U.S. wind industry leaders and the leader of the California Senate described the mounting economic benefits of increased wind power as thousands arrived in Anaheim for the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition.
“With wind’s success comes new and solvable challenges. Management of the grid needs to evolve to meet these challenges,” said Tristan Grimbert, newly elected AWEA Board Chair, and President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy. He said to compete in the low-price energy environment will take increased and improved transmission, fairer market rules, and for the market to recognize and compensate for wind’s attributes.
“A brand new attitude is to embrace now, all forms of support to help forge the necessary policies and regulations for wind to thrive,” he added.
State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León gave the keynote address on Tuesday, highlighting wind power’s success.
“California’s clean energy economy is a model for the rest of the nation and the world,” said Kevin de León, California State Senate President pro Tempore. “We’ve turned some of our biggest environmental challenges into incredible opportunities. We can dramatically expand clean energy while also growing our economy and putting people to work.”
De León authored California’s signature 50% renewable energy standard in 2025. That leadership continues this year as the Senate President has legislation that would take California to the next level. Modern wind power originated in the mountain passes of California.
As one of the most affordable and reliable forms of electricity generation, wind will play an increasingly important role in the state and nation’s expanding clean energy mix.
“Wind power has grown to be America’s largest source of renewable capacity because we’ve delivered on our promises,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We said more wind could be reliably added to the grid, that with stable tax policy we could grow jobs, and that with a level playing field we would invest in America. We delivered. Today we have five states over 20 percent wind, and over 100,000 American wind jobs. And we’ve invested $14 billion two years running in communities that need it the most.”
“We’re not just here to stay, we’re here to grow, and grow, and grow,” added Kiernan.
The Western Hemisphere’s largest wind energy conference features over 400 exhibitors, including 91 at the show for the first time. Kiernan in his remarks and columns this week in trade media described 16 trends that will continue to buoy the industry beyond 2020, once the wind energy Production Tax Credit completes its current phaseout.
They include the falling cost of wind energy, expanding state policies like California’s, and upgrades to the nation’s power grid and transmission infrastructure.
Filed Under: News, Policy, Projects