Wind Power Urged to Compete with Fossil Fuels Head-On

GlobalWindPowerCumulativeCapacity

The industry must fight the perception that wind energy cannot compete with fossil fuels

Coming off one of the most tumultuous years in its recent history, the U.S. wind power industry has emerged stronger and more confident of its future, industry leaders gathered here for the American Wind Energy Association‘s national conference said yesterday.

But for wind power to solidify its standing in a highly competitive energy market, it must shift its focus from federal tax policies to seek a broader agenda that plays to wind energy’s inherent strengths while fighting back against those who argue that wind cannot compete with fossil fuels for electricity generation.

Citing the industry’s robust growth, with wind turbines accounting for 42 percent of all new generation added to the U.S. grid in 2012, AWEA’s new board chairman, Gabriel Alonso, said wind energy developers, manufacturers and consumers have proved that the renewable energy resource is here to stay.

“That’s good news, but it’s just another chapter in a story we keep writing every day,” said Alonso, CEO of Houston-based EDP Renewables North America. Future chapters will have to place the industry on a clearer path to economic security, one that does not rely on the on-again, off-again cycle of federal tax policies that have sustained the industry for decades.

Even if total wind power installations dropped marginally from last year’s record 13,000 megawatts, Alonso predicted, the industry could remain “vibrant and sustainable.” But the boom-and-bust cycle associated with a strong reliance on government incentives “does not make for a sustainable industry.”

Alonso called on the wind power industry’s 1,200 members to commit to more aggressive campaigning on behalf of wind energy and to powerfully convey the industry’s positive message in Washington, D.C., as well as in statehouses and town council chambers across the country. “You have a message that matters,” he said.

Tom Kiernan, AWEA’s incoming president and CEO, said of the industry’s challenges: “The country needs us to succeed. The natural world needs us to succeed. And frankly, my children and your children need us to succeed.”

Borrowing a page from environmentalists

To that end, some wind power advocates argued that the industry should borrow a page from the environmental movement by challenging renewable energy naysayers head on and ratcheting up its rhetoric on wind energy’s environmental benefits relative to fossil fuels rather than seeking to peacefully coexist alongside the oil, coal and gas sectors.

Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation and one of several high-profile environmental leaders addressing the Chicago conference, told AWEA members that they represent “an insurgent industry” that is “taking on an incumbent industry that plays hardball.”

“I would urge you all to become more aggressive,” he added, “because if you don’t be more creative, more aggressive, more willing to take risks, this industry will move along at a pace that will not solve our problems.”

Read more . . .

via Scientific American – Daniel Cusick and ClimateWire
 

The Latest Streaming News: Wind Power updated minute-by-minute

Bookmark this page and come back often
 

Latest NEWS

 

Latest VIDEO

 

The Latest from the BLOGOSPHERE

Older Adults Welcome Robots Help with Chores

Grandma and Grandpa would love a little robotic help around the house, a new study has found.

In a survey, a team of psychologists and engineers found that adults over age 65 felt generally positive toward the idea of having a robot help them with chores, although they preferred humans help for tasks such as getting dressed or eating. The study was designed to help robot-makers design appealing bots for seniors in the future, especially older people who want help so they are able to live in their own homes instead of moving to an assisted living facility or a relative’s house.

“There are many misconceptions about older adults having negative attitudes toward robots,” Cory-Ann Smarr, a doctoral student in psychology who worked on the survey, said in a statement. “The people we interviewed were very enthusiastic and optimistic about robots in their daily lives.”

Read more . . .

via TechNews Daily
 

The Latest Streaming News: Robots Help updated minute-by-minute

Bookmark this page and come back often
 

Latest NEWS

 

Latest VIDEO

 

The Latest from the BLOGOSPHERE