Archive for Wind Power
www.bbc.co.uk 8th April 2012
Denmark has long held ambitions to move away from fossil fuels, ever since the price fluctuations of the 1970s caused widespread economic difficulties in the country. Now a bold initiative, which has cross-party support, has been laid out that would see Denmark have a third of its energy needs from renewable energy by the end of this decade. By 2050, this could rise to 100%. The bold decision has been made for mostly economic reasons, which may explain the broad popularity of the idea throughout the political spectrum. Even the right of centre, pro-business politicians support it. Ms Lykke Friis, a front-bench spokeswoman for the opposition Liberal party, said, “No matter what we do, we will have an increase in the price of energy, simply because people in India and China want to have a car, want to travel. That is why we came out with a clear ambition to be independent of fossil fuels: so we are not vulnerable to great fluctuations in energy price.” Energy production will focus on wind power but will also make the use of solar energy and the burning of biomass. There are certain hurdles that need to be overcome (such as the storage of energy for when there is no sun-shine or wind) but for now Denmark has set out the most ambitious and progressive energy plan in modern history.
The Times 23rd May 2011
The stereotype of footballers in Europe may all be baby Bentleys and mock-Tudor houses, but Gary Neville of Manchester United FC is trying to break the mould. Although he freely admits, he fitted into the extravagant lifestyle lived by most of his colleagues, he packed it in 5 years ago to live in a more sustainable way. He has now helped organise the first ever football match powered by renewable energy. Due to played tomorrow at Old Trafford, the match will be a testimonial to Gary Neville and will see his team of 1992 reunited to play Juventus. Every bit of power used, from the flood lights to the hot water for tea will be power by wind energy. All proceeds to the game will then go towards Mr Neville’s organisation Sustainability in Sport, the green equivalent to Kick it Out, which combatted racism in football. “Sport is an incredible thin, it crosses boundaries and can engage with people at every level, much as the environment does.” Said Mr Neville. “I want to connect the two, and make the issue of the environment and renewable energy more trendy and accessible.” The footballer, who retired in February after a one-club career that saw him win 8 Premier League titles and the European cup, is also making his life more sustainable outside sport. He is about to build what has been rather cruelly called a ‘Teletubbies’ palace, a zero-carbon eco-home in the shape of a flower embedded within a hill (pictured). He also sources his food locally and drives a Toyota Prius.
www.boston.com 26th November 2010
The non-profit organisation Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, one of the foremost opposition groups to the USA’s first offshore windfarm, has fallen into debt. After raising, on average, $3.6 million a year from 2003-5 to campaign against the renewable energy farm and its owners Cape Wind. However, by last year funding was down to $1.4 million following the groups defeat in Washington and this year, according to December tax returns, the Alliance was $500,000 in the red. The Alliance president Audra Parker claims that the lack of funding is due to both the length of the fight (almost a decade now) and the recession. Ms. Parker has insisted that the Alliance will continue to protest against the windfarm, which, they claim, will destroy the Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts and cost more for the tax-payer. In reality the windfarm will only add less than $2 to the average monthly energy bills on nearby residents but in comparative terms Cape Wind power will double the cost of electricity from fossil fuels. Although the group has around 5,000 members in the Massachusetts area, when funding dipped it relied upon just nine wealthy donors who contributed about $1 million. One of these is William I. Koch, the fossil fuel magnate, who donated $100,000 to cover the cost of the former Alliance president Glenn G. Wattley. Mr Koch also gave $1 million to a lobbying firm to persuade government officials to drop the Cape Wind plans.
e360.yale.edu 5th November 2010
Quoted from source:
‘A U.S. startup is working on a plan to install hundreds of 40-kilowatt hydrokinetic turbines, each the size of a large jet engine, along the bottom of the Mississippi River, an ambitious renewable energy project developers say could someday produce more than one gigawatt of electricity — enough to power 250,000 homes. While the technology remains relatively unproven, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently granted the company, Free Flow Power, preliminary rights to explore the potential for dozens of turbine locations along the 2,320-mile river. Although most efforts to develop hydrokinetic energy projects so far have focused on tidal or wave energy, the company says river installations have significant advantages. “The water flows in one direction, it doesn’t have salt in it, and, in the case of the Mississippi, people have spent 100 years tracking water flows and velocities,” said Henry Dormitzer, the company’s chief financial officer. The challenges, however, will be to show that the turbines will not impact marine life or the massive volume of traffic on the river. The only commercial hydrokinetic river project currently in use is a single turbine installed on the Mississippi by Texas-based Hydro Green Energy near Hastings, Minn.’
e360.yale.edu 11th October 2010
Quoted from source:
‘The U.S. could generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy by 2030 if it develops offshore wind farms in the coastal waters of 26 states, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab. Developing the nation’s offshore wind potential would also create $200 billion in “new economic activity” and 43,000 jobs, according to the report. While the U.S. currently leads the world in installed land-based wind capacity, the nation has no major offshore wind farms. Last week, however, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed a 28-year offshore lease for the nation’s first offshore wind project off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., which would produce an average of 182 megawatts. State and federal officials are now considering other major offshore wind farm proposals. The Department of Energy report said that if offshore wind farms are densely developed along the U.S. coastline, such installations could theoretically provide four times the electricity capacity that now exists in the U.S.’
www.independent.co.uk 16th September 2010
Yesterday the Italian police seized what is thought to be the largest haul of mob assets ever. Around £1.25 billion (€1.5 billion) was seized from the Sicilian businessman Vito Nicastri of which a large amount was tied up in alternative energy. Mr. Nicastri, also known as the ‘Lord of the Winds’, is believed to be linked to the mafia’s ‘boss of bosses’ Matteo Messina Denaro. Although the mafia are usually linked with environmental degradation, mainly by illegally dumping toxic waste in the Mediterranean, Senator Costantino Garraffa of the parliamentary anti-Mafia committee has stated that organised crime is trying to break into the renewable energy market to launder money. Government subsidies have resulted in a rapid expansion in wind power particularly, which is seen as essential in the poorer south of the country.
Sources: www.guardian.co.uk 12th September 2010
The world’s largest off-shore windfarm is to open off the Kent coast on the 23rd September. The 100 turbines, situated 12km off Foreness Point, will generate power for 200,000 homes and cost £750 million to construct. The Thanet facility, as it is known, will dwarf the nearby Kentish Flats facility of 30 turbines which is run by the same operator: the Swedish power company Vattenfall. However, even the Thanet windfarm will pale in comparison to the 340 turbine London Array facility when it is completed. Although the opening of the Thanet facility will go someway towards the UK’s legally binding target of producing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, Lord Turner, chairman of the government’s committee on climate change, has written to Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to warn that a lot more needs to be done for Britain and Northern Island to achieve this benchmark.
There was some good news for the UK’s renewable energy industry last week though as, for a 24 hour period, energy companies announced that 10% of the country’s energy came from wind power and a further 4% from hydro-generated power. The statistics show that the UK is at least capable of attaining the 15% target by 2020.