Tag: Wind Power

Boris Johnson To Embrace Wind Power After Years Of Saying How Rubbish It Is

Boris Johnson will today pledge that every home in the country will be powered by offshore wind within 10 years, as he commits to a green industrial revolution that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

A noble cause indeed.  But not one the PM has always been an advocate of.

In fact, he’s positively ridiculed wind power on a number of occasions.

Speaking to the Conservative conference, Johnson will say: “I remember how some people used to sneer at wind power, 20 years ago, and say that it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.”

And it’s no surprise he can remember it, because it was him saying it. In 2013 while Mayor of London, he said: “Labour put in a load of wind farms that failed to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

He added: “We now have the opportunity to get shale gas – let’s look at it. It is part of the 2020 vision we have for this city – power generation is vital.”

Johnson also dismissed a call to divest £4.8bn pension fund from oil, coal and gas saying UK needs fracking to avoid relying on energy imports.

Shale gas has since failed to take off but Johnson never failed to grasp an opportunity to knock renewable energy. 

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds an electric vehicle charging cable during a visit to the headquarters of Octopus Energy in London.

Later in 2013, he wrote a column for The Sun on Sunday titled “Turbines won’t do job.. let’s go nuclear, in which he described wind farms as a “disease” that have blighted Britain’s countryside and the UK should instead, you guessed it, embrace fracking.

“It is a good 20 years since I last drove all the way to Scotland and in the interim something unbelievable has been done — in our name — to our green, pleasant and precious countryside. I mean the windmills, the turbines… whatever they are called,” he wrote. 

“I mean the things that look like some hideous Venusian invasion, marching over the moors and destroying the dales. The colossal seaside toys plonked erratically across our ancient landscape.“

But today all that will be forgotten as he embraces renewables. 

The PM will say the coronavirus crisis should be used as a catalyst to make the UK world leader in clean power generation.

The wind power plan will see £160m made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure across areas like Teesside and Humber in northern England, Scotland and Wales as the next generation of turbines are built.

Downing Street said the investment programme “will see around 2,000 construction jobs rapidly created and will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and the supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK”.

Portugal Produced More Renewable Energy Than It Needed Last Month

Last month, Portugal’s renewable energy sources provided more electricity than the country actually needed.

This rather astonishing statistic comes courtesy of Portugal’s national grid (REN) which revealed that in March the country’s wind, solar and hydroelectric plants accounted for 103% of electricity consumption, a figure unmatched in Portugal’s history.

Sadly there were some moments when fossil fuels had to take over to supplement the fact that renewable energy is not a reliably constant source of energy, but overall this compensated for by other periods when renewable energy over-produced.

What’s perhaps most impressive about this news however is that even at its minimum level, renewable energy was covering 86% of national demand and at its maximum it was providing 143% of national demand.

The vast majority of the electricity came from hydroelectric dams and wind which contributed 55% and 42% respectively.

While these months shouldn’t be considered the norm for Portugal just yet, the country’s renewable energy association (APREN) believes that by 2040 renewable energy can safely power the whole of mainland Portugal for the entire year.

Just 10 years after that Portugal has set itself the bold target of becoming completely carbon neutral.

Here in the UK the approach to renewable energy has been enthusiastic but not comprehensive. While Scotland enjoyed some record-breaking months in the last 12-months the country as a whole still suffers from a storage problem.

Because the UK’s weather is so inconsistent there are often times when the production by renewable energy doesn’t meet demand. As such that energy is either wasted or has to be stored.

While Scotland is trialling some experimental large-scale battery solutions, battery storage is still a costly business and to have even a hope of storing enough electricity for the UK we’re probably going to have to wait for more innovation.

The Eiffel Tower Installs Two Wind Turbines

Energy Industry | Wind Power | Wind Turbines


The 126 year old Eiffel Tower is going green! A pair of camouflaged VisionAIR5 wind turbines were installed inside the scaffolding on the second floor, and are expected to generate 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. That’s enough to power the tower’s entire first floor; including history exhibits, a souvenir shop and restaurants. The […]

Possible Dual Rotor Technology for Wind Turbines

Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind Turbines

Dual Rotor Wind Turbine

Iowa State Aerospace Engineers Anupam Sharma and Hui Hu are exploring the possibility of adding a smaller, secondary rotor to wind turbines. The engineers studied the base of existing turbines and found two major problems. First, they are big round structural pieces that don’t harvest any wind energy because they are not shaped like an […]

Meet the Makani Energy Kite

Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind Turbines

Makani Energy Kite

Back in 2013 Google purchased a company called Makani, creators of the Energy Kite. Their goal is to make wind energy pricing competitive with fossil fuels, and they believe a new approach is needed. The Energy Kite is a new type of wind turbine, designed to generate more energy using 90% less materials. “Makani’s energy […]

The Lateral Axis Wind Turbine

Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind TurbinesSri Lankan inventor Leelananda Jayasuriya just sent us this concept for a Lateral Axis Wind Turbine. The turbine functions just like a Ferris Wheel, with the blades orbiting in an epicyclical path around th…