Top Ten Wind Cleantech Programs Globally

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Wind energy has been a highly attractive form of renewable energy that is free and easy to harness. Large scale utilization of wind energy will greatly reduce global warming as well as climate change. Many countries around the world are implementing wind initiatives and programs, in an effort to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and lower the rising costs of energy.

1) Spanish Wind Power Association. Ranked number three in the world for wind power capacity, behind only the United States and Germany, Spain has been quick to utilize the best alternative resource they own, wind. The Spanish Wind Power Association has stated that more than 40 percent of the country’s total GDP comes from the wind power sector and will continue to rise about 45 percent by the year 2021. With more than 50 companies devoted to wind energy, they provide the country over $5 billion in revenue.

2) African Wind Energy Association. Although Africa is not often noted as a major wind power player, the truth is that the continent has large possibilities for the large scale development of wind capabilities. The African Wind Energy Association strives to offer support to local governments, wind energy manufacturers and developers, renewable energy owners, and private individuals to endorse as well as support development of wind energy throughout Africa. The African Wind Energy Association represents the entire African wind energy sector and plays an integral role between the cooperation of wind energy companies and other players.

3) American Wind Energy Association. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the primary source of the wind energy industry throughout the United States. This national trade association represents a number of wind power project developers, services providers, equipment suppliers, parts manufacturers, researchers, utility companies, and other players involved in the wind energy industry. Through education, communication, and advocacy, the association looks to increase promotion of this form of renewable energy. They provide necessary information on different legislative priorities, government programs, and other information to increase the utilization of harnessed wind energy.

4) European Wind Energy Association. Much like the American Wind Energy Association, the European Wind Energy Association is an active promoter in the use of wind power throughout the European continent. Headquartered in Brussels, the association is marked for its close proximity to top European offices of decision maters. The association “coordinates international policy, communications, research and analysis and provides various services to support members’ requirements…EWEA analyses, formulates and establishes policy positions for the wind industry on key issues, cooperating with industry and research institutions on a number of market development and technology research projects.”

5) South African Wind Energy Association. The biggest goal of the South African Wind Energy Association it to eliminate obstructions deterring to implementation of wind energy projects in the country. Because of the country’s heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels, SAWEA has been extremely active in retaining renewable wind energy policies in the government, as well as the promotion of the harnessing of wind energy for both large and small scale applications.

6) South Korean Taegisan Wind Power Plant. South Korea has been doing all it can to promote its plans for green growth and lowering carbon emissions, and the Taegisan Wind Farm Project is part of the national plan. The project commenced in 2008 and has provided enough wind energy for more than 25,000 households, and has decreased overall carbon emissions by more than 60,000 tons per year. To pay for this program and expand it, South Korea has looked for multiple investments, including the 2009 loan provided by Japan’s Mizuho Corporate Bank that covered approximately 60 percent of the expansion costs.

7) Vestas Company. Denmark houses one of the most internationally recognized wind power companies – Vestas. It is listed as number one in providing modern energy based from wind, and is popular for its adherence to safety standards, customer satisfaction, environmentally friendly production, and top-quality power plant performance. Vestas’ main project is to provide wind energy across the global platform and ensure that wind power remains at the head of the renewable energy agenda. Vesta promotes the utilization of wind energy via dialogue with politicians, interest groups, public service, and a variety of non-governmental organizations.

8 ) Chile’s Canela II. Chili, known for its strong winds, created Canella II in 2009. This project seeks to eliminate more than 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Developed by Endesa Eco., the largest Chilean energy company, this project is part of a larger scale renewable energy project, Canella II houses more than 40 wind turbines and looks to become an important source of energy consumption for the future.

9) Wind Energy Forecasting Capability Initiative. Created by the Australian government’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Wind Energy Forecasting capability Initiative offers millions of dollars in the support of the “development and installation of software and systems for the effective forecasting of wind energy generation in Australian power systems.” It has funded a variety of research and development projects to assist with the development of a wind energy forecasting system, including studies into Australian wind patterns, long term research, and other weather prediction systems supporting wind energy forecasting.

10) European Industrial Initiative on Wind Energy. The goal of the European Industrial Initiative on Wind Energy is to “improve the competitiveness of wind energy technologies, to enable the exploitation of the offshore resources…and to facilitate grid integration of wind power.” This initiative hopes to increase wind energy consumption throughout the European Union by 20 percent by the year 2020. Some of the technology objectives include “new turbines and components to lower investment, operation and maintenance costs; grid integration techniques for large-scale penetration of variable electricity supply, [and]resource assessment and spatial planning to support wind energy deployment.”

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at shawn@watershedcapital.com

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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