Gipe Urges Change in AWEA

By Paul Gipe

Today Paul Gipe submitted his candidates biography to the American Wind Energy Association for re-election to AWEA’s board of directors. In his biography Gipe calls for a dramatic change in AWEA’s direction. He urges, for example, AWEA to launch a campaign for an Electricity Feed Law like that of Germany.

The move is a departure from traditional AWEA biographies which are normally straight-laced descriptions of a candidate’s accomplishments. Beginning last year Gipe began to use the biographies as a vehicle for speaking directly to AWEA’s membership about reforms needed in the world’s most well-financed wind energy trade association.

This year Gipe continued his effort by calling on AWEA members to demand that the board of directors address environmental problems from wind power plants in California, and to balance the association’s near-exclusive emphasis on wind farms with the interests of small wind turbine owners and the opportunity for European-style distributed generation. He also calls for AWEA to take bold new steps by moving its administrative functions from Washington, DC to Minneapolis, MN, and finding an executive director with broader vision.

In correspondence with AWEA’s board of directors Gipe has called for the Association to abandon its efforts to extend the Production Tax Credit and instead launch a campaign to create an American version of Germany’s Stromeinspeisungsgesetz or Electricity Feed Law.

Gipe said that AWEA’s emphasis on the Renewables Portfolio Standard and the Production Tax Credit, is misguided. “What this industry needs is an Electricity Feed Law like that in Germany or Denmark,” he says, adding that “last year these two countries alone installed more than $1 billion in new turbines. If we want to see the results seen in Germany and Denmark — real growth in wind generating capacity — then we should ask for it and not settle for something less.”

Gipe charges that the existing PTC has done very little to further wind energy in the United States, if anything at all. “The PTC has been a failure at spurring sustained wind development,” he says.