Global Wind Day – you may have heard of it, or you may be one of the 21,000 people who have “liked” Global Wind Day’s facebook page, but what is it all about? It’s a day for taking the energy debate – switching to renewables from fossil fuels, supporting wind power – out of the realm of policy and in to the real world. In short, Global Wind Day is the international annual day for discovering wind power.
How does a wind turbine work? How much power does the wind farm located near me produce? Why should I support wind power over fossil fuels? These are the types of questions and more that you could find the answer to on Global Wind Day.
How? By attending one of the many events – from wind farm open days to exhibitions and fairs – across the globe, by taking part in our call to G8 leaders to switch to renewables and phase out support for fossil fuels, or by simply browsing our global wind energy FAQs and our Europe wind energy factsheet.
A snapshot of Global Wind Day activities – Brussels and Spain
From next Monday 3 June to 15 June, winners and runners up in the Global Wind Day photo competition will have their photos displayed in the European Parliament. Here is a snapshot of the exhibited photos…
Meanwhile, in Spain from 3-15 June you might notice the special Global Wind Day lottery tickets. Some five million special tickets will be printed, in association with ONCE – the Spanish association for blind people, and the lottery will be drawn on Global Wind Day itself.
Heikki Willstedt Mesa, AEE
For the last 100 days, wind energy has provided more of Spain’s power than any other source. Yet the government is cutting support for the sector and putting a major electricity provider – and domestic industry – at risk.
Heikki Willstedt Mesa, Energy Policies Director for the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) explains why the government’s latest decisions are so dangerous.
Until last week, what was the situation for renewables in Spain?
According to Spanish law, companies must get a reasonable return on their investments in renewable energy, with the average being between 7 and 8%. Last year, the new government decided there would be no more incentives for new renewable energy installations after 2012.
That was a big blow for the future industry. But then afterwards, at the end of 2012, the government also approved a 7% tax on all existing power generation installations. It was supposed to be a law for the environment, but they were also taxing wind and other renewables. That meant not only future industry was impacted, but also already existing wind farms.
So what happened last week, and how has it made matters even worse?
People who work in the Spanish wind energy sector will no doubt be sharing great news with those attending next week’s EWEA 2013 Annual Event in Vienna: the nation’s monthly wind-power output exceeded 6 terawatt-hours for the first time in January.
The Spanish Wind Energy Association’s blog, Somos Eolicos, reported that amount of power would be enough to light most households in the nation.
Bloomberg reported that the association — using data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana — said the milestone was passed Tuesday this week from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time.
Plans to levy a charge of up to 11% of revenue on Spanish wind energy producers have been condemned by the industry there and are described as being “the final blow for wind energy” by President of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) Rocio Sicre. Media reports have said that the production of nuclear, hydroelectric and thermoelectric energy would be charged a lower 4 %, with an additional tax of 10 euros per megawatt for nuclear and 15 euros per megawatt for hydroelectric.
EWEA CEO Christian Kjaer has said that ““I am appalled by the proposal of the Spanish Government to introduce a discriminatory tax on wind power generation. Such a tax would destroy Spanish jobs, undermine world-class Spanish wind energy companies and set a very bad precedent for Governments in Europe and beyond. As such it poses a threat to the world-leading European wind industry.”
Last month wind power in Spain reached new heights. This extract from the Spanish wind energy association’s (AEE) blog ‘somos eolicos’ highlights what happened…
On 18 April wind power in Spain reached a new record by producing 317 GW hours of electricity and beating the previous record of 315 GWh recorded on 9 November 2010, according to Red Eléctrica de España (REE). Moveover, during the morning of 19 April, wind power beat previous records by covering 61.06 % of Spain’s electricity demand.