Leading wind energy industry called on Congress to pass a strong RES

"We need to drive demand in a stable, predictable way," said Vic Abate, Vice President for Renewables, GE Energy, the largest supplier of wind turbines in the U.S. market. "For the jobs to grow the Renewable Electricity Standard is critical."

"There are three main points to make about the RES: jobs, jobs, and jobs," said John W. Grabner, President, Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Company, Inc. The company, based in Cleveland, Ohio, makes steel bolts used in construction of wind turbines for many of the wind turbine manufacturers active in the U.S.

Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Association, said: "We have the potential for explosive growth if we can get long term support. A national RES will result not just in new installations, but also in new manufacturing. The RES is the most important buy-American policy we can do."

"As a global wind farm company, we balance and make decisions about where to invest years in advance," said Ned Hall, Executive Vice President, AES Wind Generation, based in Arlington, Va. "So I am here to call on Congress to pass a national Renewable Electricity Standard, to create long-term demand in the U.S."

"Manufacturers are chomping at the bit to come to the U.S. and it would be a tragedy if this investment were to stop," said Donald Furman, Senior Vice President, Iberdrola Renewables, based in Portland, Oregon, and President of the Board of the American Wind Energy Association. "The RES is the missing link."

The press conference took place as 120 wind energy representatives were traveling to Washington D.C. for "Wind Power on Capitol Hill." on March 10. The industry representatives will hold over 70 meetings with lawmakers to urge passage of the RES.

In 2009, wind power was neck and neck with natural gas as the leading source of new electricity in the country. The U.S. added nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power generating capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes or generate as much electricity as three large nuclear power plants.

AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.