The Announcement of WindMade Panel at the World Economic Forum
From the climate-change crisis to the mass appeal of clean energy, panelists weighed in on WindMade, the first consumer label identifying products made with wind power, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Watch video of the best moments from the announcement of this new energy initiative.
The "Big Picture" Behind WindMade
Wind, oil, and gas: Ditlev Engel, the CEO of Vestas Wind Systems, a wind-turbine manufacturer, said that while wind covers only 2 percent of electricity consumption today, his company believes in the future it will become much more significant. The vision: "We believe wind is the only source of energy that in the future is going to be recognized on par with oil and gas," Engel said.
Liebreich: WikiLeaks for Wind
Clean energy isn't "alternative": Michael Liebreich, the CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, stressed that the success of WindMade is not only measured by consumers, but of understanding "the role of clean energy in the world's economy." Though some consider clean energy to be alternative, in fact, "There's nothing alternative about an energy source which is getting more investment than fossil and nuclear combined," Liebreich added.
The Appeal Beyond "Yuppies"
Newsweek columnist Daniel Gross asked the panel if WindMade will have a mass appeal, given that in the United States, alternative energy may be seen as a "lifestyle choice" and viewed as a luxury product. Liebreich responded: "This kind of picture that this is niche and luxury—and, also that by the way, the picture that it is much more expensive—is actually no longer correct."
Leape: Changing Climate Is the Biggest Threat to Life
James Leape, director general of WWF International, related his organization's work saving pandas and tigers to the need for clean energy. Leape said "the biggest single threat to the future of all life on earth is the changing climate," and stressed the need for change: "We'll only meet the climate challenge if the economy of the future is based on renewable energy"
Watch the full panel here.
Kell: WindMade Can Be a "Pathbreaker"
Moderator David Kirkpatrick, a technology reporter for The Daily Beast, asked the panelists how to weigh solar energy—or other ways of being sustainable—against WindMade. Georg Kell, the executive director of the United Nations Global Impact, compared wind energy to a key that could open the door for other forms of energy: "Wind energy is the most established, the most significant—you have to start somewhere."