Financing and risk took centre stage on the final day of EWEA OFFSHORE 2011. A number of bankers, investors and developers taking part in a panel in Amsterdam on Thursday agreed financing can still be arranged for expensive offshore wind farm projects despite the ongoing debt crisis. Sean Klimczak, Managing Director in the Private Equity Group of Blackstone, said he is “relatively optimistic about the opportunities” to raise money for European offshore wind farms. “We here at Blackstone remain committed to the offshore wind industry in Europe,” said Klimczak, whose firm raised €1.2 billion in financing for the 288-MW Meerwind project off Germany’s coast.
See a round-up EWEA blog post from Chris Rose for an overall view of the event, and read a press release from EWEA on EU energy research funding and the danger to emission targets.
Another busy day at OFFSHORE 2011 in Amsterdam. Today the focus is on audience participation. First up were five of offshore wind energy’s leading manufacturers – Alstom, Nordex, Gamesa, Siemens and Vestas – in the battle of the big turbines.
Another lively ‘quick fire’ session saw a high-level of audience participation through SMS voting. Speakers were allowed just one minute to present a key finding linked to offshore wind energy and the audience then had to vote for which speakers sparked their interest the most.
The publication of the day was the new issue of Wind Directions - Into the Sea. This, the December issue of the magazine, is focused on offshore wind.
EWEA OFFSHORE 2011 has gotten off to a flying start. Registrations are over 6300 and counting, and photos of the Set-Up, Pre-Event Seminar and Day One of the event are online.
The opening session of the event featured leading political and industry figures addressing the question of whether the European offshore wind power industry will replicate the success of onshore wind technology, in terms of market deployment, cost-competitiveness and technology maturity. Keynote speakers included:
- Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy (video message)
- Arthouros Zervos, President, European Wind Energy Association
- Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Entreprise and Tourism, Scotland
Significantly, a new EWEA report entitled "Wind In Our Sails - the coming of Europe's offshore wind energy industry" was launched.
There was also a press release relating to the report, which can be found here.
Wind In Our Sails