Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Global Wind Day?

I am a supporter of Wind Energy. I believe that our generation is obliged to seriously increase our generation of clean (or cleaner) energy, whether that be wind, wave, solar, biomass or nuclear. My career is currently dedicated to building teams, growing businesses and ultimately contributing to the growth of the wind energy sector. I spend day in and day out talking to people who already work in companies in the Wind energy supply chain, or who want to work with said companies.

However, I have to admit that Global Wind Day, might have passed me by this year, if it wasn’t for one of my colleagues shouting at me that I should be doing something about it. “It’s your thing”, she said…

So what is the point in Global Wind Day? Essentially I understand that the concept is to raise awareness of wind energy… But what then? Is it aimed at making young people want to work in Wind energy? Is aimed at making local communities want to support the construction of wind turbines in their region (let’s hope some of the local councils are reading this…) or is it aimed at making investors want to invest in the sector?

The success of any of the above relies on extending the message of Global Wind Day beyond the immediate circle that already has a vested interest in the Renewable energy sector. So how have they marketed Global Wind energy day? How have the organisers (EWEA and GWEC with the support of the national Wind Energy associations like BWEA), actually gone about reaching their target markets? How did you read about Global Wind Day (or #GWind09 as it has become on Twitter, which is where, incidentally, I have seen the most activity around Global Wind Day)?

Apparently “thousands of public events will be organised simultaneously” on Monday 15th June 09. But searching via the Global Wind Day website only brought me details of 3 events in the UK. Just 3?! Surely that can’t be the case. (I have to add an NB that two of those events are organised by RES - well done RES). So I turn to BWEA to see what they are doing about this Global Wind Day thing… and there’s nothing on their website. So where is it being publicised? I can only imagine (hope) that things are more proactive on the other side of the pond. The American Wind Energy Associations, does at least lead on their home page with the story “Show Your Support for Wind Energy on Global Wind Day, June 15”…

To be fair, Vestas mentioned the day under “campaigns” on their website. ABB released a press release for a bit of publicity (good on them). But Vestas, ABB and RES are in the minority here, and I don’t see the UK broadsheets or tabloids picking up on this – should they be?

If I was Josephine Bloggs working in an un-related sector, and going out my usual routine – home, car, office, car, gym, car home – only listening to Radio 1 or Radio 4 and scanning The Times at lunchtime, would I have known about Global Wind Day?

The idea of having a “Wind Energy Day” is a great idea for a PR and awareness campaign, but if you’re going to do it, isn’t it worth doing it well? (And I would love to practice what I preach and be more involved next year – if someone from GWEC or EWEA is reading this, give me a shout.)

Let me know what I missed, and how you recognised Global Wind Day yesterday.

By Clare Buxton
Sector Lead for Wind Energy, EcoSearch

Get in touch:
Email: clare.buxton@ecosearchglobal.com
Twitter: @CEBUX
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  1. Well looking at the Green Park Ecotricity turbine this morning whilst passing the M4 & having come back from the Isle of Wight Festival under motor rather than sail yesterday on the boat (not good for the carbon emissions but it beats using the red jet) - there wasn't a tremendous amount of wind to be had this week. Sorry Ecotricity - not many rocs being generated yesterday from your turbine. So that means 2 things - it has to be mixed renewables or I guess we all need to generate more wind ... ? eat more baked beans perhaps?

  2. Hi Clare,

    Great synopsis on World Wind Day - thanks for taking the time for writing what others just thought about.



  3. Thanks for your comment David. I'm glad there are people out there who agree with me!