Thursday, April 17, 2008

Second Wind featured in The Deal

Everybody knows that "cleantech" is hot hot hot for investment, and not least the wind energy sector. The Deal magazine, the "voice of the deal economy" targeting VC investors, recently ran a special report on wind energy spotlighting Second Wind and our investor Good Energies.

The articles are available online at the Tech Confidential website, and make an informative read. Each article has a cute name reflecting the wind theme: Catching A Breeze profiles the investors, and Winds of Change profiles five companies including Second Wind. Blowback ends the special report with a cautionary report on the Production Tax Credit expiration risk which is looming over the entire US industry. The PTC is something that's been on my mind a lot lately. I hope not to see a repeat of 2004, which was a grim one for Second Wind.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wind turbines to affect Beijing Olympics, warns disturbing new report

This report was released at EWEC in Brussels today, and although I have not received permission, I thought it urgent enough to republish here in its entirety:

For more information please contact Professor Francis O. O'Leary

Wind turbines to affect Beijing Olympics, warns disturbing new report
Brussels, 1 April 2008

A report released today reveals alarming new evidence about the impact of wind turbines on the planet. With global installed wind energy capacity now having passed 100 GW, the apparently benign power souce could be at the root of a global scale disruption which will ultimately affect the performance of athletes at this year's Beijing Olympics.

With energy figures for 2007 showing another boom year for wind, the planet finally appeared to be waking up to the benefits of this clean and unlimited energy source. Now however, scientists from the prestigious Earth, Wind, and Fire Institute, based in Alabama, USA, are set to reveal the dark side of wind energy. In a new report, they argue that the rotational movement of the turbines is slowing down the earth's rotational cycle.

"It's an infinitesimally small change, and at present completely unnoticeable to humans," explains Professor Francis O. O'Leary, lead author of the report. "At the Institute, we have extremely sensitive equipment able to monitor fluctuations in the earth's rotational speed, and we can clearly see that in the last few years, it has been losing around 2.2 seconds per day."

The report, entitled "A wind up - the effect of wind turbines on the earth's rotational period", states that one of the unfortunate outcomes of the earth's deceleration is an increase in the gravitational pull to its surface. "We were first alerted to the fact that something was amiss by bird watchers. They were puzzled to see that birds were having difficulty taking off," explains Prof. O'Leary.

The higher gravitational pull is increasing the mass of objects on the earth. Although lighter creatures, such as birds and insects, are the first to feel the effects, scientists have calculated that so far a gram has gained just over 1% of its original mass - a man who should weigh 70 Kg now weighs 71 Kg.

The first humans to notice these changes will be athletes, who will be wondering why it is becoming harder to meet their personal best times and virtually impossible to break records. This "global slowdown" will be brought to the public attention at this year's Olympics, scheduled to take place in Beijing in August, when the world's best athletes will not only be struggling to beat their rivals, but also to overcome the increased gravity caused by wind turbines.

Initially, scientists thought that this increase in mass was due to the large quantity of chocolate eggs eaten at the recent Easter celebrations. However they now know that it is a global phenomenon and has been taking place over the last few years. It is set to increase dramatically in the future due to the number of wind turbines planned to be installed in the coming decades, to the point where all humans will notice the change and will find it harder to walk, jump, and even stand up.

Other repercussions of this increased mass extend from the trivial to the significant. Weight loss companies will start bracing themselves for court cases as angry slimmers realise their efforts are in vain. An skiers may find that hose downhill runs become a little more exhilarating.

To read the full report, please visit