For the past two years, 40 percent of all new electricity generating capacity in Europe came from wind turbines — more than any other source. And although only five percent of Europe’s electricity is now produced by wind turbines, that figure is expected to rise to 15 percent by 2020 and to 50 percent by 2050.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360
, Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association, describes the combination of government policies, entrepreneurial vision, and public support that have enabled wind to become Europe’s leading form of green energy. Increasingly, says Kjaer, as old power plants fired by coal and natural gas reach the end of their lives, they are being replaced by wind and solar power. The economic benefits of this transition, says Kjaer, are indisputable, with nearly 200,000 people currently employed in the European wind power sector and 450,000 expected to work in the industry by 2020. “The winners of tomorrow’s energy wars are going to be those who understand how to develop new technology, deploy new technology, and get the benefits of exporting that technology to the rest of the world,” says Kjaer.
Read the interview
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Antarctica and the Arctic
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.