Madrid, May 20th, 2014. The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) has decided to give its Annual Award to the U.S. President Barack Obama, for his strong commitment to wind power, which has brought a fourfold increase in the country´s installed capacity during his presidency, with a major role for Spanish companies. For this reason, the U.S. Ambassador in Spain, James Costos, will deliver the Opening Conference at the 2014 Wind Power Convention on 10th June. The award will be presented that evening at the Annual Wind Power Sector Dinner.
Of the 61,110 MW of wind power which United States had in late 2013 «“ second only to China»“, 72.6% was installed during the Obama presidency. Although he has often met with opposition from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the President has struggled over the past six years to extend the policy of tax exemptions on wind power and has set ambitious goals. The result is that today there are 80,700 U.S. employees working directly or indirectly in the sector, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Obama has often recognized the important work of the Spanish wind power companies in the country. He has highlighted in many of his speeches the importance of clean energy. «Last year, wind power accounted for almost half of new U.S. power capacity. So, let´s go for more «, he said in his State of the Union in 2013. «For too long, our dependence on imported oil has put our national security and our economy at risk due to the volatility of prices has eroded the budgets of middle class families. In the past four years, the U.S. has reduced its dependence on foreign oil and dramatically increased domestic production of renewable energy, making our country safer in energy terms than at any time in recent decades, while we have reduced our CO2 emissions, and created jobs», he said.
In his inaugural address in 2012, Obama announced that one of the priorities of his second term would be the fight against climate change and an energy transition to sustainable energy sources. «We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that if we don´t do it we would be betraying our children and future generations.» He added: «The road to sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But the U.S. should not resist this transition. U.S. has to lead it. «
Already in one of the debates ahead of the 2012 elections, Obama had made clear what he thought about wind power: » We have to control our own energy, not just oil and gas, in which we have been investing, but we also have to make sure that we are building the energy sources of the future, not only thinking about next year, but within 10 years, 20 years from now. That is why we have invested in solar energy, wind energy and biofuels, energy efficient cars …».
At a time that wind power is going through serious difficulties in Spain, where the wind energy sector can see its global leadership threatened due to the new regulation, AEE wants to recognize the importance of the vision of the U.S. President granting this Annual Distinction.