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WindMade: Two from Davos

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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:

Is there a risk that WindMade can get into a battle with solar?

Kell answers by calling WindMade a “pathbreaker,” an initial label and initiative that may clear the way for a more general label in the future. He suggests the name, NatureMade.

Below is the clip:

Referring to sustainable energy as NatureMade may sound good but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Coal and oil are also very natural — they are just releasing a lot of CO2 that was (naturally) stored in them in the past.

So I still think CleanMade would be a better, more accurate general term. It also sounds nicer: “Clean,” don’t you just smell the country air?

Recently, I also wrote an e-mail to GermanSolar asking them what they thought of the label name, WindMade. Christoffer Ovesen, Sales Manager at GermanSolar’s Danish Branch has promised me an answer but was vacationing until today.  I’ll post his answer here when I receive it.

Below is a second clip from the conference where Ditlev Engel, CEO and President of Vestas, goes over his hopes for the new label. Nothing new under the sun there.

Sorry, I meant blowing in the wind.

But the clip is still worth watching. Please note Engel’s distinction between poor countries — defined by heads of states.  And poor people — defined by people. I thought that was a good way of looking at the potentials of a bottom-up approach such as WindMade.

Written by Earth & Science

February 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

Interview with Ditlev Engel, CEO and President of Vestas

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At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Vestas, Lego and others have now formally introduced their new consumer label, WindMade (See previous post). According to WindMade.org, the new label will tell consumers when products have been manufactured with the use of wind energy.

Here is a short interview by Reuters with CEO and President of Vestas, Ditlev Engel.

The interview is worth watching because it marks the efforts by Vestas to change its business model  — or at least to expand on it.

The fact that Engel as much as opens his mouth to speak about the new label is a clear signal that it’s more than just a well-meant green initiative — it is business strategy. Engel does, after all, receive about $2.000.000 annually in wages.

In a Vestas press release, the windmill company said the new label is hoped to circumvent a political process that has come to a standstill.

“The purpose of the new initiative is to create a shortcut that can prevent a situation where a political process that many feel is without prospects ends up blocking necessary initiatives,” the press release said (Danish.)

By allowing consumers to support “green” products and industries, Vestas seeks to raise demands for wind energy from bottom-up. The company, in other words, wishes to cater to consumers rather than depend on governments.

Time will tell whether the label can endure. First and foremost, I believe, WindMade will provide an interesting litmus test for the ability of markets to drive changes toward clean energy.

Written by Earth & Science

January 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm