US Wind Jobs Are Booming

View from Inside Hannah HuntThe USA is poised for major growth in the wind industry over the next four years. In fact, a new report by Navigant Consulting shows that by 2020 there could be nearly a quarter of a million wind-related US jobs and US$ 85 billion in additional economic activity thanks to wind. US wind power is positioned to continue booming in the years ahead. Jobs are growing, new construction is driving billions in private investment, and wind remains on track to supply 10% of the country’s electricity by 2020.

By Hannah Hunt, Senior Analyst, AWEA, USA

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What is the point of big conferences?

Peter RaeAfter wishing all readers a very ‘Happy New Year’ both from the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and from me as its President, I want to pose the question: What is the point of big conferences? My reply is given particularly in relation to WWEA’s 2016 conference, which was held in Tokyo late last year under the skilful organising chairmanship of Prof. Chuichi Arakawa of the University of Tokyo.

By Peter Rae, President of the World Wind Energy Association, Australia

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Integrated Software Tools Ready to Tackle Design Challenges for European Offshore Wind Power

FransvanhulleDespite the abundance of space for building wind farm capacity to tap the enormous offshore wind resources, planning and designing the fittest for purpose offshore wind farms and clusters requires powerful software tools. Two recently concluded European projects came up with interesting answers to the challenges of producing such tools.

By Frans Van Hulle, XP Wind, Belgium

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The global trend towards auctions – will it kill decentralised renewable energy?

Stefan GsangerRenewable energies have now become widely accepted as key energy sources, even by most of their previous opponents. However, the main actors and drivers of renewable energy are now under attack. In the recent past, the renewable energy community has been challenged by a trend towards ‘competitive’ auctions for renewable power generation. The term in itself is misleading as it implies that auctions automatically lead to more competition, and that other instruments like feed-in tariffs lack competition. Both are untrue.

By Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General, WWEA, Germany

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The Need for Gas Power Storage in an All-Electric World

Frits OggEnergy consumers such as e-transport and stationary applications such as the telecom base infrastructure have a heavy power demand and therefore need either strong local generators or a stable and powerful electrical grid. This is often a problem, especially in those parts of the world with an unreliable supply and/or no grid. Loads from electrical vehicles have to be peak shifted and for a 24/7 electricity supply there has to be a back-up. It is not realistic to expect that the electricity supply will become more reliable everywhere in the near future because of the delays due to costs.

By Frits Ogg, Renewable Energy Consultant, The Netherlands

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A Plan for Electrifying Africa

Eddie O'ConnorTwo out of three people across sub-Saharan Africa have no reliable access to electricity. The most striking feature of our contemporary world is the contrast between Europe and the USA, which are awash with savings, and Africa, which is chronically short of investment capital. A developed world sunk in what economists call secular stagnation and an African continent unable to realise its economic potential.

By Eddie O’Connor, CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power

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