BIGGEST YEAR YET FOR WIND
Just as there was no dobut about the selection of Time Magazine’s Person-of-the-Year (Barack Obama), there is no doubt about the most important New Energy event and wind energy industry event of the year.
For New Energy, passage of the tax credits as part of the economic stimulus package had to be 2008's biggest moment. Getting the credits through a reluctant Congress after an 18-month legislative fight must rank as the year's decisive event.
For the wind power industry, the May publication of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) feasibility report validating wind's ambition to provide 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030 was not only the year’s major landmark but probably THE landmark event of the U.S. wind industry’s life. The report found that by building the capacity to supply 20% of U.S. power, the industry will make an enormous contribution in new jobs, revenues and averted greenhouse gas emissions (GhGs).
Dr. James A. Walker, Vice Chairman, enXco Inc.: “As climate change, jobs and energy security rise to the top of the national agenda, we have authoritative confirmation that wind power can make a significant contribution to all these problems. It will take leadership to follow the roadmap, but the vision presented is good news not just for the wind industry but for the nation.”
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As if to prove DOE's assessment accurate, the U.S. passed the 21,000-megawatt level of installed capacity in 2008 to become the world leader.
Randall Swisher, Executive Director, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): “Wind energy installations are well ahead of the curve for contributing 20% of the U.S. electric power supply by 2030 as envisioned by the U.S. Department of Energy.”
Wind’s clean power saved 36 million tons of climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, as well as 198,000 tons of acid-rain causing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 93,000 tons of smog-causing nitrous oxide (NOx). And that’s in the generation of only 1-to-2% of U.S. power.
Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club: “The reality of global warming requires fast and wise development of our national wind resources. Reaching at least 20% wind by 2030 is not an option, it's an imperative.”
The wind industry and the incoming Obama administration have virtually synchronous plans for development of New Energy in 2009 and beyond. They are likely to begin with the refining of the tax credits to be effective in this recessionary economy and then move to instituting a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and other policy measures that will revive the U.S. economy by building the New Energy infrastructure of the 21st century.
President-elect Barack Obama: “A green, renewable energy economy isn’t some pie-in-the-sky, far-off future. It is now.”
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American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Notes Top Wind Industry accomplishments of 2008
December 22, 2008 (Business Wire)
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA); the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC); the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI)
AWEA named the wind industry’s top accomplishments for the year.
- Both AWEA and the incoming Obama administration called for a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) requiring U.S. utilities to obtain 10% of their power from New Energy sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025.
- 2008 was the wind industry’s 3rd consecutive year of record-breaking growth.
- The DOE finding it feasible for wind to provide 20% of U.S. power by 2030 was published in May.
- The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) kicked off in November.
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- The U.S. passed Germany to become first in the world in installed wind capacity.
- A landmark study on bats and wind began at the Casselman wind farm in rural Pennsylvania, owned and operated by Iberdrola Renewables.
- AWEA moved to new Washington, D.C., headquarters at 1501 M Street NW.
- AWEA’s 8 major accomplishments of 2008: (1) 20% by 2030 Report; (2) Ground-breaking environmental research; (3) U.S. becomes “Number One” in wind; (4) New collaboration with environmental groups; (5) Climate change benefits; (6) 60,000 domestic employees and counting; (7) Greening of AWEA -- Aiming for Gold; (8) A growing national commitment to clean energy
- Initiation of study on reduction of harm to bat populations by BWEC Alliance (including AWEA, Bat Conservation International, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- Its 21,000+ megawatts of installed wind power made the U.S. first in the world.
- AWWI is composed of 20 top science-based conservation and environmental groups and wind energy companies.
- Wind power now provides 60,000+ jobs. The industry also built or expanded 50+ manufacturing facilities and created $15 billion+ in revenues in 2008.
- AWEA is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -certification of its new headquarters and shifted to environmentally-protective practices in its business and conference operations in 2008.
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- Andrew Linehan, director of permitting, Iberdrola Renewables: “We are proud to offer our Casselman site for this important experiment and fully support efforts of the BWEC. We believe this is the responsible thing to do and recognize there is an impact on bats that requires scientific study…”
- Jan Blittersdorf, CEO, NRG Systems and vice chair, AWWI: “Addressing global climate change demands a higher level of collaboration between different sectors and interests. Development of clean, renewable wind energy and wildlife protection need not be mutually exclusive goals…”
- Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “A clean energy future is within our grasp - as long as we harness America’s wind energy potential.”
- Randall Swisher, Executive Director, AWEA: “AWEA represents one of the leading industries in the new, green economy and we intend to lead by example. Our commitment to sustainable business is personal as well as corporate and we’re making great strides in our effort to minimize our environmental impacts while improving the efficiency of our every day operations.”