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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AWEA STATEMENT FOR BONN "RENEWABLES 2004" CONFERENCE
WASHINGTON, DC, June 1, 2004 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) supports the efforts of the International Renewable Energy Conference ("Renewables 2004") to promote renewable energy to help reduce the threat of climate change.
AWEA wishes in particular to draw attention to several characteristics of wind power as it is developing in the U.S., which underscore the potential of this technology to provide a large share of the country's-and the world's-power, while delivering compound environmental and economic benefits. AWEA calls for a number of actions to remove barriers to large-scale development of wind power in the U.S.
Characteristics of wind power as it is developing in the U.S.:
Today's large, high-tech utility-scale wind turbines generate electricity at a cost that can be competitive with other new power plants. Moreover, the cost of power from a wind farm is stable over time and provides valuable insurance against volatility in the cost of natural gas and other fuels used for power generation. A growing number of U.S. projects have been built principally on the basis of their economics, including the 162-megawatt (MW) Colorado Green wind farm in Lamar, Colorado, and two 40-MW projects in the Dakotas, completed in 2003 alone. More are in the pipeline, including wind power bids that won a total of 450 MW out of a 1,000-MW all-source solicitation by one of the nation's large utilities, Xcel Energy. Government incentives are still needed, however, to allow wind to continue to compete with established energy technologies that still receive subsidies in various forms, and to further accelerate investment in wind.
Local economic benefits of wind power revitalize rural communities.
The communities where wind farms are placed welcome the additional income and jobs that come with wind energy development. Increased county revenues can go to schools, hospitals, and other services. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land up to the base of the turbines while earning $2,000 to $4,000 per year per turbine installed on their property. Large-scale development of wind power in the U.S. would blow prosperity back to many rural communities in the American heartland.
Sophisticated technology makes wind power reliable and predictable, although it cannot be "dispatched" on demand.
Modern wind turbines are very reliable, and wind farms are available to generate power over 98% of the time, an outstanding performance for any energy technology. And while the wind does not blow on demand, seasonal and daily wind patterns at specific locations can be anticipated over time. Short-term forecasting is also increasingly accurate. In California, for example, wind farm operators participate in a program that provides wind power forecasts to the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO), the organization that manages power flows on the state's grid, which then schedules the energy from wind farms into the grid about an hour ahead of time. AWEA is reaching out to utility managers and decision-makers to inform them about the technology's capabilities.
Actions to remove barriers to large-scale development of wind power in the U.S.:
AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The association's membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals.
More information on wind energy is available at the AWEA web site: www.awea.org
CONTACT: Christine Real de Azua (202) 383-2508
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