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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Clean Energy is a Breeze

Wyoming-based Terra Moya Aqua, Inc. (TMA) revealed a vertical wind turbine this week purported to be both more efficient and environmentally friendly. The company says it can make 80 percent more power than the conventional propeller-driven models from the same wind, and that the more compact design creates fewer disruptions for both humans and wildlife.

Wind power generates only about one percent of U.S. energy production. But a single wind turbine can displace 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year. And the power source is inexhaustible. The #1 state for wind energy could win you a bar bet (PDF). (Answer: North Dakota.) Meanwhile, with 21 percent of the population but only eight percent of the world's energy consumption today, China realizes non-carbon energy sources are necessary. Solar is popular.

The Kyoto Protocol might cut into economic growth for some European countries, says a new report by the International Council for Capital Formation (ICCF), sponsored in part by energy and banking groups. Naturally, the countries most affected, such as Spain and Italy, are those furthest away from meeting target emissions reductions. The report (PDF) argues that carbon caps won't encourage private investment in renewable energies; rather, they will increase energy costs, the prices of goods and unemployment.

An alternative to the Kyoto Protocol is the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The partnership is less rigid, and focuses more so on technology, while seeking to accomplish goals similar to the Protocol. But will it work any better? European Commission spokeswoman Barbara Helferrich told the BBC in July 2005: "[The Asia-Pacific pact] is no substitute for agreements like the Kyoto Protocol and we do not expect it to have a real impact on climate change... There will have to be binding global agreements, but on what scale and what basis is yet to be decided."

Gregory Yanick - New York
Greener Magazine Staff Writer

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