Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

'Wind power revolution' hits Europe as US mulls Keystone XL

A "wind power revolution" is sweeping across North West Europe, reports a leading Dutch energy magazine, and one that could see power capacity equivalent to two and a half Keystone XL pipelines in place by 2020.

"This phenomenal growth," reads a recent European Energy Review (EER) profile, "is mainly due to huge investments in offshore wind power planned by the EU’s three largest economies – the UK, Germany and France."

Europe's offshore wind farms created 3,000 megawatts of power capacity in 2010. That figure will grow to 40,000 megawatts over the next eight years, the European Wind Energy Association predicts.

To put that in perspective, TransCanada's fiercely debated Keystone XL pipeline would create roughly 16,000 megawatts worth of power, according to University of Waterloo professor Jatin Nathwani.

"Offshore wind is only seven, eight years old," Dong Energy CEO Anders Eldrup told EER. "That means there still is a lot of potential."

Big challenges remain. A right-wing government in the Netherlands has cut off funding for offshore wind projects, and daunting costs provide fuel for anti-wind critics across the continent.

But "Germany and France show no signs of wavering," EER reports, and the UK government talks about installing wind capacity far beyond European Wind Energy Association predictions.

The Canadian government, meanwhile, continues to lobby against the European Union's proposed clean fuel legislation, a law officially recognizing that Alberta's oil sands have a high carbon footprint.

"It's discriminatory, it's unfair and it's not based on science," federal natural resources minister Joe Oliver told CTV, shortly after writing a complaint to the European Commission.

The Tyee reported last week on former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell's lead role in this pro-oil sands lobbying campaign.

Geoff Dembicki reports on climate and energy issues for The Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus