Sights and Sounds from AWEA WINDPOWER 2012

Thousands of wind industry professionals descended on Atlanta this week for the AWEA WINDPOWER 2012 event to network and learn about the latest developments in wind technologies. It was exciting being a part of the show and joining in on the industry conversations.

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The conference was abuzz with discussion of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), highlighted by a lively debate between Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Obama. While Rove and Gibbs may disagree on several issues, they agreed on the importance of extending the tax credit, which would expire December 31 if Congress continues to stall.

As exemplified by the spirited debate between Rove and Gibbs and a separate session with Ted Turner, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) and Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe (D), PTC draws the support of the wind power industry and Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle. AWEA CEO Denise Bode noted, “The PTC enjoys the highest level of bipartisan support of any energy policy, which is something to be proud of, especially in a Congress that is more divided today than any in memory.”

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In addition to hearing various perspectives on PTC, it was great to meet with industry professionals from all sectors of the wind energy sector to discuss advances in energy storage options, such as ultracapacitors, and the impact on wind turbines. Ultracapacitors provide a reliable energy storage option that ensures wind turbines operate properly in any environment — including under extreme weather conditions — and without frequent maintenance or management, since ultracapacitors have long lifespans.

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