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Governor support in California

California's Governor Gray Davis is calling for more incentives for renewable energy -- and he promised that details of his proposal would be released by the end of December. The governor's move could be important for wind power. Although he revealed no specifics -- these will have to be debated by the state legislature -- he recalled the tax incentive offered to wind power in the 1980s in California as a good example of how alternative energy can be bolstered. Davis, a Democrat, also noted that the incentives would help the state -- the country's largest power consumer and the cradle of the modern US wind industry -- meet the goals of Wind Powering America, a wide ranging program announced by the administration of President Bill Clinton in June (Windpower Monthly, July 1999). Davis' comments were made at a SeaWest Windpower luncheon on November 17 to herald the completion of the company's newest repowering, the 43.4 MW Westwinds II. SeaWest replaced 477 older wind turbines near Palm Springs with 62 state-of-the art machines. "I'd like to provide a significant incentive to alternative forms of power," he said. "We're going to be with fossil fuel for a long time, make no mistake about it, but it's time we start looking seriously at our alternatives." His speech came just two days after a new study by the University of California praising wind power was delivered to the governor and legislators (page 35). Wind power is playing an important role in helping California reduce pollution, said the study, and the wind industry is promoting jobs and economic development.

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