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Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

Since taking office in 2003, I have made it a priority to reduce Maine’s dependence on fossil fuels and improve our State’s position as a leader in renewable energy.

We have made great progress, but we have not yet capitalized on the full potential of our growing renewable energy sector.

This week, I led a Renewable Energy Trade Mission to Spain and Germany, and also visited a deep-water offshore wind platform in Norway.

Spain and Germany and the United States lead the world in the production of wind turbines and installed wind power.

By the end of 2008, 11 and a half percent of Spain’s electricity production was coming from wind.

And the country has set aggressive goals in building on that capacity.

In addition, Spain is the home of Iberdrola, which owns Energy East and Central Maine Power.

Iberdrola is one of the largest wind power operators in the United States and has plans to more than triple its capacity by 2012.

The country offers great potential as a source of investment in Maine and as a market for technologies that will be developed and tested here.

Germany has a long history of renewable energy production and was the 5th largest market for U.S. exports in 2008.

The country is rapidly developing its ability to build and maintain offshore wind farms.

Both offer incredible opportunities for Maine businesses to attract significant investment here at home.

In Maine, we understand the necessity of improved energy security and an end to our reliance on foreign oil.

We have tremendous untapped natural resources, including wind, tidal, hydro and wood-based sources of energy.

And we have taken the necessary steps to put them to work for a more prosperous Maine.

Two years ago, I convened the Governor’s Wind Power Task Force.

We developed legislation that set ambitious but achievable targets for wind power.

By 2015 – just six years from now – we will produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity from wind. By 2020, that number will grow 3,000 megawatts, with at least 10 percent coming from offshore wind.

Maine is already New England’s leader in developing land-based wind power.

We represent 95 percent of all the wind power in New England so far.

We have more than 300 megawatts of currently operating or under construction and another 450 megawatts being planned.

And our offshore wind resource is even greater, with the potential to produce as much electricity as 45 nuclear power plants.

Our tidal energy resource is large, strong and predictable, and a pilot project is moving forward near Eastport in Washington County.

The momentum is clearly with us.

We are growing the partnerships with our regional neighbors and with the federal government. And they’re both necessary for our success.

Together with my fellow New England governors, we have approved a regional Renewable Energy Blueprint that will help to guide a cooperative approach to energy production and transmission.

And we continue to build productive relationships with our federal partners, including the White House, Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In June, Maine hosted a highly acclaimed “EnergyOcean 2009” Conference that brought together 350 leaders in ocean energy technology and innovation.

The conference and its success underscored Maine’s growing reputation in the renewable and ocean energy sectors.

And today we are working to identify between one and five wind technology demonstration sites in Maine’s coastal waters.

The sites will serve as a proving ground for new technologies that will help our State capture the power of the wind offshore.

Maine also sets at the nexus of delivering clean, renewable electricity to power-hungry areas to the south in a way that benefits ratepayers and taxpayers alike.

I love Maine, and it’s hard to get me to travel out of State.

But when it comes to making Maine’s case on the world stage, it’s often an easy sell.

Our State’s reputation for craftsmanship, for hardworking, friendly people and wondrous natural resources has already circled the globe.

On the trip last week, I worked to spread the word that Maine is the place to conduct renewable and wind energy business.

We have the strong research work going on at the University of Maine and with partners around the State.

We are committed to a cleaner, more secure energy future.

And we have the people, regulatory climate, and natural resources to be successful.

So I know that this mission will pay dividends to the people of Maine for years to come.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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