Winning over hearts and minds

Topics
No items found.
Adam Barber
July 28, 2011
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Winning over hearts and minds

In the space of just three months, a seemingly endless series of industry reports have turned what was originally just a planning and legislative headache into a fully blown public debate.

In an instant, UK turbine technology has moved from saviour to scapegoat, with the public already starting to raise questions about the future viability of wind. As anti-wind farm campaigners recognise the power of the media, how can the industry fight back? Adam Barber, Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications, reports.

A hippy in a suit. That’s the colloquial term for a city worker who’s focussed on renewable energy markets right now. And while it’s almost always said in jest, over the past six months it’s a phrase that has started to taken on a much more unexpected turn. In fact, while the numbers of people working within renewable energy continues to escalate, it’s clear that where once the sector was the poster child of the international energy markets, suddenly that’s being called into doubt. And never is the more in question than within UK wind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s turn the clocks back, to a little over six months. To Renewable UK, in November, in Glasgow. Opening the conference, Alex Salmond took to the stage to deliver an impressive keynote filled with optimism, energy and vigour.

Whatever your views of his personal politics, here was a campaigner who passionately believed in the benefits of wind energy and who wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Speaking almost entirely unscripted, he talked up the scale and scope of the market, before positioning himself right at the centre of an ambitious apprenticeship programme, supported by some of the major manufacturers and support firms.

It was impressive stuff and a timely reminder on how to motivate, engage and inspire an audience that was ready for a fight. And that’s before you even consider the political point scoring that his remarks generated…

Politics aside, the mood was set and the message was clear – here was a market that was filled with opportunity. The key to success was to find a way to work together.

Scroll forward to present day. The European summer is upon us and the progress is indeed being made. Contracts are being won, new markets are opening up and partnerships are already generating results.

Yet behind all this, there’s an uncomfortable truth. It’s a growing body of public uncertainty and unrest. Questions are being raised about the true benefits and potential of the wind energy markets and the public (in particular, the British public) is beginning to demand answers.

And questions of course, are to be expected. After all, for those that are not living and breathing turbine technology, wind farms are still shrouded in a certain mystique.

Can we really produce and generate such vast quantities of power by taming the winds? What real impacts do these vast structures have on our landscape and environment? And where does wind energy fit into the wider national and international energy mix?

Make no mistake; the public has proved time and time again that when it comes to asking questions, they’re prepared to ask some awkward ones! Worse still, an industry sticking its head in the sand isn’t going to make the questions go away.

Nevertheless, the questions were avoided, the public was side-stepped and the industry moved on. So three-months back, anti-wind farm campaigners upped the ante and began to flex some communications muscle.

Teaming up with the likes of the John Muir Trust proved a smart move for some, while others focussed on building armies of local support that harangued local politicians and officials and placed increasing pressure on planning councils and teams.

Additional reports from the likes of the Carbon Trust didn’t help and only served to stoke the fire. All-in-all, for anti-wind farm campaigners, it’s been a pretty successful start to the year. And how have they become such a thorn in our side?

Simple. Through teamwork, collaboration and demonstrating an aptitude for working together. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a classic demonstration of the power of motivating and inspiring a community. Just like Alex set out to do back in November 2010.

To their great credit the likes of Renewable UK, IWEA, EWEA, and indeed AWEA and CANWEA over in North America, have already started to work together and encourage us to fight back. But it’s not something they can achieve on their own.

Rather, it’s something that needs to be driven from the ground up. It means working together with our partners and peers. It means answering those tricky questions from the public. And it means developing a truly integrated programme of two-way communication and engagement with the great British public that goes beyond the glossy corporate brochures and the marketing puff.

It’s not an easy path to follow. And it’s not something that can be pursued without the commitment of each and every member of a senior executive team. But when it’s done properly, with the right level of investment, commitment and trust, then it’s something that has the potential to catapult a business from mediocrity to something far more exciting.

A handful of wind energy businesses have already started to dip their toe in the water and test the true power of communications and engagement. Who’s next?

Adam Barber is the Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications and the publisher of awordaboutwind. He has worked throughout the financial services, technology and renewable energy sector for over ten years. For further information about how you can develop and enhance the way in which your company communicates, contact Adam direct at adam@tamarindocomms.com.

In the space of just three months, a seemingly endless series of industry reports have turned what was originally just a planning and legislative headache into a fully blown public debate.

In an instant, UK turbine technology has moved from saviour to scapegoat, with the public already starting to raise questions about the future viability of wind. As anti-wind farm campaigners recognise the power of the media, how can the industry fight back? Adam Barber, Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications, reports.

A hippy in a suit. That’s the colloquial term for a city worker who’s focussed on renewable energy markets right now. And while it’s almost always said in jest, over the past six months it’s a phrase that has started to taken on a much more unexpected turn. In fact, while the numbers of people working within renewable energy continues to escalate, it’s clear that where once the sector was the poster child of the international energy markets, suddenly that’s being called into doubt. And never is the more in question than within UK wind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s turn the clocks back, to a little over six months. To Renewable UK, in November, in Glasgow. Opening the conference, Alex Salmond took to the stage to deliver an impressive keynote filled with optimism, energy and vigour.

Whatever your views of his personal politics, here was a campaigner who passionately believed in the benefits of wind energy and who wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Speaking almost entirely unscripted, he talked up the scale and scope of the market, before positioning himself right at the centre of an ambitious apprenticeship programme, supported by some of the major manufacturers and support firms.

It was impressive stuff and a timely reminder on how to motivate, engage and inspire an audience that was ready for a fight. And that’s before you even consider the political point scoring that his remarks generated…

Politics aside, the mood was set and the message was clear – here was a market that was filled with opportunity. The key to success was to find a way to work together.

Scroll forward to present day. The European summer is upon us and the progress is indeed being made. Contracts are being won, new markets are opening up and partnerships are already generating results.

Yet behind all this, there’s an uncomfortable truth. It’s a growing body of public uncertainty and unrest. Questions are being raised about the true benefits and potential of the wind energy markets and the public (in particular, the British public) is beginning to demand answers.

And questions of course, are to be expected. After all, for those that are not living and breathing turbine technology, wind farms are still shrouded in a certain mystique.

Can we really produce and generate such vast quantities of power by taming the winds? What real impacts do these vast structures have on our landscape and environment? And where does wind energy fit into the wider national and international energy mix?

Make no mistake; the public has proved time and time again that when it comes to asking questions, they’re prepared to ask some awkward ones! Worse still, an industry sticking its head in the sand isn’t going to make the questions go away.

Nevertheless, the questions were avoided, the public was side-stepped and the industry moved on. So three-months back, anti-wind farm campaigners upped the ante and began to flex some communications muscle.

Teaming up with the likes of the John Muir Trust proved a smart move for some, while others focussed on building armies of local support that harangued local politicians and officials and placed increasing pressure on planning councils and teams.

Additional reports from the likes of the Carbon Trust didn’t help and only served to stoke the fire. All-in-all, for anti-wind farm campaigners, it’s been a pretty successful start to the year. And how have they become such a thorn in our side?

Simple. Through teamwork, collaboration and demonstrating an aptitude for working together. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a classic demonstration of the power of motivating and inspiring a community. Just like Alex set out to do back in November 2010.

To their great credit the likes of Renewable UK, IWEA, EWEA, and indeed AWEA and CANWEA over in North America, have already started to work together and encourage us to fight back. But it’s not something they can achieve on their own.

Rather, it’s something that needs to be driven from the ground up. It means working together with our partners and peers. It means answering those tricky questions from the public. And it means developing a truly integrated programme of two-way communication and engagement with the great British public that goes beyond the glossy corporate brochures and the marketing puff.

It’s not an easy path to follow. And it’s not something that can be pursued without the commitment of each and every member of a senior executive team. But when it’s done properly, with the right level of investment, commitment and trust, then it’s something that has the potential to catapult a business from mediocrity to something far more exciting.

A handful of wind energy businesses have already started to dip their toe in the water and test the true power of communications and engagement. Who’s next?

Adam Barber is the Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications and the publisher of awordaboutwind. He has worked throughout the financial services, technology and renewable energy sector for over ten years. For further information about how you can develop and enhance the way in which your company communicates, contact Adam direct at adam@tamarindocomms.com.

In the space of just three months, a seemingly endless series of industry reports have turned what was originally just a planning and legislative headache into a fully blown public debate.

In an instant, UK turbine technology has moved from saviour to scapegoat, with the public already starting to raise questions about the future viability of wind. As anti-wind farm campaigners recognise the power of the media, how can the industry fight back? Adam Barber, Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications, reports.

A hippy in a suit. That’s the colloquial term for a city worker who’s focussed on renewable energy markets right now. And while it’s almost always said in jest, over the past six months it’s a phrase that has started to taken on a much more unexpected turn. In fact, while the numbers of people working within renewable energy continues to escalate, it’s clear that where once the sector was the poster child of the international energy markets, suddenly that’s being called into doubt. And never is the more in question than within UK wind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s turn the clocks back, to a little over six months. To Renewable UK, in November, in Glasgow. Opening the conference, Alex Salmond took to the stage to deliver an impressive keynote filled with optimism, energy and vigour.

Whatever your views of his personal politics, here was a campaigner who passionately believed in the benefits of wind energy and who wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Speaking almost entirely unscripted, he talked up the scale and scope of the market, before positioning himself right at the centre of an ambitious apprenticeship programme, supported by some of the major manufacturers and support firms.

It was impressive stuff and a timely reminder on how to motivate, engage and inspire an audience that was ready for a fight. And that’s before you even consider the political point scoring that his remarks generated…

Politics aside, the mood was set and the message was clear – here was a market that was filled with opportunity. The key to success was to find a way to work together.

Scroll forward to present day. The European summer is upon us and the progress is indeed being made. Contracts are being won, new markets are opening up and partnerships are already generating results.

Yet behind all this, there’s an uncomfortable truth. It’s a growing body of public uncertainty and unrest. Questions are being raised about the true benefits and potential of the wind energy markets and the public (in particular, the British public) is beginning to demand answers.

And questions of course, are to be expected. After all, for those that are not living and breathing turbine technology, wind farms are still shrouded in a certain mystique.

Can we really produce and generate such vast quantities of power by taming the winds? What real impacts do these vast structures have on our landscape and environment? And where does wind energy fit into the wider national and international energy mix?

Make no mistake; the public has proved time and time again that when it comes to asking questions, they’re prepared to ask some awkward ones! Worse still, an industry sticking its head in the sand isn’t going to make the questions go away.

Nevertheless, the questions were avoided, the public was side-stepped and the industry moved on. So three-months back, anti-wind farm campaigners upped the ante and began to flex some communications muscle.

Teaming up with the likes of the John Muir Trust proved a smart move for some, while others focussed on building armies of local support that harangued local politicians and officials and placed increasing pressure on planning councils and teams.

Additional reports from the likes of the Carbon Trust didn’t help and only served to stoke the fire. All-in-all, for anti-wind farm campaigners, it’s been a pretty successful start to the year. And how have they become such a thorn in our side?

Simple. Through teamwork, collaboration and demonstrating an aptitude for working together. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a classic demonstration of the power of motivating and inspiring a community. Just like Alex set out to do back in November 2010.

To their great credit the likes of Renewable UK, IWEA, EWEA, and indeed AWEA and CANWEA over in North America, have already started to work together and encourage us to fight back. But it’s not something they can achieve on their own.

Rather, it’s something that needs to be driven from the ground up. It means working together with our partners and peers. It means answering those tricky questions from the public. And it means developing a truly integrated programme of two-way communication and engagement with the great British public that goes beyond the glossy corporate brochures and the marketing puff.

It’s not an easy path to follow. And it’s not something that can be pursued without the commitment of each and every member of a senior executive team. But when it’s done properly, with the right level of investment, commitment and trust, then it’s something that has the potential to catapult a business from mediocrity to something far more exciting.

A handful of wind energy businesses have already started to dip their toe in the water and test the true power of communications and engagement. Who’s next?

Adam Barber is the Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications and the publisher of awordaboutwind. He has worked throughout the financial services, technology and renewable energy sector for over ten years. For further information about how you can develop and enhance the way in which your company communicates, contact Adam direct at adam@tamarindocomms.com.

In the space of just three months, a seemingly endless series of industry reports have turned what was originally just a planning and legislative headache into a fully blown public debate.

In an instant, UK turbine technology has moved from saviour to scapegoat, with the public already starting to raise questions about the future viability of wind. As anti-wind farm campaigners recognise the power of the media, how can the industry fight back? Adam Barber, Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications, reports.

A hippy in a suit. That’s the colloquial term for a city worker who’s focussed on renewable energy markets right now. And while it’s almost always said in jest, over the past six months it’s a phrase that has started to taken on a much more unexpected turn. In fact, while the numbers of people working within renewable energy continues to escalate, it’s clear that where once the sector was the poster child of the international energy markets, suddenly that’s being called into doubt. And never is the more in question than within UK wind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s turn the clocks back, to a little over six months. To Renewable UK, in November, in Glasgow. Opening the conference, Alex Salmond took to the stage to deliver an impressive keynote filled with optimism, energy and vigour.

Whatever your views of his personal politics, here was a campaigner who passionately believed in the benefits of wind energy and who wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Speaking almost entirely unscripted, he talked up the scale and scope of the market, before positioning himself right at the centre of an ambitious apprenticeship programme, supported by some of the major manufacturers and support firms.

It was impressive stuff and a timely reminder on how to motivate, engage and inspire an audience that was ready for a fight. And that’s before you even consider the political point scoring that his remarks generated…

Politics aside, the mood was set and the message was clear – here was a market that was filled with opportunity. The key to success was to find a way to work together.

Scroll forward to present day. The European summer is upon us and the progress is indeed being made. Contracts are being won, new markets are opening up and partnerships are already generating results.

Yet behind all this, there’s an uncomfortable truth. It’s a growing body of public uncertainty and unrest. Questions are being raised about the true benefits and potential of the wind energy markets and the public (in particular, the British public) is beginning to demand answers.

And questions of course, are to be expected. After all, for those that are not living and breathing turbine technology, wind farms are still shrouded in a certain mystique.

Can we really produce and generate such vast quantities of power by taming the winds? What real impacts do these vast structures have on our landscape and environment? And where does wind energy fit into the wider national and international energy mix?

Make no mistake; the public has proved time and time again that when it comes to asking questions, they’re prepared to ask some awkward ones! Worse still, an industry sticking its head in the sand isn’t going to make the questions go away.

Nevertheless, the questions were avoided, the public was side-stepped and the industry moved on. So three-months back, anti-wind farm campaigners upped the ante and began to flex some communications muscle.

Teaming up with the likes of the John Muir Trust proved a smart move for some, while others focussed on building armies of local support that harangued local politicians and officials and placed increasing pressure on planning councils and teams.

Additional reports from the likes of the Carbon Trust didn’t help and only served to stoke the fire. All-in-all, for anti-wind farm campaigners, it’s been a pretty successful start to the year. And how have they become such a thorn in our side?

Simple. Through teamwork, collaboration and demonstrating an aptitude for working together. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a classic demonstration of the power of motivating and inspiring a community. Just like Alex set out to do back in November 2010.

To their great credit the likes of Renewable UK, IWEA, EWEA, and indeed AWEA and CANWEA over in North America, have already started to work together and encourage us to fight back. But it’s not something they can achieve on their own.

Rather, it’s something that needs to be driven from the ground up. It means working together with our partners and peers. It means answering those tricky questions from the public. And it means developing a truly integrated programme of two-way communication and engagement with the great British public that goes beyond the glossy corporate brochures and the marketing puff.

It’s not an easy path to follow. And it’s not something that can be pursued without the commitment of each and every member of a senior executive team. But when it’s done properly, with the right level of investment, commitment and trust, then it’s something that has the potential to catapult a business from mediocrity to something far more exciting.

A handful of wind energy businesses have already started to dip their toe in the water and test the true power of communications and engagement. Who’s next?

Adam Barber is the Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications and the publisher of awordaboutwind. He has worked throughout the financial services, technology and renewable energy sector for over ten years. For further information about how you can develop and enhance the way in which your company communicates, contact Adam direct at adam@tamarindocomms.com.

In the space of just three months, a seemingly endless series of industry reports have turned what was originally just a planning and legislative headache into a fully blown public debate.

In an instant, UK turbine technology has moved from saviour to scapegoat, with the public already starting to raise questions about the future viability of wind. As anti-wind farm campaigners recognise the power of the media, how can the industry fight back? Adam Barber, Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications, reports.

A hippy in a suit. That’s the colloquial term for a city worker who’s focussed on renewable energy markets right now. And while it’s almost always said in jest, over the past six months it’s a phrase that has started to taken on a much more unexpected turn. In fact, while the numbers of people working within renewable energy continues to escalate, it’s clear that where once the sector was the poster child of the international energy markets, suddenly that’s being called into doubt. And never is the more in question than within UK wind.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s turn the clocks back, to a little over six months. To Renewable UK, in November, in Glasgow. Opening the conference, Alex Salmond took to the stage to deliver an impressive keynote filled with optimism, energy and vigour.

Whatever your views of his personal politics, here was a campaigner who passionately believed in the benefits of wind energy and who wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Speaking almost entirely unscripted, he talked up the scale and scope of the market, before positioning himself right at the centre of an ambitious apprenticeship programme, supported by some of the major manufacturers and support firms.

It was impressive stuff and a timely reminder on how to motivate, engage and inspire an audience that was ready for a fight. And that’s before you even consider the political point scoring that his remarks generated…

Politics aside, the mood was set and the message was clear – here was a market that was filled with opportunity. The key to success was to find a way to work together.

Scroll forward to present day. The European summer is upon us and the progress is indeed being made. Contracts are being won, new markets are opening up and partnerships are already generating results.

Yet behind all this, there’s an uncomfortable truth. It’s a growing body of public uncertainty and unrest. Questions are being raised about the true benefits and potential of the wind energy markets and the public (in particular, the British public) is beginning to demand answers.

And questions of course, are to be expected. After all, for those that are not living and breathing turbine technology, wind farms are still shrouded in a certain mystique.

Can we really produce and generate such vast quantities of power by taming the winds? What real impacts do these vast structures have on our landscape and environment? And where does wind energy fit into the wider national and international energy mix?

Make no mistake; the public has proved time and time again that when it comes to asking questions, they’re prepared to ask some awkward ones! Worse still, an industry sticking its head in the sand isn’t going to make the questions go away.

Nevertheless, the questions were avoided, the public was side-stepped and the industry moved on. So three-months back, anti-wind farm campaigners upped the ante and began to flex some communications muscle.

Teaming up with the likes of the John Muir Trust proved a smart move for some, while others focussed on building armies of local support that harangued local politicians and officials and placed increasing pressure on planning councils and teams.

Additional reports from the likes of the Carbon Trust didn’t help and only served to stoke the fire. All-in-all, for anti-wind farm campaigners, it’s been a pretty successful start to the year. And how have they become such a thorn in our side?

Simple. Through teamwork, collaboration and demonstrating an aptitude for working together. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply a classic demonstration of the power of motivating and inspiring a community. Just like Alex set out to do back in November 2010.

To their great credit the likes of Renewable UK, IWEA, EWEA, and indeed AWEA and CANWEA over in North America, have already started to work together and encourage us to fight back. But it’s not something they can achieve on their own.

Rather, it’s something that needs to be driven from the ground up. It means working together with our partners and peers. It means answering those tricky questions from the public. And it means developing a truly integrated programme of two-way communication and engagement with the great British public that goes beyond the glossy corporate brochures and the marketing puff.

It’s not an easy path to follow. And it’s not something that can be pursued without the commitment of each and every member of a senior executive team. But when it’s done properly, with the right level of investment, commitment and trust, then it’s something that has the potential to catapult a business from mediocrity to something far more exciting.

A handful of wind energy businesses have already started to dip their toe in the water and test the true power of communications and engagement. Who’s next?

Adam Barber is the Managing Director of Tamarindo Communications and the publisher of awordaboutwind. He has worked throughout the financial services, technology and renewable energy sector for over ten years. For further information about how you can develop and enhance the way in which your company communicates, contact Adam direct at adam@tamarindocomms.com.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.

Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.