Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi speaks at Windpower 2010

June 4, 2010

DALLAS – May 25, 2010 -- The American Wind Energy Association held its annual Windpower conference, hosting a record-breaking 23,000 people and a score of top officials, including former President George W. Bush and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi. All speakers stressed the need for more wind-generated energy in the U.S.  

Assistant Secretary Zoi, of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, noted that the Department is working with other federal organizations on offshore wind standards to support wind energy deployment.  There has to be “a shift in the political equation” to pass clean energy legislation, Zoi told the crowd. 

Zoi also touted DOE’s investments in the wind industry during her speech, telling attendees that the agency has funded more than $3 billion in wind projects, including direct payment and tax credits. Offshore wind farms will provide the greatest opportunity to help reach the country’s production goals, she added.

Representing states with enough wind energy to power more than two million homes, Senator Bryon Dorgan of North Dakota and Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado spoke prior to Assistant Secretary Zoi.  Both discussed successes and barriers with wind energy projects in their states and plans for future projects.

Currently, there is no federal mandate on a renewable electricity standard, but many states, like Colorado and California, have implemented its own standards. DOE’s Wind Powering America program has a “20% by 2030” goal, which aims to have 20 percent of the nation’s power supplied by wind energy.

Colorado has an aggressive standard of 30 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2020 as part of its “New Energy Economy” plan.

Dorgan announced the upcoming introduction of energy legislation that calls for a 15 percent RES. He also promised an amendment on the floor for an increase to 20 percent.

Former President Bush also took the stage at the conference.  During his speech to promote renewable energy, Bush noted the accomplishments in Texas, a leading state in wind energy that now produces almost 10,000 megawatts.

“It's in our economic interests that we diversify away from oil,” Bush said. "It's in our environmental interest. And, finally, it's in our national security interest."

Over a thousand exhibitors from around the globe showcased new technologies, ideas and projects on the showroom floor, which was about the size of six football fields.

“It’s kind of a Woodstock for capitalists,” Zoi joked during her speech.