The power of wind as a positive force was supported on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday with the release of a new survey conducted by a US research firm and an opinion article published in an English newspaper.
Wind power was seen as either “favourable” or “very favourable” by 75% of people who responded to a Pike Research survey. In addition, wind energy had “unfavourable” responses of only 5%.
The consumer survey, conducted by the Colorado-based firm last summer, canvassed 1,042 Americans on their attitudes and awareness of 12 energy and environmental concepts. The margin of error for the survey results is around 3% with a 95% confidence interval.
Last week WWF released a major report arguing that the world’s entire energy needs could be met “cleanly, renewably and economically” within four decades.
Published in conjunction with energy consultancy Ecofys and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, ‘The Energy Report’ noted there are no technological or financial reasons preventing wind power and other renewables from creating a carbon-free world by 2050.
“If we continue to rely on fossil fuels, we face a future of increasing anxieties over energy costs, energy security and climate change impacts,” WWF Director General Jim Leape said on Thursday in an accompanying press release.
Once upon a time, long ago, some people had a wonderful dream, of a Europe running on green, renewable energy. However, there seemed to be no way of doing this, so they were mostly dismissed as idealists and hippies.
However, many years later in 2011, renewable energy technologies had developed so much and become such a normal part of life that a 100% renewable energy economy was considered an economically and technologically realistic vision for Europe in 2050 and supported by 200 companies.
The vision has now been set out in a declaration drawn up by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES).
The growing public hunger for more sustainable products took a unique path earlier this week with news that some of world’s leading companies and non-profit organisations are supporting the development of the first global consumer label identifying products made with wind energy.
In announcing the WindMade initiative, Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said an international survey of more than 25,000 consumers shows 92% of respondents believe renewable energy is a good solution to mitigating climate change, and most of them would prefer products made with wind energy, even at a premium.
“Governments are dragging their feet, but consumers want to see change now,” said Sawyer, who is also the interim CEO of WindMade. “The private sector needs to step up to provide the solutions we need to respond to the global energy and climate crises. With WindMade, we want to facilitate the change that the public demands.”
In a time of great unrest at British universities over tuition increases and programme cutbacks, it’s gratifying to note that at least one respected post-secondary institution is turning to wind power to lessen its carbon footprint.
According to its website, the University of Nottingham has recently unveiled plans for three wind turbines near Clifton Bridge on the River Trent which, if approved, would supply green electricity directly to its University Park campus.
The turbines, which would meet one-third of the electricity needs of the campus, could reduce the university’s carbon emissions by 7,000 tonnes per year, equating to 40% of the reductions target it has set itself by 2015.