AWEA Takes Strategic Focus on Growing the Wind Industry Through the 2020s

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the American Wind Energy Association’s WindPower 2018 conference and expo, Tom Kiernan, President and CEO used baseball analogies to explain how he sees the industry growing over the next few decades. Whereas the step-down PTC was a “home run” for the industry and helped it achieve a 67 percent decrease in costs since 2010, big wins like a five-year PTC are probably not going to happen again.

Wind energy is a mainstream energy source, said Kiernan.

“As a mainstream energy source, what we call for is a sustained rally of singles and doubles,” he said.

“Getting that sustained rally will get us more runs at less risk than just swinging for the fences,” he said.

Kiernan pointed to a few areas that the industry should focus on including productivity improvement, technology advancements, policies that level the playing field for wind energy and traditional energy sources and transmission.

He also mentioned some of the key drivers moving the industry forward such as corporate buyers of renewables, state and city initiatives, data centers, offshore wind, electric vehicles and 100 percent renewable energy initiatives.

According to Kiernan, large investors like Blackrock, State Street and Vanguard are also investing heavily in wind and other low-carbon initiatives.

“A sustained rally of these singles and doubles will help us continue our momentum through the 2020s,” he said.

Kiernan also announced the dates of this year’s American Wind Week. From August 5-11, the dates of American Wind Week, Kiernan wants every company in the wind industry to hold an event of some sort. Barbeques, tours of manufacturing facilities, small festival are just some of the ideas he put forth.

He said that Avangrid and EDP will be naming congressional wind champions during that week and Blattner will be holding a festival.

Kiernan urged all companies to hold events in order to raise the profile of wind energy.

Lead image credit: Renewable Energy World

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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