Wind power received another high-profile vote of confidence recently in Ohio, USA with the news that a Toyota car dealership has decided to power part of its commercial enterprise with wind energy.
George Kauffman, vice president of George Byers and Sons, told a local television station he hopes the dealership’s 25-metre-tall wind turbine sets an example for other businesses that also want to mitigate their environmental footprints.
“It’s the future of how our children are going to live, it’s going to lower our carbon footprint and keep it a better, cleaner world for everyone,” Kaufman was quoted as saying by 10TV.
Mongolia, wind turbine by Elke Zander
Mongolia has recently indicated it wants to become part of an international green energy revolution by harnessing vast amounts of wind energy for export to its power-hungry neighbour China.
Stories and blog postings last week reported that the remote land-locked country in northern Asia has indicated it would like the development of wind, solar and other renewable energies to be subsidized by the nation’s considerable mining projects.
A Wall Street Journal posting noted that Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold discussed at a special cabinet meeting in the Gobi Desert the county’s plans for massive investments “in alternative energy and to export wind power to China — enough to equal 40 million tons of coal.”
Ricardo Vidal, a wind energy fan from Portugal, is currently topping the voting league in EWEA’s campaign to get every turbine in Europe adopted. His turbine in Altdorf, northern Germany has received an impressive 346 votes putting him in good stead to win the competition to visit a wind farm. We caught up with him…
EWEA: Why do you support wind energy?
Vidal: I support wind energy because in my opinion all of us should give our own, even if small, contribution to a better world. A cleaner world where the environment has an important place in our society, and this way we can ensure that the world is a green and prosperous place to live in.
EWEA: What motivated you to adopt a turbine?
Vidal: First of all I wanted to be part of an interesting campaign with a common aim, and then I was attracted to the possibility to show and alert all my friends to the necessity of the place of wind energy in the world agenda.
EWEA: Where are you from and is there any wind energy in your area?
Vidal: I’m original from Portugal, a country where nearly 45% of electricity in the grid will come from renewable sources this year. Portugal has the third biggest ratio of wind energy produced per inhabitant in Europe, as well as being the fifth country in Europe for installed wind power capacity.
The growing wind power industry in Canada’s most populated province is both highly regarded and hugely supported, a recent public opinion poll has revealed.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) found almost nine in 10 Ontario residents support wind energy for its economic and environmental benefits.
Sean Simpson of Ipsos Reid said the poll indicated 89% of Ontario residents either strongly supported or somewhat supported wind energy in their region of the province.
“Most also agreed (86%) that their municipal government should encourage and facilitate wind energy development, while a similarly high percentage (85%) believe wind energy can provide economic opportunities and benefits,” Simpson said in a CanWEA press release.
Ontario, which has a population of more than 12 million people, is the second largest province in the nation, covering one million square kilometres. About one-third of Canadians live in Ontario.
CanWEA President Robert Hornung said the poll, which interviewed a sample of 1,361 adults living in Ontario, suggests wind power is popular across the province, regardless of where people live.
“Those polled clearly believe that wind energy not only brings environmental benefits but it can also play a vital role in spurring local and regional economic development,” Hornung said. “There is much to be optimistic about wind’s future in the province, and the poll reflects the fact that Ontario citizens believe in the promise of this growing industry.”
Europe’s renewable energy landscape, already expanding steadily, is readying itself for further growth. At the end of June this year all 27 member states were set to hand-in their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) containing the steps they will take to reach their ambitious renewable energy targets by 2020. While these plans are still being analysed, it is clear that the NREAPs are a good thing for the renewables sector and protecting our increasingly fragile climate.
Speaking at a Friends of Europe debate, Adam Brown, Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said: “The IEA’s view is that a huge expansion in renewables is essential to get anywhere near the energy mix which will allow the climate to be managed in a sensible way.”
But it’s not just the climate that will benefit from the renewable expansion that the NREAPs will encourage: Europe can work for its own competitive interests. Philip Lowe, European Commission Director General for Energy, told Europe to “think about developing renewables not just in terms of climate change but also as just plain and simple self-interest in competitive global markets.”
This fact is evident in the wind power sector where, if Europe does not invest in keeping its position as world market leader now, countries like China could step in and overtake Europe’s longstanding lead.