Wind power is the rising star of an accelerating renewable energy (r)evolution. Eager to reduce both their dependence on fossil energy, such as petrol and coal, and greenhouse gas emissions, countries from Denmark to Kenya are looking at wind to provide electricity for households, transport and industry. Denmark, which already gained reputation as a significant player in the wind energy industry, has just reconfirmed its goal to reach 100% renewable energy in what it lauds as the “broadest, greenest, and most long-term energy agreement” the Danish government has ever reached. Technological innovations and advances in renewable heat, smart grids, and biogas will help the small Nordic country to further establish itself as a global leader in the transition to green energy.
Apart from reputation, the reasoning for speeding up the carbon reduction and renewable energy (r)evolution is clear: Prepare for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal and to create jobs in high-value future industries (BusinessGreen reports).
Different continent, same thinking: In Kenya, Lake Turkana is set to be the site of Africa’s largest wind farm, writes Andrew on Cleantechnica.com. “Famous in anthropological circles as the site of some of the earliest hominid remains, project plans call for a total of 365 wind turbines to be built there, ultimately generating 300MW – enough clean, renewable, grid-connected electrical power to meet more than 20% of the country’s electricity needs”. To many investors, Kenya looks a particularly promising place for renewable energy projects. As one puts it, “here you can produce wind power at an interesting cost, without subsidies” (via Kenya Wind Farm to Produce Lowest Cost Electricity – CleanTechnica).
Meanwhile, in Germany, development of wind energy has been so fast that many installations are currently on standby to avoid overloading of the national grid.
Even Australia, globally shunned for its long-standing hesitation to act against its contributions to climate change, is now getting on the renewable energies bandwagon, providing the venture capital needed for the Australian clean energy (r)evolution: “Australia’s federal government has appointed Southern Cross Venture Partners to manage the nation’s largest Renewable Energy Venture Capital REVC fund, a key element of the government’s clean energy strategy. The aim of the $200 million Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund is to provide critical, early-stage equity investments to Australian renewable energy start-up companies to help them ‘overcome capital constraints, develop technologies, increase skills and forge international linkages’. (via ECOS Magazine). Surely, considering the potential for renewable energy production in Australia, this tiny sum can only be a start.
Globally, the business case for sustainable power generation is sinking in. Not only is this about becoming more energy self-sufficient. In the 21st century, renewable energy – green and clean technology – innovation will be decisive for countries’ future ability to compete in a resource-constraint global market.
Picture: Wind farm in Kenya, by April Rinne (Flickr, creative commons)
- Green Power: Wind Power Does Not Help To Avert Climate Change (chimalaya.org)
- US central zones potential of Wind Power working as Saudi Arabia Oil Reservoirs (acckkii.wordpress.com)