The study, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has found that the country’s total wind potential ranges from 2,006 gigawatts (GW) for 80 metre hub heights to 3,121 GW for 120 metre hub heights.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then fire up your laptop and tap into this Google Earth video of wind farms from above. Amongst the wind farms highlighted, satellite footage takes the viewer from Egypt to Australia, from India to China, from Denmark to Spain, from the UK to Canada to the US.
So, click on the video below and enjoy your virtual flight.
And, just like wind power, it’s a no-carbon trip.
I was asked recently if I thought it was true that China is dragging its feet on emissions cuts because it is waiting until it has a clear lead in green technology, and then it will allow a post-Kyoto climate deal to go ahead, knowing it can sell its technology all over the world market.
There is no doubt that the global race for renewable energy technology leadership is on. It is also clear that delaying a global legally binding agreement on greenhouse gas reductions could help any competing country to overtake Europe. It makes sense for others to try to slow down European renewable energy technology advances while implementing ambitious industrial policy measures at home. It is not only China challenging European leadership, but also the United States, India, South Korea and a growing list of other nations.
Europe invented the Internet and left it for foreign companies to reap the commercial benefits. I would hate to see a similar development in wind energy. Increasing Europe’s emissions reduction target from 20 to 30% would be a smart move to help maintain Europe’s technological leadership. However, the European Commission’s Communication published this week fell short of recommending a 30% cut, which is disappointing. That’s why EWEA has written to MEPs urging them to agree to 30% domestic GHG reductions by 2020, in order to maintain Europe’s leadership in renewable energy technologies, particularly wind power.
A move to 30% would give a very strong signal to investors that Europe means business when it talks about green growth and a sustainable economy.
As Europe has already successfully experienced, it was inevitable that other parts of the world would soon catch on to the huge potential that offshore wind energy can provide.
Worth noting then, is news that China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for green electricity resulted in a recent announcement that the sea off eastern Jiangsu province will soon boast the nation’s first group of commercial offshore wind farms.
China Daily reported Shi Lishan, deputy director of the new energy department under the National Energy Administration, said the four wind power projects include two near-shore 300-MW plants and two 200-MW facilities built on tidal flats.
“Construction of offshore wind power projects will be one focus of China’s wind power industry in the future,” said Shi, adding public bidding for the four projects will start in May. “As the country boasts rich offshore wind energy resources, China has great potential in this field.”
In India, offshore wind is also front and centre in the Economic Times, with a report that the nation’s long coastline, low installation costs and readily available raw materials are attracting the interest of major international energy companies looking for expansion opportunities.