Typical Wind Farm Supports Nearly 1,100 Jobs

A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the USA has shown that in the country wind farms generate not just energy but 1,000 jobs at a ‘typical’ site. Other countries have found that incorporating renewable energy into their electricity grid can help generate power efficiently while helping to revitalize areas that have not found economic success in the modern world.

A new 250-megawatt wind farm will create 1,079 jobs throughout the many steps of building that wind farm, according to the NRDC report “American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production.” These are positions in manufacturing, construction engineering and management, among other areas.

But the benefits don’t end there, a separate NRDC study on the secondary impacts of the wind energy industry shows.

Wind farms also are helping revitalize communities across the country by generating new taxes, lease payments to landowners and economic development revenues, in addition to creating new job opportunities, the NRDC report “At Wind Speed: How the U.S. Wind Industry is Rapidly Growing Our Local Economies,” shows. The report profiles four communities from Ohio to Oregon that have benefitted from the wind industry.

Read more at the NRDC.

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Germany’s Sustainable Energy Grid Keeps Improving

In May, Germany was able to supply 50% of their national energy consumption using renewable power sources. That was remarkable in itself given the size of Germany in both industrial and population size.

Now, it’s been announced that for the first half 2012 Germany produced 67.9 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy which makes up a quarter of all energy production this far into the year.

Biomass, or material acquired from living organisms, accounted for 5.7 percent and solar technology for 5.3 percent.

Solar energy saw the biggest increase, up 47 percent from the previous year. Germany is the world’s top market for power converted from solar radiation and its installed capacity accounts for more than a third of the global total.

Germany aims to derive 35 percent of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2035.

Link for more info.

Thanks to Reddit, here’s a website that tracks energy production by type.

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Renewable Energy Boosts Profits for UK Farmers

Farmers in the UK have benefited from complimenting their growing of crops with renewable energy production. Some farmers have installed wind turbines and others solar, but the result is the same: farmers can keep farming and profit from energy production.

Renewable energy is promising to overtake rural tourism as a secondary income for the agricultural sector, with 200 megawatts of power – enough for 40,000 households – installed, according to joint research by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and NatWest bank.

They found that one in six farmers will have solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in place by the middle of this year and one in five will be producing clean electricity by this date. If this trend continues, as much as 15% of all UK electricity from renewable sources come from the land by the end of this decade, they believe.

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Germany Achieves 50% of Power Consumption from Renewable Sources

Germany continues to show the rest of the industrialized world how to be economical successful thanks to sound energy policy. This past week the country achieved a symbolic victory in their campaign to be a more efficient country and had 50% of the energy consumed come from renewable energy sources.

Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources.

Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Link to Reuters article.

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Japan’s Largest Solar Power Plant: 70MW

Japan is about to build a new solar power plant and it’ll their largest one to date. The country is trying to improve their power grid and make it more sustainable after the nuclear disaster last year. Great to see progress!

The new plant, which will be called the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega-Solar Power Plant, is expected to take up approximately 314 acres, though drawings show most of that space will be over water, either by constructing a floating barge or building up the seabed below. Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 70MW of electricity (enough to power 22,000 homes) which would make it Japan’s largest such facility, and perhaps more tellingly, would amount to 40% of Japan’s total current solar electrical output.

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