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United States

AWEA 2019: US wind opens doors to Cleanpower

For the first time in almost half a century, the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) annual conference will next year be part of a larger "Cleanpower" 2020 conference.

The last wind power-only show in America? The renewables lobbies are joining forces
The last wind power-only show in America? The renewables lobbies are joining forces

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The name change is a sign of the transition in the way the US wind industry is portraying itself amid the decarbonisation of electricity supply across the country.

AWEA has held wind power conferences every year since 1973. Now it is committing to joining forces with the bodies representing other forms of renewable generation.

"People will be able to come here and do all of their business in one place," said AWEA president Tom Kiernan at Houston. "The mindset of the industry is already there — the clean power scenario."

This means that solar, storage and other clean-power sectors will be targeted for next year’s event, to be held in Denver, Colorado. The Cleanpower conference will be launched in Denver for the first time.

Explaining the change, Kiernan cited a remark during the opening session by Neha Palmer, Google’s head of energy strategy.

When asked about co-location of wind projects with other technologies, Palmer said: "We’re agnostic about where these resources are located. From the customer perspective, we [just] need to match demand with supply."

Kiernan added in a statement: "The future of American energy is clean and renewable.

"Now we’re throwing the doors open, creating an even bigger opportunity for companies in wind, solar, storage and other clean energy technologies to learn and do business across the utility-scale power sector."

By incorporating these technologies into a single exhibition hub, Cleanpower will create efficiencies for exhibitors and attendees with multi-technology business models, said the trade group.

AWEA is targeting a conference of no more than 10,000 people for Cleanpower. The event must be efficient for attendees, it said. This year's wind-only event is drawing 7,000-8,000 people

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