Wrapping up the WindPower 2011 conference in Anaheim, California this week, AWEA Board of Directors Chairman Ned Hall, president of AES North America, moderated a panel of featured leaders in the wind industry. The panel included:
- Vic Abate, vice president for renewables for GE Energy;
- Sonny Garg, president of Exelon Power;
- Pedro Pizarro, president of the Edison Mission Group;
- Steve Trenholm, CEO of E.On Climate & Renewables North America;
- and Jan Blittersdorf, president and CEO of NRG Systems.
Hall prepared 3 key topics, wind industry priorities for the coming year, to focus the conversation around:
- the need to extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), not wait until 2012 when it expires
- “addressing growing siting issues that are holding up project development”
- “getting new transmission built”
The panelists were quite optimistic about the industry’s ability to address all three, but the focus of the discussion was around #1. As we’ve written a number of times here on CleanTechnica, federal policies and incentives in support of wind and solar have been excessively short-term in the U.S., especially compared to the long-term, stable policies and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
In order to put the wind industry on equal footing, the panelists and speakers throughout the conference emphasized the need to educate and pressure Congress about the importance of a long-term PTC and other long-term policies in support of wind.
As the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) writes, this is needed “so that stable policies can be implemented that will provide businesses time to plan and grow the project development and industry manufacturing base on American soil.”
How You Can Take Action to Support Wind Power in the United States
AWEA has created a way for people like you to get more involved in advancing Congressional support for wind. “AWEA Senior Vice President for Public Policy Rob Gramlich encouraged attendees to sign up at www.powerofwind.com to receive legislative action alerts along with an array of resources.”
I highly recommend checking out Power of Wind. It’s got an important “I pledge…” campaign going on right now. It’s created a great document on “How to Talk to a Wind Skeptic.” And it’s got other useful information and resources (and, currently, a sweepstakes to win an iPad). Check it out, get involved, help promote wind energy today.
- World Wind Power
- Projected Wind Power Growth (Worldwide)
- Cost of Wind Power — Kicks Coal’s Butt, Better than Natural Gas (& Could Power Your EV for $0.70/gallon)
- Wind Power is Making Electricity Cheaper (Exxon: Wind to be Cheapest Source of Electricity)
- Offshore Wind Energy Cheaper than Nuclear Energy, EU Climate Chief Says
- Wind Energy Cost-Competitive with Coal in Some Regions
- Wind Power Beats Nuclear Power in Texas
Image Credit: screenshot of AWEA’s “How to Talk to a Wind Skeptic” document