Keeping it safe – how do wind workers avoid danger?

» By | Published 22 Apr 2013 |

keepingitsafeWhile the wind industry will never face the equivalent of a Deepwater oil spill or a Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, its spectacular growth rates over the last decade do mean there are more health and safety hazards.

An electrical fire can occur; heavy parts can fall from great heights; lifting huge unstable loads with cranes could go wrong; transferring workers from vessels to an offshore turbine in wavy conditions could be dangerous and, when an accident occurs in a remote wind farm, rescue can take longer.

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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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Turbines represent modernity in Thailand

» By | Published 21 Mar 2013 |

Today, photographer and wind power enthusiast Robert van Waarden reports on wind energy in Thailand, as part of the Global Wind Day “wind energy stories” series.

“A wind turbine represents modernity. So, they want this in their community. Hey we are modern, they say. This is latest technology and we are independent, from Burmese gas and from imported oil. Our energy is produced here with our own resource – that is wind – zero emissions and we are proud of it,” Nick Suppipat said.

Nick Suppipat and the company Wind Enterprise Holdings have recently completed the largest wind farm ever in Thailand. The 207 MW wind park is built in the Nakhon Ratchasima district. It is a significant step for the fledging wind industry in the Thailand and an example of how sustainable development can be a win-win.

Seven years ago, oil prices were skyrocketing and Thailand was in the midst of a financial crisis. Nick, an investor since he was 17, was convinced that renewable energy would be the next big thing and figured that wind was going to take the biggest share of that. For him, the business case made sense and he jumped in.

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What can corporations do to help our climate? Invest in renewables!

» By | Published 19 Mar 2013 |
Angelika Pullen

Angelika Pullen

By Angelika Pullen, WindMade

It was predictable, but still disappointing: The Doha climate negotiations confirmed that the multilateral process to save our climate has stalled. We are not likely to see much movement from governments for many years to come.

Unfortunately, though, the climate can’t wait for international negotiators to get their acts together. So, what can we do?

For our sector, it means that we have to press on with the renewable energy revolution regardless. Of course this will continue to be driven by national and regional targets and legislation, but I am convinced that companies and consumers can and must also make a contribution to drive demand for renewable energy.

People want to see change now, with or without a global deal – not just the increasing number of climate activists, but also your average man on the street. Poll after poll shows that people care, that they love renewables, and that they want to have a choice. It’s all about transparency.

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Wind energy and farming come together in the Netherlands

» By | Published 15 Mar 2013 |

The Global Wind Day “wind energy stories” series continues as photographer and wind power enthusiast Robert van Waarden travels to Flevoland to meet Stephan and Ralph de Clerck who successfully combine wind power and farming.

Cycling along the country roads of Flevoland, you can’t help but notice the wind. If you’re lucky, it is behind you, if it isn’t… well, good luck. It is no wonder that wind turbines haphazardly dot the landscape. They fit. This is the Netherlands, a country where wooden windmills have dotted the landscape for hundreds of years. Now instead of pumping water, modern wind turbines are now powering thousands of homes.

Stephan de Clerck and his brother Ralph live within a few kilometres of each other in Flevoland and they are no strangers to the wind. They have been harvesting wind energy for 11 years. In the beginning they were looking for ways to diversify their farms and incomes. They love how wind energy perfectly complements their other crops of potatoes, onions, and sugar beets. Once installed, the windmills turn steadily in the background, while the day-to-day life of a farmer continues. For them, wind energy is a valuable crop, and one that gets better the stormier the weather.

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