May 24, 2017

Wind execs are bullish despite Trump

Yesterday, I moderated a panel with top executives at the American Wind Energy Association conference in Anaheim. Dispatches from my notebook:

The mood: Positive, even though they're facing a potential adversary in the White House after eight years of mostly friendly policies under President Obama.

About President Trump: Executives, including Karen Lane, chief financial officer for onshore Americas in the newly merged Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, agreed that the most important thing coming out of Washington isn't the budget or Trump's rhetoric, but instead stable tax policy, including keeping intact a 2015 congressional deal to extend for five years a production tax credit for wind energy.

Tom Kiernan, head of AWEA, touted wind's new position as America's top renewable energy source by generating capacity and urged fellow executives to make sure it stays there. Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and the newly elected chair of AWEA's board predicted the electric grid will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 100 years. "The grid of the future will be distributed, decarbonized and digital," Grimbert told a packed crowd in Anaheim.

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