Favourable wind behind green technologies

Ellie Zolfagharifard
Senior reporter

With the World Cup action underway, fans hoping to catch England’s goals will hope that wind power proves more reliable than ITV’s HDTV, which suffered an embarassing glitch minutes into England’s opening game on Saturday evening.

In a first for the World Cup, one of the venues hosting the tournament is being powered by wind energy. Promoting the message of ’green power’, around 25 Vestas-built wind turbines will be offering around 1.8 megawatt (MW) of clean energy each for the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

But the reliability of wind energy is also on the agenda further afield this week as countries including China, Canada and the Czech Republic get involved in thousands of events to celebrate Global Wind Day and raise awareness of the technology.

Organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the event, being held tomorrow, will see simultaneous campaigns launched to boost investment in all things wind powered.

‘Wind Day has grown in popularity since its launch in 2007 because wind power itself is breaking all records,’ said Christian Kjaer, chief executive of EWEA. ‘In Europe more wind power was installed in the last two years than any other energy-generating technology. There is spectacular growth in China, the US and elsewhere. It’s a global success story.’

In Poland, inflatable wind turbines eight metres high will be placed in front of government offices around the country, whilst EWEA has put up a 29m turbine blade in the middle of the Schuman roundabout next to the European Commission and European Council in Brussels.

While much of the focus of the events will be onshore wind, recent reports have suggested that focus on the Britain’s offshore sector could make UK the “Saudi Arabia of the renewables world”.

Over the past few months, a number of major engineering groups, including GE and Siemens have announced plans to build turbine manufacturing facilities in the UK. Our latest in-depth report takes a look at how the Britain is set to lead in this area.