Wind Leaders Meet in the Windy City
Last week, Joe Baker, the CEO of ACCIONA Windpower, was invited to speak at the Windpower Manufacturing & Supply Chain Summit as the keynote speaker. This summit was a chance for leaders to convene and discuss in a 2-day conference the wind industry forecast for the next few years. As 2010 closes, everyone involved in the wind industry knows that it was not a year for bragging.
At the close of 2009, there was a record-breaking 10MW of wind energy installed in the United States. While that only accumulates for less than three percent of the nation’s total energy capacity, it was a huge step for wind, unprecedented to say the least. New projects were coming on the grid, investors were not holding back and large energy utilities were taking advantage of numerous tax credits and incentives. So why was 2010 so different?
To be brief, the lack of national energy policy and an extension of Recovery Act incentives were the deadweight for 2010. However, in the words of Joe Baker, “this fight is not over.” Our CEO was calm, cool and collected when he insisted that wind energy is on the upward slant of a bathtub curve. Yes, we had a slow year, but we are slowly moving back up. The only way to do this, he stated, is to adapt to the current market. As a producer of both 1.5MW and 3MW turbines, ACCIONA Windpower is focusing its efforts on customizing its product directly for its customers. Listen to what they want, and adapt. It’s that simple.
What the wind market holds in store for 2011 is still unknown, but it’s refreshing to hear a positive approach for next year towards an industry that has taken quite the beating recently. We may not be able to create a booming wind market, but we can surely adapt.