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Wind Industry Profile of

WINDPOWER 2011: Interview with Lori Rugh, Sr. Director of Marketing & Sales, American Wind Energy Association in The Windfair Newsletter

Windfair: Ms. Rugh, We are very happy to welcome you in our newsletter with an interview on WINDPOWER 2011. WINDPOWER is the largest worldwide wind energy trade show with a net area of 331,385 Square Feet / 30.787 m² and it is constantly growing. Please

Lori Rugh: WINDPOWER actually started in the mid 1970's but was more of a workshop during those days. It started to grow in 2001 and we actually started to track the numbers at this time as well - we then had 1,000 attendees. From that moment on, it has progressed and grown to be the largest wind industry Conference & Exhibition in the world.

Windfair: With the industry's quickly increasing number of wind energy conferences and trade shows all over the world, sometimes it is really hard to decide where to attend and exhibit. Do you think WINDPOWER will as a competitor on this market swallow up many of the other shows e.g. in Europe in the course of time or is there enough space for all?

Lori Rugh: We truly believe their space and time for many of the leading shows. We believe and support our the other wind energy associations, such as EWEA, CanWEA and GWEC to name a few, as it is these associations who are the true voice of the industry. The other events are "For Profit" and really are not concerned with growing the industry, only their profits. Whereas we organizations are non - profit and pour our proceeds right back into the industry which then helps to arm us and fight the battles and attacks from the fossil fuel industries.

Windfair: Please tell us a little about the 2011 conference highlights.

Lori Rugh: Some highlights is the outstanding presentation by Ted Turner who is a financial genius and ahead of the industry curve. Hearing from the numerous Governors and other Government officials is always a huge benefit. Our industry leaders presentations and views on the positive growth is inspirational and a great motivator. Then there's all of the new product announcements and large equipment, something I personally always enjoy seeing as it is a reminder of our advances as an industry. And we can't forget the fun side of WINDPOWER! We featured a Tesla car for our "Wind powering my car" concept, a custom built wind themed motorcycle, the "Ask Me" game to win Angels baseball tickets, Jim Abbott and Jay Johnstone (former All Star Angels Baseball players) onsite to sign autographs, an evening at Disney and the unforgettable Jay Leno show at our Conference Dinner. These events are all great networking opportunities mixed with loads of fun.

Windfair: How international is the WINDPOWER exhibition this year? Are there, for example, many exhibitors from China, the biggest wind energy market in the world?

Lori Rugh: This is truly a difficult question to answer as so many companies who are international have local US addresses so finding the exact number is as mentioned, a daunting task. From our initial gleaning of records, it appears that about 25% of the exhibiting companies are international and from all parts of the world. Of this number about 3% are from the Asian market.

Windfair: As WINDPOWER gets larger and larger we wonder - and I am sure many others do, too - where AWEA will find adequate exhibition grounds especially with your principle of locating the show in a different city every year. What are AWEA's plans here for the future?

Lori Rugh: It is indeed becoming difficult to find space! We are now limited to only about 5 venues in the United States that can accommodate our show. The WINDPOWER show has a lot of needs. In addition to needing a lot of square footage for the exhibition, we need tons of session rooms for the wonderful education tracks we provide, meeting rooms for all of the Committee Meetings held during the event plus tons of other activities we host throughout the event. An adequate infrastructure within the city is also needed - a city that can house about 20,000 people, restaurants, transportation, etc... It's a lot to ask of a city! Next year we are excited to be in Atlanta, GA, we think this will be a unique opportunity to expose the South to wind energy!

Windfair: Are you satisfied with the conference and exhibition results of WINDPOWER 2011?

Lori Rugh: Things shaped up extremely well and we feel confident that our exhibitors and attendees were pleased with our educational program, exhibition spaces and tons of networking opportunities we provided through our fun events. Anaheim, CA is a gorgeous venue - we are sure that everybody enjoyed a Convention Center campus with palm trees in sunny southern California.

Windfair: A final question that is more directed to your being an important Senior Director of AWEA:
How do you assess the developement of wind energy in the US, especially in regard to what recently happened in Japan?

Lori Rugh: First and foremost, our hearts go out to all of the people of Japan. We feel this has been a horrible situation for them and they are handling it so well.

We do feel that this has been a "wake up" call for most of the world and our government in particular. When you see so many of the tragedies that have occurred recently - the oil spill in the gulf, the coal mining disasters, the nuclear disaster in Japan, it sends a clear message to our people and government that things, the means we obtain our power, need to change and soon. We feel that with the correct policies in place, we will find more incentives to change our energy sources and we do see the winds of change blowing in the air. Our first quarter results for installations were very impressive and shows growth in this market sector. America's wind power industry installed 1,100 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2011 alone and entered the second quarter with another 5,600 MW under construction. The under construction figure is nearly twice the megawatts that the industry reported at this time in both 2009 and 2010. This is proof of our industry's strength and nimbleness through tough economic times and issues with our government's policies. This makes us feel bullish (to quote the stock market) about America's wind industry.

Windfair: Ms. Rugh, thank you very much for the interview.
Windfair editorial team

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