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Published: 04 June 2013 04 June 2013

Solutions for success – maybe we need a radical rethink?

This year from 6 till 8 May Windpower 2013 was organised in Chicago, a hub for the US wind energy. Nearly 10,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors participated in the show. Resonating throughout the 2013 conference were calls for industry stability. Now that American wind power is becoming more mainstream, it is time, speakers said, to bring stability to the industry. During the opening session, Gabriel Alonso (EDPR Renewables North America CEO and new AWEA Board Chair) expounded on how the industry will achieve that stability. Among his five ‘pillars’ for a strong industry, he urged that the industry strengthen its voice through increased participation in advocacy efforts.
 
Part of that movement towards stability lies in a new collaborative effort that was highlighted in Chicago. In the coming months, the US Department of Energy (DOE) will be producing a new version of the wind energy ‘road map’ contained in the 20% Wind by 2030 Technical Report developed by the Bush Administration in 2008. The DOE initiative will be aimed at understanding opportunities and challenges associated with America’s steady progress towards a future increasingly powered by clean, affordable, home-grown energy sources like wind power. In my opinion the complete energy business (including the conventional energy sources) should focus on a geographical strategy as well; apply the most suitable generating technology based on criteria specific for that region.
 
Crucial near-term work also remains to be done. This year began on a positive note when the federal Production Tax Credit, the US wind energy industry’s primary policy driver, was extended for projects that start construction this year. But, as has always been the case, the industry must continue to make its case for continued growth so that a long-term vision can be realised.
 
In my January/February publisher’s note I urged for long-term policies for a stable base market. Mike J. Fritz responded with details of his vision for a long-term policy for a stable base market across the globe. In his article on page 31, he presents his arguments for the kilowatt-hour as a new monetary unit and standard. He also provides the text of the Renewable Power to the People Amendment, which he suggests, if supported and successful in the USA, could set the stage for other countries to follow. He invites you all to give your opinions about his ideas, so please feel free to contact him directly or through us.
 
Enjoy reading,
 
Floris Siteur
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