As the wind energy industry gathered in the Windy City for its largest event ever, the WINDPOWER 2009 Conference & Exhibition, AWEA released results of a new poll showing strong, deep bipartisan support for a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) requiring utilities to generate at least 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

“The American people support an RES because it will create jobs and reduce carbon emissions. Our job now is to make sure that members of Congress follow their constituents,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode, who will address WINDPOWER Tuesday morning.

Leading governors and administration officials will address the opening session at which the survey will be unveiled. Secretary of the Interior Salazar will discuss the priority of renewable energy in the Obama Administration; Governors Chet Culver of Iowa, Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Pat Quinn of Illinois, and Ted Strickland of Ohio will also address the conference. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff will discuss the feasibility of generating a much larger share of America’s electricity from wind and other renewable energy sources. The need for a long-term federal policy for renewable energy and for a national RES will be a common thread weaving through the discussions and the conference.

The poll, conducted by Garin Hart Yang Research Group, found:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of voters favor the RES proposal requiring electric utility companies across the nation to generate at least 25% of their electricity through renewable energy sources by 2025, and that support is deep: a 53% majority strongly favors a national RES, dwarfing the total of those who oppose (“strongly” and “somewhat”) (16%).
  • The RES draws bipartisan support: 86% of Democrats favor the RES proposal, as do 71% of independents and 62% of Republicans. In addition, instituting a national RES garners overwhelming support across the country, ranging from 84% positive in the Northeast, three-quarters support in the Midwest and West, and 71% support in the South.

The WINDPOWER 2009 Conference & Exhibition is attracting industries and companies from across the country who are active in wind power or seeking to enter this fast-growing market. Over 18,000 attendees are attending the conference and over 1,200 companies are exhibiting, including many supply chain companies. The WINDPOWER 2009 show floor, with 290,400 square feet, is larger than the 2008 and 2007 WINDPOWER show floors combined.