathmandu.

Amrit Singh Thapa, owner of Eenergys.com, lives and breathes wind energy. When he was still a student at the Engineering College, he began researching sustainable technology and felt deeply that his path was entwined with wind energy. He hasn’t looked back since.

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