Denise Bode, chief executive officer at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will resign the post and return to private practice as a tax attorney, effective Jan. 1.
Bode's resignation comes during a time of great uncertainty for the U.S. wind industry. And the timing of the announcement brings into question the prospects of production tax credit (PTC), which expires Dec. 31, being extended this year.
According to AWEA, Bode had been considering stepping down but did not want the news to serve as a distraction from the association's focus on securing the PTC's extension.
AWEA also said that Rob Gramlich, senior vice president of public policy, has agreed to serve as interim CEO through a transition period. Gramlich joined AWEA in 2005 and oversees its federal, state, regulatory, and data and analysis teams.
Bode's tenure, which began Jan. 1, 2009, after stints at the American Clean Skies Foundation and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, was marked by highs and lows.
She resided over one of the largest growth periods in the wind industry's history " doubling capacity. For example, in 2009, installed capacity of U.S. wind farms surpassed 10 GW, a record.
However, Bode's critics characterized her as an ineffective leader who often chose to reflect on the industry's positive aspects as opposed to communicating a road map through some of the industry's biggest challenges and periods of uncertainty.
Her tenure was also marked by a failure to attain a national renewable electricity standard (RES) at a time when the House, Senate and presidency were seemingly aligned for success.
In June 2009, a measure requiring electric utilities to meet 15% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020 had passed the House as well as the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Despite having 16 months to secure approval of the full Senate before the 2010 mid-term elections, efforts to pass the bill failed.
According to a released statement, Bode is excited about the next chapter in her career.
‘I am excited to be returning to private practice,’ she says. ‘With tax policy the dominant interest of my career and prospects for a real tax reform bill in the air, I can't imagine a better time to make this move.’