The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) plans to merge into a new clean energy industry body that will also include some of the largest US utilities, in a bid to make renewables “the dominant power source in America”.
AWEA, the US wind industry’s main representative body, is being tipped to join the likes of NextEra Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Iberdrola-controlled Avangrid in the American Clean Power Association (ACPA).
AWEA confirmed to Recharge that it plans to join the new lobbying group to reflect the shift of renewables towards an “integrated, multi-technology future”.
“Most of our board of directors and many of our member companies have signaled the desire to form a new trade group that better represents the renewables industry of today,” said a statement from the wind body.
“AWEA recognies the value of a broad section of the renewables industry, from wind, solar and other renewable resources, to supporting technologies such as storage and transmission, working together as a multi-generation trade group that’s focused on meeting the growing demand for integrated, hybrid technology solutions.”
AWEA includes wind equipment heavyweights such as GE Renewable Energy, Vestas and Siemens Gamesa among its membership, as well as major renewable developers and key supply chain players.
The move comes as the US prepares for a presidential election that’s seen by many as a watershed for the prospects for clean energy in the next thirty years.
Research group Wood Mackenzie this week said a win for Democrat Joe Biden could turbocharge the energy transition in the US, while a victory for incumbent Donald Trump could sink hopes of decarbonising the power sector for decades.
AWEA's statement added: “The process of exploring options and finding a united path forward is intended to expand the value the industry receives from its trade associations, advance the economic and environmental advantages of a clean power economy, and position the renewable energy industry for success as we move into a new, exciting decade of transformative growth.”
AWEA's board will vote on the proposal later in September.
Greg Wetstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (Acore), which also lobbies for renewables in the US, said: “The creation of ACPA will help boost the pan-renewable sector’s advocacy capabilities during this critical inflection point for energy and climate policy. We look forward to working with ACPA toward the achievement of our collective goal of accelerating the transition to a renewable energy economy.”
The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said it would work with the new body.
“ACPA and SEIA have identified several areas where we can collaborate, including, but not limited to, climate and trade policy, transmission advocacy, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice issues, events and public affairs,” said a statement sent to Recharge.
“As with any organisation where we share common aims, we will strategically pursue every opportunity to leverage the resources, perspectives, relationships, and access of ACPA as we engage in SEIA’s own policy priorities.”