World's Largest Wind Energy Conference In Dallas
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX – More than 23 thousand people are in Dallas this week for WINDPOWER 2010. KERA's BJ Austin says it is the world's largest conference on wind energy.
A key focus of the conference is the lack of a U.S. "renewable energy standard", or RES, in the clean energy bill pending in the Senate. At the conference, Iowa Governor Chet Culver says the lack of a national commitment to renewable energy is bad for the economy. He says Europe and China are leading the way in wind technology and manufacturing because they have committed to renewable energy standards.
Culver: I think it would just free up credit. We'd move forward quickly on expanding our existing tower, blade and turbine operations. It would just open the spigot in a very positive way.
Governor Perry addressed the conference in a video. Texas is the Number One wind energy producing state, thanks to a renewable energy standard passed in 1999, and regulations that accommodate transmission of alternative energy. Last year, the state surpassed its renewable energy standards - six years early. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland says Texas deserves a round of applause.
Strickland: Because we all know that Texas is an oil state. There could have been an attitude of we don't need to think of alternatives. But Texas has pursued this great alternative, and I applaud Texas for what's been accomplished here.
Iowa is the #2 wind energy producing state, and Governor Culver had this message:
Culver: I just want Texas to know we're comin' after you for number one. We've passed everyone but Texas.
Iowa recently invested 100 million dollars in wind energy research and development.
At the conference, Ohio's Governor Strickland announced a public-private partnership on Lake Erie for the world's first freshwater wind farm.
Officials with the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau say WINDPOWER 2010 is one of the largest conventions in Dallas in the past five years, and will have an estimated 41 million dollar economic impact.