Paul Gipe is an author, advocate, and analyst of the renewable energy industry. He has written extensively about the subject for the past four decades. Gipe has lectured before groups from Patagonia to Puglia, from Tasmania to Toronto, and from Halifax to Husum. He has spoken to audiences as large as 10,000 and as small as a private presentation for Vice President Al Gore.
Gipe also writes about his experience driving electric vehicles. He’s driven electric since 2014.
Through his web site, Gipe is well known for his frank appraisal of the promise and pitfalls of wind energy, including his stinging critiques of Internet wonders and the hustlers and charlatans who promote them.
Gipe initiated and led the campaign to adapt electricity feed laws to the North American market—the same policy that has stirred a renewable energy revolution in Germany. In his most recent book, Wind Energy for the Rest of Us, he introduces Germany’s electricity rebels to a North American audience for the first time. The book, Gipe’s seventh on wind energy, debunks novel wind turbines, rebukes revisionist historians, and argues that renewable energy is too important to be left to electric utilities.
In 2004, Gipe served as the acting executive director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association where he created, managed, and implemented a provincial campaign for Advanced Renewable Tariffs. The campaign grew into a continent-wide grassroots movement that put renewable energy feed-in tariffs on the political agenda in Canada and the United States.
Gipe first publicly called for a feed law in the United States in his unsuccessful campaign for re-election to the board of directors of the American Wind Energy Association in 1998.
From 1986 to 1994, Gipe represented the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on the West Coast. He also served on AWEA’s board of directors from 1996 to 1998.
From 1987 to 1995, Gipe was the executive director of the Kern Wind Energy Association, a trade association representing companies active in California’s Tehachapi Pass.
Gipe has written several books on wind energy, beginning in 1983. His book Wind Energy Basics was translated into Spanish under the title Energía Eólica Práctica (Seville, Spain: Progensa, 2000) and translated into Italian under the title of Elettricità dal Vento (Rome: Franco Muzzio Editore, 2002). Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business was translated into French under the title Le Grand Livre de l’Éolien (Observ’ER, 2007). In 1995, his book Wind Energy Comes of Age was selected by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, for its list of outstanding academic books.
Gipe contributed a chapter to Guide de L’Énergie Éolienne (Paris: Collection Etudes et Filières, 1998), and co-authored a chapter in Wind Turbine Technology (New York: ASME Press, 1994). He was the principal contributor to the Izaak Walton League’s Landowner’s Guide to Wind Energy in the Upper Midwest and was one of the lead authors of Wind Power in View: Energy Landscapes in a Crowded World (San Diego: Academic Press, 2002). Gipe has also written numerous articles for both the popular and trade press. His photography has appeared in magazines, books, commercial slide sets, brochures, and posters. He has lectured widely on wind energy in the United States and abroad.
From 1999 to 2003 Gipe measured the performance and noise emissions of small wind turbines at the Wulf Test Field in the Tehachapi Pass. The results of his tests in part spurred the small wind industry to establish a system of performance testing and certification that had languished for decades.
In the early 1980s, Gipe managed a pioneering anemometer loan program in Pennsylvania, and in the early 1990s he installed two highway advisory radio stations in California. Gipe’s script for one of the transmitters won a 1993 TIMMY award for descriptive interpretation.
Gipe’s interest in wind energy grew out of his wish to limit the environmental effects of conventional energy sources, particularly those of coal and nuclear power. He contributed to the seven-year struggle for passage of the National Surface Mining Act, which regulates the strip mining of coal in the United States. As part of that effort, Gipe co-authored Surface Mining, Energy, and the Environment and was invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter for the signing ceremony.
While a student at Ball State University, Gipe contributed to a citizens’ group that successfully petitioned the Indiana Legislature to ban the sale of phosphate detergents. He graduated with an interdisciplinary degree in Natural Resources.
Gipe has modeled the noise and air quality impacts of proposed highway and mass transit projects in Pennsylvania, studied the geohydrologic impact of strip mining in Montana, evaluated water pollution in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and represented the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club before the Pennsylvania state legislature. He is a past member of the Sierra Club’s technical advisory team on energy, and past chapter chair of the Kern-Kaweah chapter.
During his career, Gipe has received numerous awards for his work. He received the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Small Wind Conference in 2013. In 2012 he was invited to give the opening presentation to Husum Wind, the world’s largest and oldest wind energy exhibition. The Canadian Wind Energy Association gave him its Individual Leadership Award in 2009 for his work on Ontario’s groundbreaking system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs. In 2008 the World Wind Energy Association presented Gipe with their World Wind Energy Award. In 2005 the Kern-Kaweah chapter of the Sierra Club awarded him the Sierra Club Cup, the chapter’s highest honor. In 1998 the World Renewable Energy Congress honored him as a Pioneer in renewable energy. And in 1988 the American Wind Energy Association named him as the industry’s Person of the Year.