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United States

Carbon reduction takes centre stage at AWEA

UNITED STATES Wind power's contribution to reducing carbon emissions should be the industry's new priority, said Susan Reilly, the new chair of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Reilly: Wind is not an alternative, it is an imperative
Reilly: Wind is not an alternative, it is an imperative

"After energy efficiency, land-based wind energy is the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions," Reilly, president and CEO of RES Americas, told the Windpower 2014 conference in Las Vegas today.

"A major priority will be to have long-term policies that ensure wind energy is part of the solution," she said. "The main issue is climate change." 

"Our industry is the leading solution to carbon reduction in the power sector," she added.

Her comments represent a significant change in emphasis for AWEA, which for the past few years has prioritised keeping the federal production tax credit (PTC) more than anything else.

She recalled the latest publication by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued in April.

The report said that using far more low-carbon electricity within the next 15 years could still help to avert temperatures from rising too much, she noted.

"We are the solution - the low-cost solution," Reilly reiterated.

She warned, however, that opponents of the wind industry will fight harder because of wind’s growing success.

"We need to be bold, and back our story with facts," she said.

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