2The International Development of Wind Energy

Klaus Rave

Wind energy is a universal resource. It can satisfy a multitude of global energy problems not only theoretically but also in actuality. It can be used to generate electricity, the leading source of energy of the twenty-first century. From the finite nature of fossil fuels, their geographically uneven distribution, and the resulting climate change due to its burning, to the dangers of the nuclear sector, recently experienced so dramatically in Fukushima, these problems are increasingly being answered through the generation of electricity by means of regenerative sources, especially with the use of wind energy.

2.1 The Modern Energy Debate

The international energy debate reached a new dimension with the publication of Meadows’ Limits to Growth, the report of the Club of Rome [1]. The shock of the first oil crisis in 1973 hit the industrialised world hard: fuel shortages and distributions, and in Germany there was even a prohibition on driving on Sundays. These were the scenarios that demanded a realignment of resources.

The nuclear accidents of Harrisburg and especially Chernobyl (1986) marked a further dimension in the hazards caused by energy supply. The so-called ‘peaceful use of nuclear energy’ was increasingly questioned with regard to its risks [see 2–4]. Citizens’ movements formed, and the ‘Green’ political movement came into existence in many countries as a result of these protests.

The third great challenge of the international ...

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