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News in Brief, BB200704

EWEC 2007 highlights the renewable future


A dramatic video presenting a glimpse into a future where strong action has been taken to deploy renewable energy will open this year’s European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition in Milan.

Based on the theme of an “energy crossroads”, the film will contrast two future scenarios. The first will highlight the consequences of fuel shortages, rising prices and pollution which Europe will suffer if no action is taken to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The second will show the future if the renewables route is chosen - with secure, indigenous fuel supplies, substantial job creation and reduced carbon emissions. A number of well known public figures will feature in the production.

The film is designed to highlight the theme of this year’s event, organised by the European Wind Energy Association. This is the contrast between a situation in which no action is taken to resolve the increasing risks of energy dislocation and climate change damage, and one where strong action is taken to implement a new energy roadmap with a concentration on renewable sources. Given the political will, EWEA argues, wind could supply more than 20% of Europe’s electricity needs within the next quarter century, equivalent to 200 million households.

Good prospects

EWEC 2007 is being held at a time when the prospects for the wind energy industry have never looked better. Last year’s installation figures showed a record level of new wind capacity, both in Europe and around the world. More and more countries are turning to wind power. At a political level, the European Union has confirmed a new target for 20% of Europe’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, a major increase from the previous 2010 goal. The European Wind Energy Association will this year celebrate its 25th anniversary as a lobbying organisation for the most successful of the new renewable technologies.

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which takes place in the Milano Convention Centre from 7-10 May. Over 200 presenters from leading companies and institutions will speak in 40 separate business, technical and workshop sessions, with nine parallel workshops. The linked exhibition will feature more than 200 of the leading wind power hardware and service suppliers.

Europe’s premier wind energy event is being supported this year by the European Commission, Intelligent Energy Europe, ANEV - the Italian Wind Energy Association, APER - the Italian Renewable Generators Association, event organisers Eolica Expo Mediterranean, the Global Wind Energy Council and the European Academy of Wind Energy. The Academy has been responsible for selecting and peer reviewing contributions to the scientific sessions. The conference will be chaired by Peter Ahmels, President of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE).

Opening session

The opening session of the conference will be addressed by a range of speakers with high level political involvement in energy and the environment. Leading off will be Alfonso Scanio, the Italian Minister of the Environment, who will talk about the challenges facing Italy’s wind industry. European institutions will be represented by MEP Mechtild Rothe, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Energy and Transport Directorate.

Other speakers invited to address the opening session will represent some of the world’s most successful wind energy markets. These include Michael Müller, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Ministry for the Environment, António Guerra, Secretary of State to the Portuguese Minister for Industry, and Chen Deming, Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which is responsible for policy on renewable energy. EWEA will be represented by President Arthouros Zervos.

For further details of the conference programme, see the separate box. A poster session, with an opportunity to question the authors of some of the several hundred posters which will be displayed, will be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Side events during the conference include the latest experience from the DOWNVIND project, which is looking at the potential for placing wind turbines in offshore waters with no visual impact on the coastline. The session will hear about the installation of 5 MW turbines on the Beatrice oil platform off the coast of Scotland. A second event will hear how monitoring satellites can be useful to the wind industry.

Social activities during EWEC 2007 include a pre-conference reception for EWEA members, a conference dinner on Wednesday night and several sponsored receptions for both conference delegates and exhibition attendees during the four days.

The Conference

European policy on renewable energy and the changing structure of the wind industry will be the major topics for debate on the opening day of EWEC 2007. In the session on the European Union’s “Renewable Energy Roadmap”, the crucial questions will be about how to translate the new 20% target for renewables by 2020 into effective legislation at EU and member state level, how the European grid can be effectively adapted and how successfully the target will contribute to Europe’s Kyoto obligations. Speakers include, representatives of EU member states’ industry and environment ministries, Paul Bulteel, General Secretary of Eurelectric and EWEA CEO Christian Kjaer. In the session on the industry’s changing structure, the speakers include leading executives from utilities Iberdrola, Vattenfall and DONG Energy, the renewables investment arm of Allianz as well as the turbine manufacturers GE Energy and Siemens.

Following the opening day, the conference will split into three tracks, with parallel sessions emphasising business and policy issues, technical topics and core scientific research. In the business and policy track, the topics to be covered include national policies and programmes among EU member states, harmonisation of incentive schemes, network integration, the offshore sector, finance and investment, environmental issues and global opportunities in the wind market. In the technical track, subjects under discussion include forecasting, noise, autonomous systems, electrical systems, turbine design and operations and maintenance. The scientists will cover issues such as aerodynamics, structural design, extreme wind conditions, loads and control and condition monitoring.

From Tuesday to Thursday there will be up to four workshops each day on future energy scenarios, network integration, wind resources, cost estimates, offshore technology, carbon emissions trading, wakes, the UpWind research programme and drivetrain reliability.

Speakers during the four days include an impressive range of experts from both within and outside the wind industry. Simultaneous Italian translation will be available for the plenary sessions on the opening and closing days and all presentations in the Business and Policy track, as well as some of the workshops.

The Exhibition

This year’s exhibition will be held in an area directly linked to the conference location, enabling easy movement between the two. All coffee breaks and lunches will be held in the exhibition area.

Already now almost 220 companies had booked space at EWEC 2007. They include all the major international wind turbine manufacturers as well as component suppliers, project developers, regulatory bodies, financial advisers, service companies, national associations, technical institutes, testing centres, consultancies and specialist publications.

Pull quotes

“EWEC is an essential conference to concretely understand how to develop the necessary sustainable, secure and competitive energy mix and discuss the crucial role wind energy can play. The leading figures and key decision makers from companies, governments and institutions will speak in 40 separate business, technical and scientific sessions.”
Arthouros Zervos, President, EWEA

“This event promises to be the most comprehensive and influential European wind event of 2007.”
Mechtild Rothe, MEP

“The Italian wind energy market has the seventh highest capacity in the world. The estimated potential by 2012 is 10,000 MW. EWEC is the ideal opportunity for the Italian wind industry and developers represented by ANEV to move towards this target for a clean and sustainable energy future.”
Oreste Vigorito, President, ANEV (Italian Wind Energy Association)

"We are proud to be supporting EWEC, the most important European wind sector event. The Italian wind industry will benefit from its presence in Milan, especially at a time when, although the new government is supporting renewable energies and measures to fight climate change, there are still obstacles to the full development of its enormous potential."
Marco Pinetti, President, Artenergy Publishing, Italy

“Wind energy has become a major scientific discipline attracting significant human potential in research and education. This is clearly reflected in the scientific and technical content of the prestigious EWEC conferences. The Academy is proud to organise the scientific track of these conferences, assuring their highest quality through a professional peer review process.”
Takis Chaviaropoulos, Chairman, European Academy of Wind Energy, CRES, Greece

“Wind energy is leading the way to a renewable energy future and proves that sustainable development can also create many new high skilled jobs. APER is proud that the prestigious EWEC event will be held in Italy this May, clearly demonstrating the importance of the Italian market.”
Roberto Longo, Chairman, APER (Italian Association of Renewable Energy Producers)


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