Earth & Science

NGO Introduces Wind Energy Consumer Label

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Made By Wind. Politics and consumption have long been part of the same realm. Labels such as ‘Recycled,’ ‘Organic’ and ‘Fair Trade’ witness this. And now there’s another label in town.

WIND. New label promises to tell consumers if products have been manufactured using wind energy. Photo, WindMade.org

With the launch of WindMade — an NGO funded by Lego, the UN, Vestas and others — a new label promises to tell consumers if products have been manufactured using wind energy. What that means exactly is still unclear, but terms of use as well as specific requirements are said to be revealed at the official WindMade label launch at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 28 January.

Edit: 01/25/2011. The standard used to qualify manufacturers for using the label will not be completed before June 15, 1011, according to WindMade.

You can read up on the new label at the HuffPo, in a Vestas press release (Danish) or at the official WindMade website.

In the meantime, maybe we could think about this:

What does solar power manufacturers such as GermanSolar think about a move implying that clean energy is wind energy?

So far the German manufacturer has been silent (German), but I can’t imagine solar business to be thrilled.

Don’t they want in?

The launch of WindMade, funded and marketed by Danish windmill giant Vestas among others, seems to me to be the first shot fired in what could be a burgeoning war over symbols.

Such a war would be a benign one. We are, after all, talking about boosting growth in renewable energies here.

But if Vestas is successful in branding clean energy as primarily wind-based energy, there is a big chance that solar, tidal or geothermal energy manufacturers will suddenly find themselves standing in the shade of one of those big whooping windmills for a long time.

Striving to dominate mainstream clean energy discourses is a bold and clever move by Vestas (who could use a bit of tailwind after the massive layoffs and catastrophic second quarter financial report which filled Danish media with bad press for most of 2010.)  And it may also prove to be a great way of funding the climate from bottom-up instead of COP-down.

But why did Lego, the UN and WWF accept this wind-bias? And what does Siemens say? Are they simply too involved with manufacturing generators for coal plants to be political about this?

I wouldn’t prefer a label called ‘ChickenOrganic’ to the more inclusive one, ‘Organic.’ Neither do I think it would be very realistic to rely on wind technologies alone to provide the clean energy we’ll all need in the future.

But WindMade — that does sound pretty cool. And I’m stoked to see someone taking action like this.

Written by Earth & Science

January 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

One Response

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  1. […] In a recent press conference at Davos, Georg Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact, responded to a question similar to the one I posed here on Earth & Science in a previous post: […]


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