Wind Directions Archive

Keeping it safe

April 2013

Scared of heights? Get sea-sick? Working high up on turbines and out at sea are just two challenges the wind sector faces. What are the other health and safety risks? How can they be managed? Wind Directions takes a look.

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Europe's emerging markets take flight

February 2013


Europe's wind energy is going east. As the countries which led the way in wind see a slow-down, younger markets are opening up.

What - and where - are the new business opportunities? And what are the challenges to overcome?

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Squeezing wind energy: the financial crisis

December 2012

Wind energy avoided the brunt of the economic crisis in the early years, but today the impact is being felt and for many of us that impact is harsh. That’s why the December issue of Wind Directions explores what the crisis means for wind energy from the tough reality of gaining access to financing to the new opportunities that are emerging.

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EWEA - 30 years of strength

September 2012

In September 2012, EWEA celebrates its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Wind Directions homes in on the achievements of both the Association and the sector. We’ll be looking at the remarkable growth of wind power, the shifting sands of the EU policy landscape, technological advances and the role EWEA has played over the years.

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Eastern Winds: the rise of China

June 2012

Even the wind energy sector - a European industry par excellence - is now facing growing competition from the Asian behemoth. How real is the threat from China to European dominance? Will all our turbines soon be 'Made in China' too?

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Powering the economy

April 2012

Wind energy: it’s clean and green, but the industry always says it’s also good for the economy. What is the real impact of wind energy on the EU’s wealth at a time of crisis?

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Bridging the gaps

February 2012

Some of the windiest conditions – and best electricity generating opportunities - are found out at sea or in remote on-land spots. Europe needs a re-vamped power grid and a single energy market to bring this electricity to the consumers. It’s a technical issue, but crucial for the wind energy industry.

What’s being done? And where do we want to be?

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 Into the Sea

December 2011

The offshore wind energy sector is set to be a giant. But it is bound to have teething pains before it reaches its full potential.

What are the obstacles, can they be overcome, and if so, how?

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Nurturing public acceptance

September 2011

While surveys repeatedly show that people support wind energy, specific wind farm projects can cause concern and resistance within a local community. Why is this, what are people’s fears, and how can public acceptance best be increased and managed?

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Portugal’s rising wind energy star

June 2011

Bereft of any real conventional fuel sources, overly dependent on imports, Portugal turned to its winds and rivers. Today, it gets more of its electricity from wind energy than any country except Denmark. Why and how has this small country – for most foreigners associated more with beach holidays than turbines – become the quiet wind energy star of Europe?

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Keeping the Momentum

March 2011

The target year of 2020 is coming up fast and 2030 is just around the corner. A new fuel power plant can expect to run for 35 years or more. So what needs to happen next, what will our energy investment choices be in the next few years, and what difference will they make?

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Blown Away by Brazil

January 2011

Parts of the largest country in South America are blessed with some of the strongest, most consistent winds in the world, and Brazil is charging ahead with wind energy development.
What stage is the country's market at? How is its industry developing? What is the regulatory and financial situation for wind energy developers?


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Unravelling the grid

November 2010

It would be unthinkable for Europe not to have a modern, suitable transport network, yet our power grids – just as fundamental to our lives – are out-of-date.A Europe-wide power grid would allow more wind power online, boost our energy security and bring down power prices.

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Small wind turbines and what they can do 

September 2010

Still in its infancy, small wind power is now beginning to come on strong, the global market increasing by 10% last year.
What can small wind turbines do for isolated communities? What stage is the technology at? What still needs to be done?

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How wind energy went global

June 2010

The wind energy industry originated in Europe, but last year the biggest market was China. More and more companies are setting up factories around the world.
What does this mean for Europe’s wind power industry? Will it be overtaken by the Asian behemoth?

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Where are the women in wind?

April 2010

Mature and booming as it is, the European wind industry of 2010 remains overwhelmingly male. Wind Directions finds out why this is, and what, if anything, needs to be done to rectify the balance.

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The climate battle: Copenhagen and its aftermath

February 2010

2009 ended in widespread disappointment as heads of state failed to reach an ambitious, binding climate change agreement in Copenhagen. But what does the outcome of COP15 mean for the world and the wind sector, and what happens now?

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Looking into the future

December 2009

The world is looking to the future. In Copenhagen, negotiators are trying to hammer out a climate agreement for 2012 onwards. At home, EU leaders are preparing their steps towards the 2020 renewable energy targets. As a weary 2009 fades into a bright young 2010, the next ten years are on everyone’s minds. But what happens then? Wind Directions takes a step forward in time to investigate the possible wind energy world of 2020 and beyond.

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Opening up offshore

September 2009

Europe is facing the global challenges of climate change, depleting indigenous energy resources, increasing fuel costs and the threat of energy supply disruptions. Harnessing its largest domestic energy resource – offshore wind – would provide an answer to all of these problems.

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Powering the world

July 2009

Thirty years ago it all appeared to be the same. Electricity just flowed predictably through the wires into people’s homes and businesses and mostly they didn’t think much about where it came from or how it was produced. Environmental consciousness has changed all that. Today’s consumers are much more concerned about how their electricity is generated and the effect that has on the planet and its stability.

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The financial crisis

May 2009

The wind power industry has not been able to escape the effects of the global financial crisis. Most major companies, both manufacturers and project developers, have downgraded their expectations for growth in the coming year. Some have even been forced to lay off staff. But the underlying prognosis is that the wind market will continue to expand at an impressive rate, consolidating its position as the most dynamic global renewable energy source.

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Europe looks south

February/March 2009

As Europe refashions a political union with the Middle East and North Africa, CrispinAubrey looks at the promising potential for wind power and other renewables around the south and east Mediterranean.

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Can Kyoto deliver?

November/December 2008

As the latest international climate change negotiations open in Poland, Crispin Aubrey looks at whether the Kyoto process is delivering tangible benefits for sustainable energy development – and the wind industry in particular.

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Linking up to Europe’s grid

September/October 2008

As more European countries move towards double digit percentages of wind generation in their electricity supply, Crispin Aubrey looks at the big issues involved in grid integration and at the experience of Spain, which last year saw a record capacity installed.

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China's booming market

July/August 2008

The prospects for global wind energy growth have never looked better. Projections show capacity expanding around the world at an unprecedented rate. New markets are constantly opening up whilst investors are rushing to grab a slice of a booming market. And whilst worsening climate change predictions continue to strongly support a move away from conventional fuels, the soaring price of oil is evidence that a switch makes prudent economic sense as well.

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EWEC in Brussels

April/May 2008

Another milestone in the history of wind power was achieved as this year’s European Wind Energy Conference opened its doors in Brussels at the end of March. In an announcement which highlighted just how far the technology has come, the global wind industry was able to celebrate the installation of 100 Gigawatts of operating capacity.

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Technology Innovation: Setting the Agenda

February/March 2008

As the wind industry celebrates yet another record year of global installations, it might appear from the outside that the technology of harnessing energy from the air has reached a development plateau. After spinning off into many different tributaries, the mainstream of manufacturers have settled for one core design – the upwind pitch-regulated three-bladed variable speed configuration. Mass production of turbines has seen some models repeated more than a thousand times

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Offshore Wind in Berlin

November/December 2007

This is the first time that the event has been organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Following the successful offshore wind conference held in Copenhagen in 2005, run jointly by the Danish Wind Industry Association, Danish Energy Agency and Confederation of Danish Industries, it was decided that it would benefi t from the wider profi le that EWEA could offer, including a broader political perspective.

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Special edition of Wind Directions: EWEA’s anniversary – The first 25 years

September/October 2007

It is hard to believe that, 25 years ago, the high-tech, aerodynamic electricity generating wind turbines, which are now so common to the European landscape, were little more than a twinkle in an engineer’s eye. As the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) celebrates its silver anniversary, wind power has become firmly established as a mainstream electricity source, supplying 3% of EU power, and is the most successful of the new renewable alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear…

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EWEC 2007 Review

May/June 2007

Wind Power Main Contributor To 20% EU Target

Wind power could be generating up to 16% of Europe’s electricity by 2020, delegates heard at the opening of the European Wind Energy Conference in Milan last month. “Wind energy will be a main contributor to achieving the target for 20 % of the European Union’s overall energy supply to come from renewable sources by 2020,” said Arthouros Zervos, President of the European Wind Energy Association.

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Focus on industry

March/April 2007

New players on board

With an annual turnover in Europe of €9 billion in 2006, the European wind energy industry has been attracting new and larger players from across the power, construction and finance markets. Crispin Aubrey reports on the shifting profile of the companies that make the wind business tick.

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Focus on supply chain

January/February 2007

The race to meet demand

Booming demand in the wind industry has focused attention on the complex supply chain of components which lies behind every turbine delivered to the market. Crispin Aubrey looks at where and why bottlenecks are occurring and how soon production can be expected to catch up again.

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Focus on 2030

November/December 2006

Three years after its last analysis of the future prospects for Europe’s wind energy market, the European Wind Energy Association has set a new long term target. By 2030 it projects that up to 300 Gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity could be operating around the expanded European Union. Over seven times as much as is currently installed, this would provide enough electricity for 200 million households.

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Focus on energy supply

September/October 2006

A gap is opening up in the supply of fuels that have kept the global economy expanding. Wind Directions reports on a growing crisis that offers a major opportunity for wind.

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Focus on environment

July/August 2006

Wind power offers enormous benefits to the global environment, but it must also tread softly on the earth it is helping to protect. Wind Directions examines both aspects of the technology’s growth, previews an EWEA initiative to create a database of information on environmental impacts, and looks at two recent examples of how these issues have been approached in practice.

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Focus on US - America's new horizon

May/June 2006

With a vast resource, a buoyant investment climate and rising fossil fuel prices, the United States wind market looks healthier than it has for many years. As the annual Windpower conference and exhibition opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the expectations are that this year’s raft of new projects will outpace even the record level of 2005.

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Focus on ewec - Athens conference reports

March/April 2006

The forceful message of EWEA’s new “No Fuel” campaign reverberated through the European Wind Energy Conference in Athens last month. In a world faced with volatile fossil fuel prices and rising imports, delegates were told that wind power offers an energy solution that is clean, freely available, indigenous and inexhaustible.

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Special No Fuel Edition

January/February 2006

"Wind. Power without Fuel” - This is the main message of a report released by EWEA: “Europe’s energy crisis: the No Fuel Solution”. The report is part of a broader campaign and outlines how wind can meet over one fifth of European electricity needs, eliminate the economic risks of volatile and uncertain fuel prices, and provide an indigenous and practical solution to the current European energy crisis.

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Integrating Wind into Europe’s Grid Network

November/December 2005

A new EWEA report, Large scale integration of wind energy in the European power supply: analysis, issues and recommendations, analyses the technical, economic and regulatory challenges which have to be faced to allow the large scale integration of wind energy into the European power system. Based on past experience, current best practice and contributions from experts in the sector, the report draws on the knowledge of the ‘top ten’ European specialists in wind power integration from Germany, the UK, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands, as well as an extensive literature survey.

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The Emergence of the Post-Oil Era

September/October 2005

Over the past nine months the price of oil has soared to unexpectedly high levels. The negative impacts on the world’s economies are already visible. But will this rise in the cost of one of the world’s most valuable commodities have a beneficial influence on the market for wind power?

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The Spanish Wind Market: Dynamic and Focused

July/August 2005

With the highest figure for new installed capacity in the world last year, Spain’s wind power industry is now focused on achieving a new government target by the end of the decade.

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