Global Wind Day, celebrated on 15 June, provides the public with an opportunity to discover the benefits of wind energy and to learn more about the technology. This year we also put the spotlight on energy dependence. The six biggest fossil fuel importers in the world - the EU, China, the US, Japan, Korea and India - spend over $1,680 billion per year to import polluting coal, oil and gas.
"Recent events in Ukraine have shown us once again that reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports and replacing them with renewable energy has become an urgent matter. Not only does this make sense in terms of increased energy security but it also helps to avert catastrophic climate change; and the economics of wind has become very attractive", said Steve Sawyer, GWEC secretary general.
Importing coal, oil and gas is not only expensive, it also has a number of disadvantages, such as increased CO2 emissions and pollution; vulnerability to price fluctuations on the world market; supply disturbances and becoming exposed to political decisions and pressure. Many energy importing countries are desperately seeking to diversify their energy mix. The good news is that renewable energy can completely or partially replace imported energy, thereby enhancing their energy security. Access to affordable and secure local energy supply can also enable growth in developing countries and creates much needed jobs.
"In Europe, each person is spending over €2 per day to import energy", commented Thomas Becker, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association. "Wind energy can help reduce these imports, increasing energy security while bringing jobs and cleaner air," he added.
On Sunday 15 June, Global Wind Day will play host to a wide range of events around the world. From family picnics in Canberra to wind energy seminars in Tehran, there is something for everyone. Why not take part in a golf tournament in Ontario, visit a wind farm in Germany or check out an art exhibition in a wind turbine in Estonia?
Speaking at RenewableUK's Global Offshore conference in Glasgow, Chris Morgan, CEO of RES Offshore, said:
"Global wind day is a great opportunity to reflect on the significance of wind in the global energy mix. Independence and security of supply are important in a world where energy is becoming increasingly politicized. Wind energy, both onshore and offshore will play an increasingly important role in supplying our future energy needs. Using our wind resource to provide clean power will not only increase our energy security but will also bring investment, provide long term jobs and deliver a low carbon future."