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Articles by Lester Brown

Lester R. Brown is founder and president of Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Follow EPI: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn

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By J. Matthew Roney

Denmark produced one third of its electricity from the wind in 2013. In no other country has wind’s share of annual electricity generation yet topped 30 percent. But the Danes are not stopping there—they are eyeing a goal of 50 percent wind by 2020, with most of the needed expansion coming from offshore wind farms. Recent experience shows that Denmark’s grid can accommodate this much wind power and more: wind-generated electricity exceeded 100 percent of demand the evening of November 3, 2013.

In Portugal, wind farms produced nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity in 2013. The situation was similar in neighboring Spain, where wind power accounted for 21 percent of electricity output, just shy of nuclear power, the leading source at 22 percent.

More than 17 percent of Ireland’s power generation in 2013 came from wind farms. Over the course of the year, the wind share frequently went above 50 percent, peaking at 59 percent on September 16th, according to grid operator EirGrid.

And in both Germany and the United Kingdom, countries with a combined population of 145 million, wind contribut... Read more

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  • The Downfall of the Plastic Bag: A Global Picture

    By Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from over 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark and Finland. Plastic bags, made of depletable natural gas or petroleum […]

  • World Wind Power Poised to Bounce Back after Slowing in 2013

    By J. Matthew Roney At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers […]

  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Fact Sheet

    The world fish catch is a measure of the productivity and health of the oceanic ecosystem that covers 70 percent of the earth’s surface. The extent to which world demand for seafood is outrunning the sustainable yield of fisheries can be seen in shrinking fish stocks, declining catches, and collapsing fisheries. Seafood plays a vital […]

  • Can We Prevent A Food Breakdown?

    As food supplies have tightened, a new geopolitics of food has emerged—a world in which the global competition for land and water is intensifying and each country is fending for itself. We cannot claim that we are unaware of the trends that are undermining our food supply and thus our civilization. We know what we […]