A recent winter storm helped pushed Germany to new wind generation heights, while Ireland, and the United Kingdom hit the wind record books also. Winter storm Xaver was a key underlying reason in Germany’s new bench mark set on December 6th with 26,000 MW of wind energy electricity generated.
Xaver, which caused reputable damage of between €1.4 and €1.9 billion Euros, including flooding, and torn buildings, provided a stern test of wind energy systems during extreme weather events:
“Perhaps the most interesting thing about the storm in terms of wind power is that it shows how much more wind power capacity we can withstand. The record peak was still not even one third of peak demand at the time, suggesting that Germany might be able to have three times the current level of wind power–100 GW–installed before large amounts of wind power would have to be stored.”
Meanwhile, on November 8th at 8 am, Ireland reached a new milestone when 1,564 MW of wind energy was created. It handled more than 45% of the country’s energy demand during the time frame.
Kenneth Matthews, Chief Executive of the Ireland Wind Energy Association noted the important steps he sees for wind energy as a way to fight climate change, while creating exciting new economic opportunities. He said Ireland’s wind industry has created 3,400 new jobs.
The United Kingdom too, in December saw a wind record fall. On December 2nd, 7,800 gas-fired power plants shut down that morning as wind provided 14% of the country’s electricity. UK officials are aiming to have 15% of its energy source come from renewable sources by 2020 while tripling their wind energy.
Considering a recent study pointing to 64% of British being in “stealth denial” of climate change, continuing to promote renewable energy, like wind as a catalyst for economic growth, certainly would further help in promoting climate change issues.
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