Windpower Top 30 - the wind policy influencers

WORLDWIDE: It is that time of year again when Windpower Monthly examines and ranks the most influential people in the wind sector.

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The survey is based on interviews with people in the industry and our own panel. However, there is also an opportunity for the Windpower Monthly readership to put forward its own views.

Last week, Windpower Monthly listed the most important people heading the turbine manufacturers. This week it is the turn of the policy makers.

It has been said that energy is political. This has been borne out increasingly over time with uncertainty over policy, and lack of political will towards wind, frequently cited as a reason for poor growth and investment.

This long list includes both the politicians and the industry figureheads whose job it is to influence those decisions. Vote your choice  of who makes it into the shortlist.

Tom Kiernan - CEO AWEA
Kiernan left the National Parks Conservation Association to join the American Wind Energy Association last year, replacing Denise Bode who resigned shortly before the government announced a further extension to the production tax credit. With the PTC currently running, things are looking good in the US right now. However, AWEA and thus Kiernan, will be wedded to the challenge of looking beyond the PTC. He will ultimately be judged against the performance of Bode.

Thomas Becker - CEO EWEA
LIke Kiernan, Becker is relatively new to the role. However, he has been on the offensive from the outset and has already restructured the team at the European Wind Energy Association and is set to sign a deal with Hamburg Messe for a joint event. More importantly, he has been outspoken in his criticism of wind associations around the world, saying they have not done enough to support the industry against the anti-wind lobby.

Steve Sawyer - CEO GWEC
The other big two trade bodies may have a higher profile than the Global Wind Energy Council, but Sawyer is arguably a bigger industry personality than either Becker or Kiernan. Sawyer's biggest input is as a knowlegeable source on wind power and where it is at. While GWEC, unencumbered with a confererence, is best known for its yearly report on the state of the industry.

Gunther Oettinger - energy commissioner European Commission
Oettinger's position as the man responsible for the European Union's energy policy puts him in this list. In the European market, he is the man who is ultimately reponsible for ensuring targets are being hit.

Ernie Moniz - energy secretary United States
Former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Moniz was appointed to the energy secretary role last year. In wind terms he has kept a lower profile than his predecessor Stephen Chu, but then Chu had a lot more money to spend.

Ed Davey - energy minister UK
The UK might not be the biggest wind sector in the world, and the chances are it is going to miss its 2020 targets, but it is a major player in the offshore sector. At least in terms of capacity, if not industry. It has frequently fallen on Davey to defend the wind sector from less wind-friendly Conservative junior ministers.

Shi Lishan - National Energy Association director
When it came to admitting China was going to miss its 5GW target for offhore wind, it fell to Shi to deliver the news. NEA-veteran Shi has been a major player in the country's wind energy policy in recent years and was heavily involved in its push to become world number one.

Jose Manuel Soria-Lopez, energy and industry minister Spain
Soria-Lopez, the man who has implemented Spain's policy to end its feed-in-tariff agreements and cut wind subsidies, is here because of his influence and not what he has done for the wind industry.

Maurício Tolmasquim, president Empresa de Pesquisa Energética
Brazil is on a drive to expand its wind power capacity, with a pipeline of around 20GW. Arguably, Tolmasquim is at the centre of this, setting targets and the amount of power contracted out through auctions.

Sigmar Gabriel - vice chancellor and energy and economy minister, Germany
Barely a story has been written about the Germany market that omits the word Energiewende, the country's energy reform bill. Gabriel has been centre to this legislation, in a country that hosts more top 10 turbine manufacturers than any other.

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