Global Wind Day is celebrated on June 15, with hundreds of events organized around the world designed to help promote wind power energy and it's potential for creating a sustainable environment. The worldwide observance was originally coordinated in 2009 by The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) through a network of partners.
According to the Global Wind Day 2013 Report, past activities have ranged from kite flying in Greece to wind farm visits in Mexico. There was also worldwide participation in the Global Wind Day photo competition, which received over 1,000 submissions from 67 countries. Individuals were asked to send in their photo accompanied by a short story describing what wind energy means to them. Their passion and dedication to promoting wind energy was illustrated through a number of powerful photos.
Global Wind Day efforts highlight the power of wind as it gains popularity. The Global Wind Energy Council website states that wind power is used to generate energy from clean and renewable sources at wind farms operating in more than 80 countries around the world. An article by National Geographic shares the predictions by industry experts that if the current pace of growth continues, one third of the world's electricity needs will be met by wind power by 2050.
Wind power in the U.S.
The growth in adoption of wind power around the world leaves many wondering what the future might hold for wind power in the United States. According to an Energy Department report, there are nine states that rely on wind power for more than 12 percent of their total annual electricity consumption. Increasing wind power in the U.S. has long been a goal of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Program. In 2008 the DOE released the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report that presents a scenario for reaching 20% wind electricity by 2030, examining costs, major impacts and challenges.
Recognizing a need to move the wind power industry ahead, the DOE launched a 2013 initiative to revisit the findings of the initial report. The DOE plans to look at industry progress and identify how recent developments and trends impact the 2008 conclusions and use these results in the development of a long-term vision for the U.S. wind power community. The revised report is planned for release by the end of 2014.
One of the greatest outcomes of Global Wind Day is the collaboration among different countries, organizations and individuals in promoting the benefits of implementing wind power. Teamwork is also essential in securing the future of wind power in the United States. Over 150 wind energy companies and organizations have come together in partnership with the DOE Wind Program to help in the development of the revised vision. These companies include equipment manufacturers, environmental organizations, research institutions, and federal, state, and local government agencies.
Partnership is also a main tenet of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association for the U.S. wind industry. The AWEA annual conference, WINDPOWER, is the largest wind energy trade show in North America with over 8,000 attendees. The conference gives wind energy professionals the opportunity to come together to generate actionable ideas for expanding the U.S. wind energy economy through technology and collaboration.
A bright outlook
According to the AWEA U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2014 Market Report, the American wind energy industry installed 214 megawatts (MW) during the first three months of 2014, more than the industry installed the first nine months of 2013. The U.S. now has an installed wind capacity of 61,327 MW and there are over 13,000 MW currently under construction, which is an industry record. The future of wind power in the U.S. looks bright and through initiatives such as Global Wind Day and the DOE program the industry can continue to increase its presence not online in the United States, but around the world.