William Wordsworth would have had us wonder at the power and beauty of nature. It is now, finally, becoming apparent that we are getting that message. Instead of drilling and digging for our power, with all of the attendant environmental nightmares that accompany that, or fissioning it, a manifestly dangerous and wasteful process, we are learning how to work with nature and its bounty. As the late Barry Commoner would’ve said, we are finally “making peace with the planet.”
The European Wind Energy Association announced last week that the European Union has passed a major milestone: 100 gigawatts of installed wind power capacity. The EWEA press release had some very interesting statistics to report, for instance:
100 GW of wind power can produce the same amount of electricity over a year as:
- 62 coal power plants, or
- 39 nuclear power plants, or
- 52 gas power plants.
The EU and the other European countries account for a major slice of the pie of global installed wind power capacity. We’re approaching 300 GW now, with projections for nearly 500 GW by 2016, according to the Global Wind Energy Council here.
When someone – and it will inevitably be someone tied to the fossil fuel or nuclear special interests – tries to foist the big lie on you that renewables can’t cut it, tell her to check the stats.