One Last Thing

Windy metaphors

Renewable energy and vegans have often been considered by some as traditional bedfellows, although it would appear Denmark’s energy minister is out to change that.

Following his approval of the 1.4GW Viking Link Interconnector between the UK and Denmark, Lars Christian Lilleholt hailed the traditional ties between the two countries in the importing and exporting of bacon, but eyed a rather different replacement.

“Green power can be the new bacon, with high export value for security of supply, green transformation and economics,” Lilleholt tweeted.
Fast forward a week after Lilleholt’s quip and the energy minister was still at pains to labour his link. Writing in Danish newspaper Fyens, he said “we do not make dinner at the same time as the English, and therefore our consumption does not peak at the same time”.

It’s unlikely the one hour time difference between the UK and Denmark will make too much difference in this respect. However, the need for interconnectors is increasing as countries in Europe continue to grow their intermittent renewable generation and with Lilleholt also approving interconnectors between Denmark and Germany at the same time, it appears no one is going home hungry.

Joey’s your man

Wind power just can’t stop generating awkward headlines this month. Continuing the theme of ‘things you don’t usually associate with wind energy’ is Joey, a tall, stiff-armed lad who happens to be made of plastic.

A recent video produced by Vice News uncovered a vexing problem for wind turbine operators: bird poop. Naturally, birds at sea are roosting on the hundreds of giant perches that are now appearing in their territory. The mess that’s accumulating is likely not a sign of their displeasure at man’s encroachment, but it is creating unsafe conditions for turbine operators, according to Scaretech director Alison Isbister.

She told Vice News the amount of bird poop that is piling up on turbines is spawning carcinogenic spores and is slippery for workers. Scaretech, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, is developing a time-tested solution: scarecrows.

Enter Joey, their prototype, a half-mannequin figure with arms outstretched and dressed in a bright orange safety jacket, utility gloves and a hardhat. Legless, Joey’s lower half is a metallic box fitted with a battery and speaker that angrily squawks at movement.

Isbister said Joey performed well in a pilot test, claiming the scarecrow completely reduced bird poop allergens, Vice News reported. She said Scaretech plans to rent scarecrow units to turbine operators once they’re fully developed.