Carlsbad, Calif., November 3, 2011 — The American Wind Energy Association Fall Symposium in Carlsbad, Calif. received a special keynote address from Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak, who told attendees about his experiences as a young computer enthusiast, his work with Steve Jobs and his views on technological innovation in the wind power industry.
Wozniak drew parallels between his experience increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of personal computers with the current status of technological innovation in the wind industry. Both have lowered costs for consumers by using better materials and things that break down less often.
“A technology like wind is so important,” Wozniak said.
In speaking of the early days of Apple, where advances like the computer mouse were first popularized, Wozniak said, “We were changing the way things were done in the past. It very much makes you think of wind energy.”
He also mapped out a vision of a future where increasing amounts of electricity are harnessed from clean sources like wind and the sun.
“If you have two sources of electricity, one clean and one dirty, and they cost the same, that’s great. That’s where we are now.”
Of wind turbines, Wozniak said, “I wish my home were overlooking a whole array of them. I just love them.”
A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for the past three decades, Steve Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh.
In 1976 Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. After leaving Apple in 1985, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students.
Wozniak also poignantly remembered his colleague and friend Steve Jobs, who passed away recently, as “a beloved technological leader.”
“Steve was a visionary, a leader and a doer. I haven’t seen any like him.”
This year’s AWEA Fall Symposium event is focused heavily on industry trends and innovations, as well as communications techniques for addressing wind energy’s benefits to external audiences. Notable participants include Program Chair Edward Zaelke from the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, Steve Trenholm, CEO, E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, and Randy Mann, Vice President, Wind Development, Edison Mission Energy.
“Wind energy is an American success story, just like Apple Computer and Steve Wozniak,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “We provide a clean, affordable and homegrown source of energy, as well as tens of thousands of good American jobs now and the promise of half a million jobs within 20 years. However, the lack of a stable, long-term federal policy puts all this at risk. The Fall Symposium is the perfect forum to discuss these issues and address the solutions.”