Meet wind power’s 2009 agenda
EU wind power to become a key solution in meeting growing energy needs and ambitious climate change goals.
Starting over again with a clean slate is an interesting challenge since the concept of rebirth is almost always full of endless potential. Revellers who enjoyed themselves a bit too much on New Year’s Eve know the feeling: while heads may throb as a bleary 1 January breaks dawn, the future looks much more positive.
This brings us to 2009 and the many benefits of European wind power.
Despite years of proving it was a dependable non-polluting technology, despite showing it could quickly provide local, affordable, sustainable green electricity in increasing amounts, despite promising an explosion in jobs in the sector as well as increased research and development and demonstrating how it can significantly mitigate rampant global warming, wind power still had to win over policy makers.
Those two hurdles were all but overcome in the last two years. Concerned about securing dependable energy sources and worried about the lengthening shadow of climate change, society began embracing wind power and other renewables. By mid-December, with the EU passing the Renewable Energy Directive and endorsing most other elements of the long awaited climate and energy deal, even though they were also facing an international financial crisis, a different era was born.
Yet this new beginning, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) notes, still requires more work before wind power can reach its full and spectacular potential.
EWEA will be busy in 2009 helping that occur. It will promote the many benefits of wind power through the annual European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition (EWEC) held this March in Marseille, the first ever Global Wind Day in June, and the second bi-annual Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition held in Stockholm in September.
Armed with the newly-approved climate and energy legislation, EU Member States will be working on how to reach their share of the 20% by 2020 renewables target. They will also be continuing their efforts to reduce poisonous CO₂ discharges as part of the Emissions Trading System.
Meanwhile, international negotiators need to reach a new post-Kyoto agreement when they gather for the annual UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.
No small tasks, these, but humankind has time and again shown it can rise to the occasion and there is no reason why a steady and focused approach can’t once again prevail. In fact, it has to.
There will always be unexpected obstacles, of course, but EWEA believes that wind power is ready to be part of a much needed renewable revolution since it is now going mainstream, big time.
02 January 2009