Global Status of Windpower

Navigant Research has released its annual 180+ page BTM wind report International Wind Energy Development: World Market Update 2012.

Among the report’s findings:

·        More than 285 GW of wind power is now installed globally:

  • 45GW of new capacity was added in 2012, including 1.1 GW from offshore wind;
  • The United States surpassed China as the largest market in terms of new installations in 2012;
  • Europe lost its position as the largest world region in terms of new installations;
  • Wind installations in the Americas grew by 12.3 percent compared with 2011;
  • The penetration of wind power in the world’s electricity supply has reached 2.62 percent;
  • However, there are storm clouds on the five-year horizon.  The study, for the second year in a row, projects a reduction in market size for the upcoming 5-year period. The World Market Update 2012 forecasts that 241,620 MW will be added through 2017, 10 percent less than the forecast made in 2011.


Upcoming Green Teacher Webinars on Climate Change Education

The Importance of Place in Climate Change Education

Thursday, April 25, 2013
7:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Eastern Time (EDT)
Presenter: Kristen Iverson Poppleton

Place is an important tool when teaching climate change, and connecting the two makes the climate change immediately relevant and personal. Kristen will speak broadly on place-based education and climate change.  She will provide specific examples of how the Will Steger Foundation connects Minnesota educators and their students with Minnesota as their place, makes them aware of how climate change is impacting them, and helps them develop ways they can implement solutions in their schools and communities. 


For free registration for this or other upcoming webinars, visit



(This will be our third climate change webinar for youth educators.   The archived version of the following two previous ones remain VERY popular with Green Teacher subscribers:


Deep Climate Change Education: Learning and Teaching for Personal and Social Transformation”  
Presenters: David Selby and Fumiyo Kagawa   
Suitability: All formal and non-formal youth educators


“Energy Education: How & Why?”
Presenter: Pat Higby     
Suitability: Formal and non-formal educators, grades 2-12


(You can learn more about both of these webinars on our website via the above link.)


Derecho Internacional y Cambio Climático


FLACSO Argentina


Adaptation Fund


 El Posgrado en Derecho y Economía del Cambio Climático

abre la inscripción al curso:


Derecho Internacional y Cambio Climático


El curso sobre Derecho Internacional y Cambio Climático será dictado por el Embajador Raúl Estrada Oyuela y Soledad Aguilar y suma 30 horas de crédito para el Posgrado en Derecho y Economía del Cambio Climático.

Participarán como panelistas invitados: Marcia Levaggi (Gerente del Fondo de Adaptación), Daniel Gallagher (Oficial del Fondo de Adaptación), Eugenia Recio(consultora experta en REDD+) y John Costenbander (Climate Focus).

Más información e inscripción: 

100 Views of Climate Change Site

Educators, especially at the college and high school level, should check out the resources available at 100 Views of Climate Change, a site developed by Colorado State University. The site includes 100s of videos, book suggestions, website links, and suggestions for how society and individuals can address climate change.

Carbon Tax in China?

A senior official in China’s Ministry of Finance has announced that China intends to introduce a set of environmental taxes, including one on carbon dioxide, providing some more grist for China and carbon tax lectures in climate change courses. Details of the tax remain sketchy; however, it’s likely to be an extremely modest given a proposal by the Ministry in 2011 that would have initially set such a tax at at 10 yuan ($1.60) per ton of carbon, rising to only 50 yuan ($8) per ton by 2020.  The proposal would initially add less than $1 to the price of a ton of coal, rising to about $4.40 by 2020. By contrast, coal in China currently trades for around $86.50 a ton.

Also, the Financial Ministry has raised the possibility of more modest taxes for specially affected industries, which as we have seen in the context of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, often results in excessive protection of industry that, in reality, faces little threat of carbon leakage. Moreover, Chinese provinces have a proclivity for obviating the bite of taxes and fees on industry to attract or keep them within their jurisdictions.

A recent study by the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning projected that a carbon tax rate of 20 yuan per ton of carbon could reduce Chinese carbon emissions by 4.5% of the nation’s 2010 emissions.  A 50 yuan per ton assessment could reduce emissions by a hefty 9.5% of 2010 emissions, or 18.6% below baseline in 2030.  The study also indicated that economic impacts would be de minimis and would stimulate the development of new industries. Moreover, a 50 yuan tax would raise approximately 180 yuan in revenue that could be used for projects to reduce carbon emissions and develop innovative energy technologies.

It will be interesting to see if the Chinese have the will to enact a carbon tax high enough to send a price signal that incentivizes fuel switching and technological innovation. It will also be interesting to see how it stitches together a carbon tax with its pilot emissions trading system and other initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, success may portend more substantive commitments than those proffered under the Copenhagen Accord, but only time will tell.



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Climate Change Science in the Classroom

There’s an excellent piece in today’s edition of Inside Climate News today about new national science standards ( that will make the teaching of global warming part of the public school curriculum in the United States.

Wind Power Overblown?

Wind power is often touted as one of the “wedges” that will help us de-carbonize the global economy over the course of this century. However, a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters by Professors Amanda Adams and David Keith is a cautionary tale about the long-term prospects for wind power deployment in the face of potential physical constraints of the resource. The study assessed how reduction in wind speed associated with wind turbine scales reduces the capacity factor (CF), defined as “the ratio of actual power given the prevailing winds to the amount that would be produced if the turbines operated continuously as their maximum rated output.” Among the key take-aways from the study:

  1. Each wind turbine creates a “wind shadow” in which the air is slowed down by drag on the turbine’s blades. While discrete wind farms are able to compensate for this phenomenon by spacing them sufficiently to reduce the impact of wind shadows, this becomes more problematic and wind farms grow larger and start to interact. At this point regional wind patterns become more relevant;
  2. “Extraction of energy by wind turbine arrays is limited by the physics of atmospheric energy transport.” This suggests that maximum energy extraction from turbine arrays  of very large wind power installations (larger than 100 square kilometers) is approximately 1 Wm-2 This suggest that recent estimates of wind power capacity of 56-148 TW may be high overestimated by a factor of as much as four;
  3. Wind power installations that could generate huge amounts of power, such as 100 TW, would also have profound effects on global wind patterns that could potentially be larger than the impacts of a doubling of carbon dioxide;
  4. The research here suggests a need for additional studies of realistic economic and social constraints of wind power siting, as well as potential climatic impacts of wind power extraction, to assess the resource’s ultimate potential.