A report by independent wind energy research group EMBER has shown that renewables are generating more energy than fossil fuels in Europe for the time ever.
The research shows that 21% of electricity in Europe is generated from wind and solar sources, with the comparative figures for China, India and Japan at just 10% and the United States slightly higher at 12%.
In total, renewables accounted for 40% of the EU’s power from January to June 2020, with fossil fuels contributing 34%, with figures also showing a moderate fall in coal consumption since the onset of Covid-19.
EMBER analyst Dave Jones said ‘’countries across the world are now on the same path – building wind turbines and solar panels to replace electricity from coal and gas-fired power plants’’ but warns that the pace of change is not fast enough to keep up with emissions targets. The full report can be read here.
A consortium of experts from Germany, Turkey and Spain have teamed up to develop a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) system which helps to optimize windmill safety and energy generation.
The consortium, known as the Smartwind Project says its AI system carefully monitors the technical components and functioning of wind farms and can identify signs of overheating or technical malfunctions, which can be expensive to repair.
The AI system can also calculate how wind turbines should be rotated so that as few turbines as possible are in the wind shadow of the other, allowing for more efficient energy generation in the long term.
The technology is currently being tested by Turkish wind farm operator Zorlu Enerji, with the hope of making the system available to other businesses in the coming years. For more about the Smartwind Project visit their website.
Internet retailer Amazon has announced it is investing in a new 115-megawatt (MW) wind farm project in Ardderroo in Co Galway, which will begin operating in 2022.
This is in addition to existing projects being undertaken by Amazon in counties Cork and Donegal which are due to be realised in September 2020 and early 2022 respectively.
When all of these sites are operational, Amazon expects them to generate an additional 229 MW of renewable energy for the Irish grid each year.
The company previously announced its ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by 366,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and to produce enough renewable energy to power 185,000 Irish homes annually.
Amazon has announced it hopes its Irish operations will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025, with a goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the targets set out under the Paris Agreement.
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