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Wind energy roundtable

Here PES presents the latest in our ongoing series of fascinating roundtable discussions, bringing together the leaders of the industry to discuss all the salient issues, including the role of pressure groups, relations with the Chinese, and the future of the industry.

Carl Levesque, Communications Editor, American Wind Energy Association

Dave Lopez, Secretary of The Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Girard Miller of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP

Kim Christianson, Director of the Great Plains Energy Corridor, currently serving as Vice Chair of the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy

Ed Einowski, Partner at Stoel Rives LLP

PES: What’s the current feeling ‘on the ground’ with regard to the wind industry in the US? Is the sector in good shape at the moment? And how is your organisation faring?
Carl Levesque: The industry is excited about the future. In part that’s because wind energy now competes with other electricity sources on cost, and it is the best choice of generation for many other obvious reasons. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is a reflection of the wind energy industry in the US and the association is as strong as it has ever been (with a staff larger than it has ever been). The association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition is a good indicator of the size and strength of the industry. Some 20,000 people will attend the event in May this year, and over 1,200 exhibitors will cover a tradeshow floor that will span some 18 American football fields (100 yard fields). That illustrates how the industry has taken hold. Moreover, on the association side, the event is a sign of AWEA’s strength, as it is naturally a key source of revenue for the association. Every year, the event brings much excitement and anticipation.


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