The announcement of a training program for bladerunners-the hip new name for wind smiths, or wind technicians-is the next item on the agenda for the Clinton administration's Wind Powering America (WPA) initiative, which aims to have 5% of the nation's electricity coming from wind in 20 years (Windpower Monthly, July 1999). The exact timing and scope of the bladerunners program is unclear, but its birth indicates the administration's continuing interest in wind and other renewables. It will be the second major announcement since WPA was launched on June 21. On July 19, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced $1.8 million in grants for eight renewable projects on Native American lands, including wind and wind-hybrid (Windpower Monthly, August 1999). Also keeping wind centre stage in Washington DC, a nacelle from an Enron Z-series turbine was showcased for the first time at the Department of Energy in July, along with an information booth.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol