Meldung von American Clean Power Association (ACP)

WINDPOWER 2012: annual industry town square draws governors & icons im Windmesse Newsletter

As the largest annual wind energy event in the world, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition draws the industry’s top leaders to discuss the front-of mind-issues that are part of the industry landscape today. At WINDPOWER 2012, which takes place, June 3-6

To start, here’s a look at what will take center stage at WINDPOWER 2012 and get the industry conversation going.

Ted Turner, Governors kickoff event
Two governors and one of the biggest names in American business will kick off the festivities of the WINDPOWER 2012 Conference & Exhibition with remarks that are sure to set the stage for a productive and compelling week at this year’s annual gathering of the wind energy industry.

Last year in Anaheim, Calif., WINDPOWER participants heard from Ted Turner, the iconic media man who brought the world CNN, and about how he has embraced wind power. While on stage, Turner said that he would delight in welcoming the wind energy industry to his hometown of Atlanta for WINDPOWER 2012.

Good on his word, he’ll do just that. Turner, whose company Turner Enterprises, Inc., has partnered in renewable energy projects, will welcome attendees at the opening session on Monday June 4. Underscoring the importance of sound and stable policy, last year Turner proved both wise and entertaining with his thoughtful insights and trademark colorful wit. Expect a small dose of the same to chase your morning coffee and croissant.

“I’ve never seen anything more clear as the case for wind, solar, and geothermal,” Turner told the audience last year, calling for energy-policy reform that places a strong emphasis on renewables.

Also addressing the WINDPOWER audience will be two governors who know firsthand what wind power can do for a state. Wind power, for instance, fits perfectly into one of Governor Mike Beebe’s (D) top priorities: improving Arkansas’s economy. Under his leadership, Arkansas has successfully attracted both major-component wind power manufacturing facilities and a number of suppliers, all of whom are bringing jobs to his state. Beebe believes that Arkansas' investments in wind energy will continue to create jobs, improve the environment, and strengthen national security.

Coming to Atlanta from the Midwest, meanwhile, is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R). With enough wind energy potential to provide more than 90 times the state's current electricity needs, Kansas knows wind. Brownback has long championed the value of harnessing the wind resources of his state, which has also attracted its own share of wind power manufacturing—starting with, at the head of the supply chain, major wind turbine manufacturer Siemens.

Also on tap: Monday's general session will include a special feature recognizing the past presidents and chairs of the AWEA Board of Directors for their contributions to the wind industry. Finally, AWEA leadership will discuss the state of the wind power industry—where it’s been, where it is, and where it needs to go.

Karl Rove, Robert Gibbs to highlight wind power’s bipartisan appeal
Count on WINDPOWER for compelling programming. Last year at WINDPOWER 2011 in Anaheim, Calif., and then again this year in his hometown, Turner did what he does best: share what’s on his mind in an unfiltered and colorful manner.

This year, WINDPOWER delivers on its promise of compelling programming by getting a little political, with two prominent figures from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum sharing the same stage in Tuesday morning’s general session.

On the right (in the political sense, that is—not necessarily on stage) will be Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush. Coming from the left, meanwhile, will be Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Obama. The two will jointly keynote Tuesday’s general session.

But don’t expect too many fireworks. Wind power, after all, has a long and growing track record of being a bipartisan issue. In keeping with that reality, their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and uncover where party perspectives overlap. The dialogue will give occasion to highlight the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

AWEA CEO Denise Bode welcomed Rove and Gibbs’ agreement to appear on stage together, saying they symbolize the politicians across the political spectrum who are willing to oppose what would be felt as a crushing tax increase on wind energy.

“These are major opinion-leaders,” Bode said, “and a goal of AWEA and WINDPOWER is to get the amazing wind success story in front of every opinion leader in the country, whatever their position, to help inform the national debate on energy and secure broad support for wind energy.”

Nearly nine out of 10 voters—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—have repeatedly told pollsters that increasing the amount of energy the nation gets from wind power is a wise choice.

Industry Leaders Panel to tackle tough issues
In addition to the exchange between famous partisans Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs, the Tuesday general session will zero in on the business of wind. Moderating the “Wind Industry Leaders Panel Discussion” will be Tom Carnahan, president of project developer Wind Capital Group, who will guide a dynamic discussion on the front-of-mind issues the wind industry faces. Carnahan, incidentally, also becomes the new AWEA board chair at WINDPOWER.

Just a few of the topics on the docket for discussion: the cost of wind energy, the domestic supply chain, and project finance. Speaking on these topics will be Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Energy Wind Power Americas; Jan Blittersdorf, president and CEO of NRG Systems, Inc.; Jorge Calvet, chairman of Gamesa; James King, senior vice president/head of structured finance for the Americas at BayernLB; and Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI Composites, Inc.

Beyond the sessions
WINDPOWER offers opportunities to take in exciting Atlanta attractions—specifically, the likes of dolphins, penguins, and an array of marine life at the Atlanta Aquarium, which will serve as the unique setting for the annual Conference Dinner. The all-new WINDPOWER After Hours event, meanwhile, will provide attendees with the chance to socialize and make new contacts, all while enjoying some wonderful Atlanta dining and nightlife destinations.

Another WINDPOWER highlight that’s quite a sight for all ages: the KidWind Challenge, an opportunity for young people to build their own wind turbines in a competition that makes for an unrivaled education experience.

“We’re thrilled to bring the world’s biggest annual wind energy event to Atlanta,” said Bode. “Georgia and the Southeast are America’s manufacturing hub for our industry. This region exemplifies how wind power is an American success story, creating jobs and generating economic development. Wind power has captured 35 percent of all new generating capacity since 2007, further cementing it as a mainstream energy source. WINDPOWER 2012 will showcase this amazing industry, offering exceptional networking, education, and business opportunities.”

WINDPOWER is like no other event in the world. Recognized as one of the top 50 trade shows in the United States, the Conference and Exhibition is where products are released, new sources of business are explored, and the latest and greatest in technology is presented. Over the past five years, wind energy has annually added $15 billion of private investments into the United States.

Wind industry leaders and senior executives hailing from all over the globe will be in Atlanta showing off their products and looking for business opportunities. Countries represented include: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.

Wind has been one of the fastest growing sources of new U.S. manufacturing jobs in recent years. Today nearly 500 manufacturing plants build wind components, and over 60 percent of components in U.S.-deployed turbines are produced domestically. An overwhelming majority of Americans - well over 80% of all Republicans, Democrats and Independents – want more wind power. The energy that wind power brings to America will be on full display June 3-6 in Atlanta.
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