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Wind Power on Capitol Hill is the biggest opportunity of the year to meet with your representatives in Congress to advocate for wind energy. And this year, we have some great new opportunities to tell wind’s story. With new members making up over 20 percent of the 116th Congress, we have the chance to educate them on the benefits wind delivers to our communities.

As a first-time attendee, I am especially eager to meet the many dedicated wind professionals and advocates who make the trip to Washington. I am sure many visitors are looking forward to enjoying the beauty of the Capitol complex while sharing their stories with lawmakers. These folks make American wind power successful, and they’re the people members of Congress want to hear from most.

American wind power has an exciting story to tell. More of the country is powered by low-cost, reliable and clean electricity generated from wind than ever before. Since 2009, the cost of wind has fallen 69 percent, and improved siting practices and more efficient turbines continue to make accessing America’s natural wind resource even cheaper.

All this while supporting over 105,000 American jobs. It may surprise lawmakers that wind’s footprint exists in every state—whether it is the over 500 wind-related factories or the hundreds of operational wind farms. We need you to join us in Washington and help us deliver this message.

Of course, I am also looking forward to learning from members of Congress. Like House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who will be delivering the event’s keynote address on March 5th. Majority Leader Hoyer has served in the House of Representatives since 1981. Or Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), who knows all about wind as by representing Oklahoma, the country’s third largest wind state. Reps. Hoyer and Lucas offer valuable insight for communicating with your representative and on what to expect from the 116th Congress.

Here are some of the other exciting opportunities that await participants

  • Learn the wind industry’s top message points and some best practices for going into congressional meetings.
  • Enjoy a networking reception at the end of each day with opportunities to meet other wind supporters and members of Congress.

There is no voice louder or more persuasive to a Member of Congress than that of their constituents. Members of Congress want to hear from people directly benefiting from wind. Whether you are a landowner who hosts turbines or a technician who climbs the towers, you have valuable experience to impart on your member of Congress.

Don’t delay, register today! And we will see you March 5-6, 2019 on Capitol Hill!

For questions about Wind Power on Capitol Hill 2019, please contact Jenna Marinstein.

Africa and Middle East installed 962MW new wind capacity in 2018 – over 300MW more than in 2017

  • Total installed wind capacity in Africa and Middle East is now 5.7GW
  • Leading countries in the region are Egypt (380MW) and Kenya (310MW)
  • The surge for wind in Africa and Middle East is expected to continue with GWEC forecasting over 6.5GW of new wind capacity to be installed by 2023

The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows Africa and the Middle East installed 962MW capacity of onshore wind power in 2018, an increase of more than 300MW compared to 2017. The preview data from GWEC’s Global Wind Report forecasts that a further 6.5 GW capacity will be added by 2023 – this would mean more than double the current installed capacity of 5.7GW.

Top three markets in Africa and the Middle East in 2018:

  • Egypt – 380MW
  • Kenya – 310MW
  • Morocco – 120MW

Leading players in the industry are committed to driving the development of markets in Africa and the Middle East, demonstrated by Siemens Gamesa involvement in large projects in Egypt across 2018.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, said: “Government commitment in Africa and Middle East is essential for wind energy to progress. Investments in grid and infrastructure are key drivers for growth.

“GWEC is especially watching the development in the Middle East. In January 2019, Saudi Arabia awarded 400MW to build the first commercial onshore wind farm in the Middle East. The bid of 21.30 USD/ KWh proves the competitiveness of onshore wind.”

Karin Ohlenforst, Director of Market Intelligence at GWEC, said: “After two years with lower installations, Africa and Middle East reached almost 1GW of new wind capacity, reaching a similar level as in 2015 (983MW). The outlook is that Africa and Middle East will add more than 1GW each year of new wind capacity. Even though, no new capacity was installed in South Africa during 2018, during the summer state utility Eskom signed PPAs from previous auction rounds. Further, the industry expects the fifth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) to take place during H1 2019.”

Growth in renewables is a priority across the world in a bid to meet international climate agreements whilst satisfying rising energy demand. It forms a crucial part of the solution to reduce emissions, strengthen the energy mix and boost investment into local economies.  

These latest figures released by GWEC form the statistical release of the Global Wind Report. The Global Wind Report is GWEC’s flagship publication and the industry’s most widely used source of data. This report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the global wind industry and an overview of trends such as the growth of offshore wind, corporate sourcing and changing business models will be released in April. The full report will be released in April.

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Two is 0.000035 percent of 56,000. And yet the Wall Street Journal decided to characterize an entire industry with a sample size that small—two turbines out of the 56,000 operating in the U.S today. The Journal’s editorial board recently commented on two wind turbines in Falmouth, Mass. and based off these turbines concluded wind isn’t worth it.

Not only is the Journal’s sample size woefully small, it chose to focus on perhaps the least representative turbines in the U.S. wind fleet.

As the nation’s leading business publication, that does a disservice to readers and investors. American wind power is a multi-billion-dollar industry with a 50 state footprint, facts Journal subscribers would never know from this editorial.

Falmouth’s wind turbines are an extreme outlier

The Town of Falmouth installed two turbines to power its waste water treatment plant nearly a decade ago. But these were not built following the normal process. The town constructed them without correctly doing its homework on local zoning requirements. It also chose to perform important components of the project’s development itself rather than using professional wind developers.

As a result, legal challenges ensued and played out in court over a number of years. Ultimately a court ordered the turbines to be shut down because they had not complied with local regulations.

This is out of the ordinary.

Wind developers must carefully determine any potential impacts associated with their projects, and the specific regulatory authorities that have jurisdiction in each instance. The developer should consult with the relevant authorities as early as possible in the development process, and each wind developer has a responsibility to provide appropriate and sound oversight of the regulatory process. The Town of Falmouth strayed from this process in significant ways.

So ultimately, the Wall Street Journal painted a picture of an industry with a 50-state footprint and investments exceeding $140 billion over the last decade by examining an abnormal 0.000035 percent of the picture.

That’s irresponsible journalism.

The reality of American wind power

Here’s what isn’t mentioned in the Journal’s editorial:

  • Over 1.3 million U.S. homes are within five miles of a turbine and the overwhelmingly majority of people living in these homes do so without complaint, according to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.
  • Over 105,000 Americans have wind jobs, many at more than 500 U.S. factories building wind-related parts.
  • The U.S. has enough installed wind capacity to power 30 million homes, and state like Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Oklahoma all generate over 30 percent of their electricity using wind.
  • Wind brings unparalleled economic development into rural America, creating jobs and opportunities in the places that need it most.
  • By cutting air pollution that creates smog and triggers asthma attacks, wind avoids $8 billion in public health costs every year.

But don’t take only our word. Listen to the men and women who live with wind power in their communities every day. They tell a drastically different story than the one the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board tells. That’s what happens when you hunt for the 0.000035 percent outlier and ignore everything else.

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