This week, from 4-7 February, Vienna is a hive of wind energy activity as delegates from across the sector and from the world over descend on the city for EWEA’s 2013 Annual Event. But what is this year’s event all about, and why should you attend or follow updates on EWEA’s blog? We spoke to Julian Scola, EWEA’s Communication Director, and Malgosia Bartosik, EWEA’s Events Director, to find out.
What do you expect the hot topics of the event to be?
Julian: Wind energy, like most sectors across Europe, is clearly experiencing tough times. There’s the undercurrent of economic strife and governments have wobbled in their support for renewables in general which has created investor uncertainty. With this background, I think there will be two key debates at EWEA 2013: where the new markets are, in particular the promising growth rates in eastern and central Europebut also beyond Europe; and finance. The financial crisis has meant that banks and utilities that used to lend to wind no longer do so. The sector is therefore looking to new financial horizons like pension funds and insurers. New sources of finance are coming into the market but there is still a lack of understanding and communication between the two worlds – EWEA 2013’s finance track will feature discussions that will begin to close that gap.
Why should I attend?
Malgosia: If you want to hear the very latest from those most in the know on the issues that affect wind, then this event is the place to be. Key speakers include Irish Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte (Ireland currently holds the EU Presidency), International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Adnan Amin and Deputy Energy Minister of Turkey, Hasan Murat Mercan. In addition to high-level political speakers, attendees will have access to CEOs from the largest companies in wind power.
If you are one of the 10,000 people who attended EWEA 2012 in Copenhagen last year, you’ll know that the slick organisation and access to people and debate mean that a goldmine of information and business opportunities are waiting to be uncovered at EWEA 2013 next week. Register to attend here.
Malgosia: EWEA 2013’s organisers chose Vienna for its geographical situation as a gateway between Europe’s developed wind energy markets, and Europe’s emerging markets. Organisers have made a concerted effort to make sure that many players from the emerging markets – including Romania, Poland and Turkey – will be there, and many journalists from these countries have already registered to attend.
The Messe Wien – the chosen venue – will also host a sizeable exhibition showcasing all of wind energy’s biggest names and latest technological developments. What is more, and new to EWEA annual events, is a career day which will be held on Thursday 7 February at the venue. Employers will outline the profiles they are most in need of and job seekers will have unique access to the people hiring right now in the sector. For those who want to attend this event only, an exhibition pass for the Thursday can be bought online now for just €30.
What can I do if I cannot attend?
Julian: The EWEA blog will be following all the key conference sessions and press releases, with at least two blogs per day. All blog posts, updates from the event, including photos, videos, key statistics and key speaker quotes will be posted throughout the event on and on EWEA’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Wind Power Monthly TV will also be reporting live from the event and REcharge will produce a special daily EWEA 2013 magazine.