The following speakers echoed this optimism, each outlining recent progress in their respective fields: James Maldonado
on the wind industry, Thor Hinkley on PGE's
renewable power program and John Audley on the broad effort to boost renewables throughout the region.
James Maldonado, operations chief of staff for Vestas Wind Systems, discussed the growth and hurdles of the wind industry.
stressed the technical and logistical hurdles often overlooked when considering alternative energies such as wind.
These include financing, servicing and transportation.
But ultimately, says Maldonado
, all of these hurdles are opportunities: "All of this is jobs.
We hire most of our service folks from the local community."
also talked about the benefit to rural landowners, who can make between three and five thousand dollars a year by leasing their land to wind turbines.
This is especially significant in Oregon, he
says, where many farmers and rural dwellers could use the extra revenue.
Commenting on Vestas'
performance over the last few years, Maldonado
says the company was hit hard by the recession and found it hard to secure financing for their multimillion-dollar wind projects.
The company is growing healthy now, Maldonado
expects this coming summer-most turbine installations occur in the summer-to be the "busiest ever in this history of this company."