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Onshore Wind Returns Three Times More Usable Energy than Investment in Oil

French investment bank Kepler Chevreux rocked the energy and financial community in late 2014 when it issued a report saying that US$ 100 billion invested in Paul Gipewind energy would deliver more usable energy when used to power passenger vehicles and light trucks than the same amount of investment in oil. Since then that message has begun to resonate from London to Zurich and from Bay Street to Wall Street as the price of oil continues its calamitous collapse

By Paul Gipe, USA

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The Main Reasons Behind Protests Against Wind Energy Projects

The low frequency noise from big wind turbines is being discussed in all parts of the world. In countries with a high population density, like many of those in Preben MaegaardWestern Europe, noise aspects are often the reason that blocks permission to install new wind turbines. In the World Wind Energy Association a discussion concerning wind turbine noise has been going on for some time. However, I believe that social aspects and ownership rather than noise and visual impact may be the main reasons why protests against new wind energy projects emerge at the local level and the local politicians decide against the necessary permissions to install.

By Preben Maegaard, Advisor, Nordisk FolkeCenter, Denmark

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Reliable Grid Support from Wind Power

Renewable energy is still too often seen by the general public as merely an add-on to the power generation fleet: green, Fransvanhulleand (sometimes) economic. At the same time there seems to be a general belief that in a power system with lots of variable renewables a full back-up by conventional power plants or expensive storage solutions is necessary even if (as is likely in the future) large shares of the energy consumption are being provided by wind and solar plants. It is not easy to counter this general misconception, especially because the complexities of the technical discussion about power systems are exacerbated by the variability of wind and solar power.

By Frans Van Hulle, XP Wind, Belgium

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Time to Unlock the Renewables Potential in Iran and Cuba?

Philip TotaroAlthough at the time of writing the US Congress has yet to ratify the ‘Nuclear Deal’ with Iran, the rest of the civilised world seems to be largely on board with it. While it is not strictly illegal for foreign companies to operate in Iran today, threatened sanctions from the USA could have put significant capital investments at risk, so investors were largely turned off. If the Iran Nuclear Deal is fully ratified and sanctions are lifted over time, we can expect to see a reasonably attractive market emerge.

By Philip Totaro, CEO of IntelStor, USA

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Grids, Grid Names and Wind Turbines

Frits OggWind turbines are connected to a grid that transports electricity, heat, water or gas in one way or another. During recent years a lot of grids with ‘marketing’ names such as ECOgrid, Intergrid or Supergrid have showed up. What's in a name? and what does the name mean? How can we communicate if we don't know what the difference is between a microgrid and an ECOgrid and what the role of wind turbines is in a specific electricity grid?

Frits Ogg, Renewable Energy Consultant, The Netherlands

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Global Wind Hits Record Growth

ESteve-Sawyervery year, at about this time, it is my onerous task to put pen to paper to produce the short-term projections from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) for the next five years. Twelve months ago, we forecast that the annual market would be just over 47GW, but we ended up at more than 51GW, as no one was expecting China’s 23GW. For the rest of the world we were reasonably on target, although we expected more of a recovery in the USA than happened in 2014; we hope to see those numbers increase in 2015 and 2016.

Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General, Belgium

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