The American Wind Energy Association held its annual meeting last week in Chicago. It was a massive affair full of optimism and high powered government and industry leaders laying out their plans for the future. There was also an impressive display of wares in the exhibition hall.
Here are some statistics – 1,200 exhibitors, 23,000 attendees, 290,400 square feet of exhibition floor space. Speeches by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Energy Secretary Steven Chu (via a taped speech) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. Attendance by seven governors, including Chet Culver of Iowa, Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Pat Quinn of Illinois, Ted Strickland of Ohio, Mark Parkinson of Kansas and Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania. You can watch some video of the event at http://www.awea.org/windpower2009/webisodes/
Next week, I hope to sneak in a few minutes at the Nuclear Energy Assembly that will be held here in Washington, DC. It will be interesting to compare the two, especially in light of the characterization by anti-nuclear activists that nuclear power represents corporate and government power while wind power is more community oriented and locally controlled.