A 131-foot-long GE wind turbine blade has served as a traveling petition during the tour and has been signed by thousands of people, pledging their support for the policies needed to continue growth and new job creation in the wind power industry. The blade will be highlighted during the Windpower 2010 opening ceremony this morning at the Dallas Convention Center and will remain on display in front of the center during the four days of the show.
Among the officials attending today’s opening ceremony will be Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, AWEA CEO Denise Bode and Matt Guyette, Renewables Global Strategy Leader, GE Energy.
"The key message of our tour is that the people of America have the power to choose a cleaner, smarter energy future. American technology and innovation, combined with strong public support, can help to drive continued growth in the wind power industry, leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs. But we need the right policy at the federal level to make that vision a reality," Guyette said.
"Wind works for America and that is why voters want Congress to pass a strong national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)," said Bode. "Americans understand that an RES will mean new manufacturing jobs, less dependence on imported energy and more pure, clean, affordable energy for our country. Wind energy is readily available today to revitalize our economy and yet Congress, through its inaction, is allowing this bright spot in our economy to dim. As evidenced by a recent bipartisan poll, 67% of Americans believe Congress is focusing too little on increasing renewable energy sources such as wind."
"If wind energy is ever going to realize its full potential, we need strong policy leadership from the federal government, including the establishment of a national renewable or cleaner energy standard," said Guyette. "The rest of the world is not standing still. China and Europe already have enacted robust clean energy policies that expand manufacturing investment and employment. It’s time for federal policymakers to do the same, for the benefit of Texas and the entire nation."
For the past five years, wind power has been one of the largest sources of new generating capacity in the United States, producing enough electricity to power more than 10.5 million homes. In 2009, the U.S. wind industry had a record year, adding 10 gigawatts of new capacity and supporting a total of 85,000 jobs across the country. However, despite this major progress, wind power still accounts for less than 2% of the nation’s electricity supply, and the lack of predictable, long-term energy policy threatens to undermine the wind industry’s future growth.
Texas is the country’s largest producer of wind farm power and produces 27% of the country’s wind energy.
GE is the largest U.S. supplier of wind turbines, with its machines producing about 40% of the nation’s wind energy in 2009, according to BTM Consult ApS.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.
GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $37 billion, GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy–GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas–work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.