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Published on March 14th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Putin Can’t Turn Off Europe’s Wind

March 14th, 2014 by  

So said the President of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), Andrew Garrad, at EWEA’s annual conference in Barcelona.


Of course, this was in reference to the potential European energy problems that come from the turmoil in Ukraine, but it really makes a much broader point: wind energy and solar energy provide better energy security. For one, the energy sources are local. Secondly, they’re extremely distributed. As military leaders have emphasized for years, you can’t shut down an electricity grid by bombing or hacking a wind turbine or solar panel system.

Coming back to Garrad’s comments, he stated: “Mr Putin can and perhaps will turn off the tap that supplies Western Europe with oil and gas but even Mr Putin bare-chested, or fully clothed cannot turn off the tap that supplies our wind, our free indigenous fuel. It seems however that some politicians would rather line Mr Putin’s pockets than agree an ambitious target for renewables for 2030.”

He also added: “every one of you, if you live within the European Union, pays 2 euros a day to pay for imports of fossil fuel from outside the European Union. If you aggregate that, that’s roughly a billion euros every day we are paying for outside fuels. Our industry brings energy independence and huge savings.”

Diarmaid Williams of Power Engineering International noted that Garrad also discussed how renewables such as wind help to tackle global warming and the catastrophic effects of climate change, referencing the Philippines in particular. But he emphasized that Garrad put more focus on the story surrounding the Ukraine than anything else. Garrad wrote: “He was particularly keen to emphasise how present European governmental discomfort could have been alleviated if the bloc had been more aggressive in pursuing its renewable power potential instead of continuing to import fossil fuels from its eastern neighbour.”

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Photo Credit: MATEUS_27:24&25 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA 


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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