The months of anticipation are finally over – EWEA 2014 opens its doors for business in Barcelona this afternoon!
Headlining later today at the opening session will be Artur Trindade, Portuguese Secretary of State for Energy, Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), Hasan Murat Mercan, Turkish Deputy Minister of Energy and conference chair Hans-Dieter Kettwig, Managing Director of ENERCON – all giving their insight into the issues affecting wind energy right now, and thoughts on how the sector is getting back to business.
Meanwhile the exhibition halls will open to reveal hundreds of companies and associations working in the wind energy sector from the world over. From weather forecasters to turbine parts, the whole supply chain and more will be represented.
Later on in the day, the conference programme will kick off with an indepth discussion about the upcoming UN climate change summit – why should the wind energy sector care about these high level negociations, and what can we do to make sure the power of wind energy in the fight against climate change is heard?
The first day of EWEA 2014 will end on a high – at the opening reception which will take place on the Siemens stand in the exhibition hall.
Find out how you can join the industry in Barcelona.
In 2013 wind power was the leading source of electricity in Spain, but wind energy is facing huge regulatory hurdles – the latest of which will be discussed in detail at EWEA 2014 in Barcelona on Wednesday 12 March. We spoke to Jaume Margarit Roset, Director General of the association of renewable energies in Spain, APPA, to find out what’s been going on…
What are the main regulatory problems Spain has faced in recent years?
In January 2012 the newly-elected government introduced a moratorium on all new wind power installations in Spain and since then only the projects that were already underway have been completed.
Then a new regulation came into force which implies that all wind farms in Spain built before 2005 will not receive tariffs. This makes it very difficult for financing – your income estimates will change because of this. Some companies could fail.
The regulation works against investor confidence. When there is a framework that ensures good conditions, investments happen. When this is changed by the government, investors don’t know what is happening. The government has demonstrated that it doesn’t trust wind; that it is working in another direction. It plans to promote fossil fuels.
Why does the government not trust wind?
In 2013 Spain achieved a world first – it became the only country in the world where wind energy was the leading electricity supplier over a whole year. The Spanish electricity system operator, Red Eléctrica de España (REE), reported that wind powered electricity met 20.9% of the country’s power demand, followed by nuclear at 20.8%.
Wind produced 54,478 Gigawatt hours of electricity in 2013 in Spain, a 13.2% increase compared to 2012. Nuclear meanwhile produced 2,377 Gigawatt hours more than wind last year, but its contribution to the power demand was lower because it consumes more electricity than wind farms to run its facilities, the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) explained.
Steve Sawyer of GWEC
At the end of 2012, Brazil had 2.5 GW of installed wind capacity, enough to power four million households, accounting for 2% of national electricity consumption. In 2012 alone, 40 new wind farms came online, adding more than 1 GW of new capacity to the Brazilian electricity grid and creating 15,000 new jobs. This represents an investment of USD 3.43 billion (€2.63 billion), which is expected to increase to USD 24.50 billion (€18.8 billion) by 2020. Steve Sawyer of the Global Wind Energy Council gives his opinion on wind energy in Brazil, the “country of the future”.
How would you compare the current status of the Brazilian wind market to how it was five years ago?
Five years ago, Brazil’s wind industry was in its infancy, with a cap of just 1100 (later 1400 MW) of wind power development. Since the introduction of the auction scheme in 2009, the industry has taken off in a big way.
Why is the Brazilian wind energy auction system successful?
Wind energy at work is the theme that united all winners of this year’s Global Wind Day photo competition. From a turbine tower being lowered into place to turbines set in agricultural backgrounds juxtaposed harmoniously with nature all around, this year’s photos show the beauty and the working reality of wind power.
“In 2005 during a family vacation in Ireland, I photographed my first wind turbine and something just went off in my head, like a lightbulb, that this is my calling,” overall winner Joan Sullivan from Canada said explaining her dedication to photographing wind energy. The winning photo was taken in Mont Louis, eastern Quebec. Sullivan climbed to the top of the middle tower section and took the photo as a crane lowered the top section down. “I hope that my photographs will contribute positively to the global dialogue about the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”