Wind Power

Clean energy debate gets super snarky with "Coal Cares" site

Clean energy debate gets super snarky with "Coal Cares" site You may have noticed in recent months that the coal industry has purchased a lot of ad time on cable networks. Many of them are running spots that tout coal as a clean and safe energy source that creates jobs. A group called “Coal Kills Kids” (CKK) is calling shenanigans on the dirty industry with their satiric site called “Coal Cares” that targets the world’s biggest coal company.

Visitors to Coal Cares may think that the site was sponsored by Missouri based Peabody Energy, but it was actually designed by CKK, an offshoot of the Yes Men. The group generates great fun by “Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Our targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else.”

When it comes to wind energy in the UK, all eyes are on Scotland

When it comes to wind energy in the UK, all eyes are on Scotland While wind turbines haven’t gotten a great reception in the US, they are becoming quite common in the European Union (EU). In fact, the EU is on track to have one-half of their power from wind by 2050. The UK doesn’t want to be left out and may have major plans to expand their renewable energy programs in the rainy and windy hills of Scotland.

Google dead serious about green energy, buys 20 years of wind power Google aimed for a while now at reducing the amount of carbon its operations pump into the atmosphere. As the world’s largest search engine that also boasts a sprawling empire of cloud-based software the company certainly has steep power needs. While Google already has some of the most efficient data centers, it’s further affirming a commitment to going carbon neutral by purchasing 20 years worth of wind power from NextEra Energy Resources Story County II facility in Story and Hardin counties in Iowa.

While it isn’t a direct innovation in the renewable energy space, Google is pumping cash into an industry that’s struggling to get financing right now amid the lukewarm economy. That means NextEra will be able to focus on its core competency instead of hunting for new business, and with an established contract spanning 2 decades they should have time to build many other new renewable energy projects.

Wind power pact brings Mitsubishi and green jobs to the UK

Wind power pact brings Mitsubishi & green jobs to the UK The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind power with 600 megawatts of wind capacity and an industry that employs five thousand people. A new partnership with Mitsubishi will add to their clout and has the potential to create thousands of green jobs.

Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe (MPSE) announced plans this week to invest £100m  in a new research and development facility for offshore wind power in Britain. The government made it clear to MPSE that they were dead serious about promoting corporate investment in green energy by kicking in a £30m grant to help them get started. The money comes from a fund dedicated to industrial innovation, job creation, and growth.

Bright ideas for green cell phone technology

Bright ideas for green cell phone technology Green cell phones seem to be the rage among manufacturers these days with phones like Sprint’s Reclaim hitting the market. But how can cell phone users and service providers go green in other ways than offering online manuals or an emerald paint job? One answer may clean or green energy.

2 wind turbines spin out of control in one week

2 wind turbines spin out of control in one week Wind energy has immense potential to offset carbon emissions by generating electricity from a renewable source. But it also comes with its own set of ecological and safety risks. Case in point? Recently in Sweden two turbines spun out of control in the span of a week, flinging out some of their deadly blades.

Luckily in one instance the blade hit the ground and in the other a nearby power transformer, but the risk is obvious. Without proper installations and maintenance wind turbines can pose a safety threat for nearby residents. Bats also suffer in some instances because of the rapid drop in air pressure wind turbines cause.

British political party takes U-Turn on the environment

British political party takes U-Turn on the environmentAs election losses piled up in recent years, Britain’s Conservative party was in desperate need of a makeover. David Cameron emerged from their ranks with the idea of a kinder and greener Conservative party. With a near lock on next May’s election, are Conservatives actually living or selling green?

The revamp began in 2006 with the slogan, “go green, vote blue.” Cameron amped up his public appearances handing out recycling boxes  and began riding his bike to work. His shoes and briefcase, however, traveled in a separate car. The party got back on track working with Labour legislation like the Climate Change Act that legally calls for an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050.

Scientists discover how to avoid bat genocide from wind power

Scientists discover how to avoid bat genocide from wind power Wind turbines popping up in various parts of the globe are a big part of the overall renewable energy movement, but at the same time they’re a deadly problem for nearby bat populations. Bats typically travel at altitudes where wind turbine blades spin and the immediate difference in air pressure is fatal for them.

Solving the problem is deceptively simple, and requires slowing down the turbine blades to a near standstill during low wind periods. Bats would then be able to dodge the blades like they do any other obstacle using sonar and wouldn’t suffer from air pressure differences. Making that single change could amount to a reduction of bat killings by about 60% according to a preliminary study, but what about the energy lost because of those slowdowns?

South Carolina fixes wind power eyesores, pushes turbines offshore

South Carolina fixes wind power eyesores, pushes turbines offshore Many communities struggle with building too many wind farms near residential areas because of the eyesore it creates in an otherwise beautiful view. For South Carolina addressing that concern meant taking wind turbines offshore to a location they’ve been monitoring with sensor buoys since earlier this year. Not to mention the state has fairly low wind speeds on land at an average of less than 10mph.

Data from the buoys isn’t conclusive yet. However South Carolina claims the location is close enough to shore for easy access to maintain the wind turbines, but far enough out to be inside a strong wind belt arcing in from the ocean. The buoys are a preliminary measure and if data from their measurements pans out, the state will invest in another, taller platform to take additional wind measurements.

Vestas closes UK factory from “NIMBY” opposition to wind power

Vestas closes UK factory, “NIMBY” opposition to wind powerOne thing the UK has plenty of is wind, and Vestas Wind Systems planned to harness that energy source by manufacturing turbines. Recently that changed though when the company announced it would be closing a factory on the Isle of Wight because of a lackluster market and not in my back yard (NIMBY) battles.

Workers are fighting the factory closure and asking the government to intervene. They were joined by protesters fighting for climate change and together the two groups hope to convince the government that the growing wind energy industry deserves as much aid as the ailing auto industry.

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