Climate change is not ‘a problem’ waiting for ‘a solution’. It is an environmental, It is an environmental, cultural, and political phenomenon which is reshaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity’s place on Earth. — Mike Hulme
One of the REconomy Project’s aims is to find new ways that communities can provide support and investment to local enterprises, who in turn offer benefits back to the community – not just in terms of jobs – but also strengthened local resilience, minimal environmental impacts and fairer ways of trading and profit-sharing.
"We can't do it as an individual, but four hundred communities aggregating and asking for local wind power and solar power — that's really powerful." Oak Park, IL, is one of hundreds of Illinois towns using their authority to buy electricity in bulk on behalf of its residential and s
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the linkages between the technological, market and political environment in the wind power industry, and their contribution to market diffusion.
The evaluation is based on a literature review of the wind power industry and policy issues in selected countries, patent and financial analyses of leading European firms, and semi-structured interviews of energy experts.
The results reveal that the industry is policy-driven, and appropriate energy politics are crucial in continuing the rapid wind power market diffusion during the next decades. Wind power technologies are in an accelerating stage of evolution, and competitive technologies contribute to market diffusion and firms’ financial performance. However, without adequate energy subsidies and emission trading schemes the industry will not be competitive in the energy markets, where other energy sources, including fossil fuels, are also subsidized.
This case focuses mainly on the leading European industry actors and has a European perspective in policy issues. The analyses are limited to the main support mechanisms and countries where the diffusion of renewable energy has been rapid.
The wind power industry is still in the emerging phase in its life-cycle, and well-planned and efficiently implemented public support schemes are needed in order for the firms to compete successfully in the markets. The industry will propably be competitive without subsidies in 10-20 years.
"In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2"
The cost of wind power in the U.S. is at an all-time low of 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, and utility companies are in some cases electing to use wind as an energy source over fossil fuels because of its low cost. Although wind power grew modestly in 2013 — installations were only 8 percent of those seen in the record year of 2012 — it now meets 4.5 percent of U.S. energy needs, producing enough electricity to power 16 million homes. The country ranks second only to China in installed wind capacity, the report says, and wind power accounts for 33 percent of all new U.S. electric capacity additions since 2007. That progress has been heavily dependent on federal, state, and local incentives, however, and wind power's growth could slow if those incentives expire. Its viability could also fall if natural gas becomes more affordable than wind, the report cautions.
This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.