Foreword

Mr Ron Bowes
US Delegate and Vice-Chairman of the CADDET Executive Committee

Spring 1999 burst forth with renewable energy activity. The path is pioneered by wind technology, which in the last year became the fastest growing of any power technology in the world, renewable or conventional. And, in the USA, advances in solar science, co-mingled with a Presidential initiative, are preparing the field for a surge in solar installations on buildings.

The highlight of the spring was Earth Day, 24 April, which this year witnessed the world capacity of wind energy approaching 10,000 MW. As a harbinger of this historic landmark, three additional US wind power plants were activated on Earth Day. First, Enron Wind Corporation announced the completion of an 80 MW installation near Alta, Iowa. Then there were two installations in Texas ­ FPL Energy Company connected 19 wind turbines with a combined rating of 12 MW to the power grid near the town of McCamey, and Texas Utilities completed a 34 MW installation near the town of Big Spring. This latter project was part of the Wind Turbine Verification Program*, sponsored jointly by the US Department of Energy (US DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute, which is instrumental in getting utilities involved in wind power projects. US wind installations are approaching 2,000 MW of capacity, and will increase by as much as 50% in 1999.

Spring 1999 also heralded the third year of the President's Million Solar Roofs Initiative, whose goal is to install solar energy systems on one million US buildings by 2010. Initiative partners ­ which include more than 30 states, cities, electricity utilities, financial institutions, and others ­ have already developed preliminary plans for meeting 90% of this goal, for a commitment of 900,000 installations.

The US DOE continues to nurture a new generation of advanced renewable energy technologies through its research and development programme. In February, for example, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory produced a thin-film photovoltaic cell with a record efficiency of 18.8%, more than 1% greater than the best thin-film cell made previously.

Many of these scientific advances are documented in CADDET's Register and Technical Brochures, all available on-line at its web site at www.caddet-re.org We hope the worldwide dissemination of information about our experience through CADDET will help these newly budding clean-energy technologies propagate and flourish into the future.

*Refer to article on pages 4 - 6.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.