Global Wind Day

Global Wind Day is celebrated around the world annually on June 15.  Begun in 2007 as just Wind Day, it became Global Wind Day in 2009.  The annual event is sponsored by the Global Wind Energy Council, a wind-energy industry association and WindEurope (formerly the European Wind Energy Association), both located in Brussels, Belgium.

            The purpose of Global Wind Day is to promote the use of renewable energy, particularly wind energy.  According to the official website, “it is a day for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonize our economies and boost jobs and growth.”

            European leadership of this annual event makes sense because Europe is the global leader in virtually all aspects of this renewable industry.  The European industry employs 300,000 people, generates about $72 billion annually and is one of Europe’s largest exports. Wind energy accounts for 15% of Europe’s electricity supply overall, with Denmark leading among individual countries with 47%.  Denmark’s goal is generate all electricity by renewable sources by 2030, most of which would come from wind turbines.

An offshore wind farm in Denmark (photo by Kim Hansen)

            In 2019, total world supply of wind-generated energy reached 591 gigawatts—enough to power the equivalent of every U.S. household, with a lot left over!  According to the Global Wind Day’s sponsors, on-shore wind energy is today the least expensive type of new electrical power to install.  For that reason, the rate of new installations worldwide continues to grow, with 91 countries around the world using wind to produce electricity.  China leads in new installation, with the U.S. second.  China also has the most installed wind capacity, at 221 gigawatts, or about 37% of the world’s total (but that is only about 2% of China’s total electricity production).  Globally, more than 1 million people work in wind energy.

            The growth of the U.S. wind energy sector is impressive, even if the total energy produced is still small.  The U.S. produces about 105 megawatts of wind capacity as of the end of 2019, or about 6.5% of the country’s total electricity production.  Texas leads all states in production, with more than one-quarter of the nation’s total.  Iowa is second (10%), followed by Kansas and California (both with about 5%). The industry grows at about an 18% annual rate, tripling in the last decade, and 60,000 wind turbines are at work in 41 states.  New jobs in the U.S. wind industry are being added at eight times the rate for all jobs, making the sector one of the fastest growing in the nation. 

Wind farm in Idaho, United States (photo by energy.gov)

References:

American Wind Energy Associaton.  Wind Facts at a Glance.  Available at:  https://www.awea.org/wind-101/basics-of-wind-energy/wind-facts-at-a-glance.  Accessed February 26, 2020.

Climate Action Program.  Global Wind Day 2017:  Discover the Power of Wind Energy.  Available at:  http://www.climateactionprogramme.org/news/global-wind-day-2017. Accessed February 26, 2020.

Globalwindday.org.  Global Wind Day.  Available at:  https://globalwindday.org/. Accessed February 26, 2020.

Gronholt-Pedersen, Jacob.  2020.  Denmark sources record 47% of power from wind in 2019.  Reuters, January 2, 2020.  Available at:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-denmark-windpower/denmark-sources-record-47-of-power-from-wind-in-2019-idUSKBN1Z10KE. Accessed February 26, 2020.

WindEurope.  Wind Energy in Europe 2019.  Available at:  https://windeurope.org/about-wind/statistics/european/wind-energy-in-europe-in-2019/#findings.  Accessed February 26, 2020.

This Month in Conservation

February 1
Afobaka Dam and Operation Gwamba (1964)
February 2
Groundhog Day
February 3
George Adamson, African Lion Rehabilitator, Born (1906)
February 4
Congress Overrides President Reagan’s Veto of Clean Water Act (1987)
February 5
National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)
February 6
Colin Murdoch, Inventor of the Tranquilizer Gun, Born (1929)
February 7
Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)
February 8
President Johnson Addresses Congress about Conservation (1965)
February 8
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Leader, Born (1982)
February 9
U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)
February 10
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, born (1944)
February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 12
Judge Boldt Affirms Native American Fishing Rights (1974)
February 13
Thomas Malthus Born (1766)
February 14
Nature’s Faithful Lovers
February 15
Complete Human Genome Published (2001)
February 16
Kyoto Protocol, Controlling Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Begins (2005)
February 16
Alvaro Uglade, Father of Costa Rica’s National Parks, Born (1946)
February 17
Sombath Somphone, Laotian Environmentalist, Born (1952)
February 17
R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)
February 18
Julia Butterfly Hill, Tree-Sitter, Born (1974)
February 18
World Pangolin Day
February 19
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)
February 20
Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)
February 21
Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)
February 22
Nile Day
February 23
Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)
February 24
Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)
February 25
First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)
February 26
Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)
February 27
International Polar Bear Day
February 28
Watson and Crick Discover The Double Helix (1953)
February 29
Nature’s Famous Leapers
January February March April May June July August September October November December