20 Nov 2017
Philip Anschutz, American multi-billionaire and owner of the Power Company of Wyoming, has been named as the most influential figure in wind energy this year.
This is according to the annual Top 100 Power People, a report published by industry intelligence service A Word About Wind, in association with headline sponsor Sentient Science. The The report ranks the major influencers in the global wind energy sector and offers in-depth interviews with leading investors, utilities and developers in the space.
A key theme in this year's ranking is the US wind energy market's continued resilience in the face of the potential challenges posed by President Trump's administration. Anschutz has secured the top spot by providing a welcome - albeit perhaps unexpected - opposition figure to Trump's public anti-wind messages.
Given his background, Anschutz is a somewhat surprising new entrant to the Top 100 report; his estimated $12bn wealth is largely due to the oil drilling company he took over from his father in the 1960s, as well as his work in sectors including entertainment, real estate, telecoms and transportation.
However, Anschutz is known for investing in industries that are on the cusp of major change, and the planned 3GW wind farm on his land in Wyoming is testament to the business tycoon's conviction that wind is on the up. If completed as planned, the project will be the largest onshore wind farm in North America.
Despite his rapidly growing influence, Anschutz provides just one example of a figure forging forward with wind energy investments and projects in the US amid a highly uncertain political climate. He is joined in the globalOver half of those in the Top 100 ranking see the US as either a primary or secondary market, and the actions of these by numerous individuals have been integral to - both from North America and further afield - whose actions have shapinged the continued development of the US wind industry over the past 12 months.
"While our focus is global, this year's Top 100 Power People ranking has been significantly influenced by determined participants in the US wind sector - from financial service providers to developers and utilities - who have refused to let their enthusiasm be dampened by Trump's public derision of renewables," said Richard Heap, Editor, A Word About Wind.
"Aside from this, the fact that our top spot has been taken by Philip Anschutz, a man with a highly successful track record in business but little previous involvement in clean energy, is testament to the exciting position the wind industry finds itself in," he added. "It shows that people are starting to realise that renewables, even without their other benefits, simply make the most business sense - both in the US and worldwide."
The report features E.On's Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath on this year's cover. Dotzenrath is another major player who remains optimistic for the future of the US renewables industry, citing E.On's 'ambitious plans' in North America, which she views as a 'very attractive' market despite Trump's presidency.
Dotzenrath's market perspectives are accompanied in the report by additional in-depth interviews with sector experts.s with Jens Tommerup of MHI Vestas explores the implications of increasing turbine sizes, and discusses the future of offshore, while Ward Thomas of Sentient Science explains how developments in materials science are reducing the cost of wind energy. , BlackRock's David Giordano also offers his thoughts on the world's largest wind and solar fund, and on the pressure to improve the grid through transmission lines. and Ward Thomas of Sentient Science.
The Top 100 Power People was initially launched at A Word About Wind's annual conference, 'Financing Wind'. The 2017 event took place earlier this month and saw a record number of attendees listening to panel discussions and engaging in debates with senior investors and industry leaders. For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.awordaboutwind.com/events/
The report is published exclusively for AWAW's rapidly expanding international membership of energy developers, financiers and investors. For further information, and to obtain a copy, please visit: http://www.awordaboutwind.com/reports/the-top-100-power-people-in-wind-2017/