AWEA 2008 in Houston, TX/Busy Week

AWEA 2008 Conference Logo

So here I am in Houston, TX. Where it is hotter than the rest of the state, thanks to all the pavement, humidity, cars, etc, getting ready to go to the dinner where our wind film will be played. I spent a good portion of the morning making the drive from Houston to Austin with others from my work, and then spent another few hours making sure the screen was setup right. After I finished with that, someone snuck me a pass to the convention, and off I went.

When I walked in, I was greeted by nothing but booths adorned in wind energy paraphernalia. Large wind blades twirling near the top of the ceiling, large nacelles for people to walk in and look through. First, I visited the company we made the film for, Frontier Wind, to say hi to some of the people I had the good fortune of meeting during my travels for the movie. Then after a bit, I went around the conference (with a folder of blank releases) looking for people to chat up for my project.

I didn’t want to bother anyone that looked really busy with business, as there was a lot of that going on. I was told over the course of one year, the number of registrants went from the hundreds to the thousands. In fact, the dinner tonight had around 400 people last year, and 1100 people this year! So, I talked to and filmed about four people, two whom were human resources and were looking to find people to hire. I don’t really know if any of it will fit in to the short, but over the course of researching green collar jobs, I’ve found that this thing is so much larger than I could have imagined. You have activists like Van Jones in Oakland (whom I almost flew out to interview) fighting to make sure African Americans get a piece of the new Green Collar Jobs Workforce and help to improve their lives. You have the Apollo Alliance in San Francisco (who I almost went out to film too) fighting to make sure that this Green Economy/Jobs rhetoric becomes a reality and isn’t just political jargon. Then you have lobbyists (the good kind) in Washington, fighting to make sure that alternative energy tax credits/rebates are renewed, and hopefully more than what the current rate is now.

Side Note: I didn’t mean to write so much in this post, I’d been meaning to write a few post in between this and the last (first) post, but have just been so busy.

But realizing that there is so much to tell for the various forms of green alternative energy and green collar jobs, I really feel that there’s so much out there that could be weaved into a longer film, which is what I hope I can do some time in the extremely near future. But in regards to the short, I’ve got some animation cookin’, and I’ve got some old footage from the Dust Bowl and Great Depression era that’s going to be scanned to HD from the National Archives (which will end up in the sandbox for everyone to enjoy). I’ve got the footage from when we shot the wind farms and blade manufacturing from a few months ago, and when I get back to Austin tomorrow, I’ll be spending a good part of the day with the Texas Solar Power Company (visit here: http://www.txspc.com/). They’re actually the solar power installers for the first green Office Depot store in the country, a prototype store. Very cool stuff. There was more I was planning to write, but after the last sentence, I left for the conference dinner and just now got back. A great quote from one of tonights speakers, “The world is changing under our feet”, and with all the examples of wind power I’ve seen today, and Senator Barack Obama locking up the Democratic Nomination, I can’t think of any words more true at the moment.

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One Response to AWEA 2008 in Houston, TX/Busy Week

  1. Tracy says:

    John,

    As I’m closing in on my 9th year in the wind industry, I’m still in awe of how large the indstry has grown. When I first joined we (the US) was at .5% of all our energy coming from wind. Today we are at approximately 1.2% after a record breaking year in 2007 with widn making up 30% of all new energy installed in our country.
    This past week, I heard a severe report on CNN – we have had 750,000 jobs lost in our country since January, 2008. To refrain from being too political, I will just say – I agree our country is well overdue for change!

    Sadly our world today is often focused too much on the negatives. I say this because the wind industry has changed my life and provided me the opportunity to do what I have a passion for and enjoy…impacting others in a positive way! As the Director/Instructor of Wind Energy Technology for the North American Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community Collge http://www.mesalands.edu, we are on the forefront of educating Americans to fill the needs of the industry. In order for our country to meet the Department of Energy growth expectations combined with the majority of states adopting the Renewable Portfoliio Standards (last I checked there are 31), and the cost comparisons to other alternative energies we are making great strides to meet 20% of all our energy from wind by 2030.

    This is already making an positive impact to the 170,000 new jobs expected within the wind industry by 2030. In addition; there is another positve impact to jobs in our country – the indirect impact! This is especially important in rural America where homes and lifestyles are less expensive than large cities needing the most power.

    I’m now a requested public speaker within my new state and surrounding areas areas. Please see and share: cleanenergyfortexas.org/downloads/Nolan_County_case_study_070908.pdf

    I wish we could hear more of the positve happening in our great country. AWEA Conference 2008 was a wonderful event and I’m looking forward to AWEA Conference 2009!

    Renewably,
    Tracy

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