Wind Industry Conference in Portland, 6/02-05
The wind energy industry is coming to town June 2-5. On the one hand, wind is now providing a low cost, and much less environmentally destructive source of power than hydro, nuclear, coal, and even natural gas. Yet in the near future this industry could make up for a severe shortfall in energy supply. (see link), meaning that it could prevent the lights from going dim on industrial capitalism -a system that is efficiently turning earth into a garbadge dump.
The WINDPOWER 2002 Conference and Exhibition, the U.S. wind energy industry's premier business gathering, will take place in Portland, Oregon, June 2-5.
This year's event, expected to be the largest ever of its kind in the U.S., is framed by a compelling backdrop:
-- The American wind energy industry is coming off its best year in history, having installed enough new wind generation in 2001 to power 475,000 homes;
-- The U.S. House and Senate are about to meet on landmark energy legislation that includes a first-ever renewable energy portfolio standard (a requirement that a growing percentage of the nation's electricity come from renewable sources like wind);
-- Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc., has announced plans to open a major manufacturing plant in Portland, highlighting wind's economic development potential for the Pacific Northwest; and
-- New large-scale wind projects are being planned and announced from coast to coast.
Organized by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, WINDPOWER 2002 will feature the largest exhibition of wind energy companies ever assembled in the U.S., with over 85 exhibitors from 29 states and five foreign countries and a list of guest speakers that represents a virtual Who's Who of energy policy and industry leadership from across the country.
"The U.S. wind industry is on a roll," said AWEA President David Blittersdorf. "Utilities, landowners, public policymakers, and regulators at all levels increasingly understand that wind energy is the most promising new energy source the U.S. has seen in decades. Many of them will be coming to WINDPOWER 2002 to learn more about it, while industry members will be laying plans for billions of dollars worth of new development. WINDPOWER 2002 is the industry's focal point."
Speakers at WINDPOWER 2002 will include Pat Wood III, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); David Garman, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Oregon Gov. John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.; U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore.); and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Administrator Stephen J. Wright. In addition, a Wind Industry CEO Forum will feature a group of executives from the wind industry, including Dean Gosselin, Vice President of Wind Development of FPL Energy, North America's largest developer, owner, and operator of wind plants; and Ed Berkel, Vice President North America, Shell WindEnergy BV.
With over 1,200 attendees expected at WINDPOWER 2002, the conference has grown by at least 14% from last year and over 33% from WINDPOWER 2000. WINDPOWER 2002 also features over 10 company sponsorships, including support from a variety of local Portland businesses. For a detailed program, list of exhibitors, and other conference information go to http://www.awea.org/conference/index.html
"Wind energy is on track to supply at least 6% of U.S. electricity by 2020," commented AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher, "or about 20 times what it provides today. In the process, the wind industry will expand enormously over the next two decades, and become a major economic development driver in the rural U.S. We believe the WINDPOWER 2002 Conference and Exhibition, with its huge increase in exhibit size, will mark the beginning of that expansion."
AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy
industry. The association's membership of more than 700 includes turbine
manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested
individuals from 49 states. More information on wind energy is available from the home page
of the AWEA web site: www.awea.org
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