Europe: A friend of art and wind

Among visitors attending the inauguration of "The Capture of the Wind's Wing," a sculpture at the Ulassai wind farm on Sardinia (pictured right) was the Italian island region's recently elected governor, Ugo Capellacci. He has already indicated that he will be more favourably inclined to the development of wind energy on the island than his predecessor.

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The sculpture is the latest work by Maria Lai, recognised as one of Italy's greatest living artists. The picturesque mountain town of Ulassai is described as an "open air art gallery" thanks to her "environmental art."

The Ulassai wind farm, majority owned by Sardeolica, a unit of the Italian oil refining group Saras, consists of Vestas 2 MW turbines and has an authorised capacity of 72 MW. That is due to be upgraded to 96 MW in the near future.

Development of wind power on Sardinia, a tourist region where installed capacity reached 467 MW at the end of 2008, has met with a mixed response. But late last year, even the previous government had warmed to wind, doing away with a 550 MW cap on further development in one of Italy's windiest regions.

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