WINDPOWER Preview: Embracing renewables, Ted Turner heads for Anaheim

Last year, WINDPOWER featured a man who held the top post in government. Gracing the bill this year is one of the biggest names in business. Last year’s keynote speaker is known as having a fairly reserved disposition. “Colorful maverick” might characterize the image of this year’s speaker.

One thing the two men have in common: renewable energy.

When last year’s speaker, former President George W. Bush, served as the governor of Texas, he supported passage of a trailblazing renewable electricity standard along with a market structure and transmission policies that have since catapulted the state to the number-one position in wind energy development. And during his presidency, Bush’s statement that wind energy could provide 20% of the nation’s electricity in part spurred the U.S. Department of Energy to produce the landmark report showing the feasibility of reaching 20% wind penetration by 2030.

Ted Turner, the WINDPOWER 2011 speaker who built a media empire and brought the world CNN, likes renewables, too. In January the 30-MW Cimarron Solar Facility in New Mexico went online. Turner Renewable Energy is a partner in the project, which is one of the nation’s largest photovoltaic plants.

Apparently Turner, whom some might call a business visionary, knows a smart choice when he sees one. “Given the current state of the world, it’s absolutely imperative that we turn our attention to renewable energy as soon as we possibly can,” Turner told WINDPOWER Update. “The clean energy industry, which includes wind and solar, is one of the greatest business opportunities that our country has ever seen, and I urge you to take advantage. The days of fossil fuels are over. It’s just a matter of how soon everyone realizes it.”

So get ready for such insights when Turner takes the stage at WINDPOWER 2011's Opening Session on Monday, May 23, and talks wind power in a one-on-one Q&A with AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

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