WindPower 2008: A few comments from Monday

A few quotes and comments from the American Wind Energy Association’s WindPower 2008 conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday:
Andy Karsner, a former AWEA official now Assistant Secretary Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (and Rice University alum):

“The wind industry has arrived. You’re mainstream.”
“You have got to think of the day you have an orderly progressive step down from the industry’s heroin-like addiction to tax credits…”

Houston Mayor Bill White:

“Our goal is that Houston will not just be the energy capital of the world, but for renewables and energy efficiency.”

Vic Abate, vice president for renewables at GE Energy”

For every percentage point of power demand that wind power needs to handle world-wide one needs 40,000 wind turbines. “The fleet size is exploding.”
“If you took GE’s view five years ago and today, five years we were a lot more suspicious,” of the growth potential for wind power.

Michael O’Sullivan, a senior vice president of development at the FPL Energy (the largest wind power producer in Texas):

“It’s a flawed product for the grid … it’s an energy displacement product, not a baseload product.”
If natural gas prices had not climbed so significantly since 2000 “I’m not sure we’d be talking a wind power” to positively.
“This is not the place to disagree over it since the industry came around it [a recent DOE report that says the U.S. could get 20 percent of its wind from renewables by 2030. “We were the lone dissenter on it and we still don’t’ agree… We don’t’ think it’s achievable policy-wise.”