Business leaders demand urgent political action on offshore wind energy
This week European business leaders are signing up to an extraordinary pledge to make it possible to tap Europe's largest energy source - and calling on national governments and the EU to give the necessary political and legislative support.
Offshore wind energy has the potential to power Europe seven times over, and offshore wind projects already in various stages of planning would supply 10% of Europe's electricity demand.
At the world's largest-ever gathering to discuss harnessing Europe's offshore wind potential - the European Offshore Wind 2009 Conference organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) - business leaders pledged to ensure that a sufficient supply of turbines, components, foundations, installation and cable-laying vessels are available to exploit this abundant, free, and fuel-free energy source. They also called on national governments and the EU to take action to resolve planning, grid and other obstacles to harnessing Europe's enormous offshore wind energy potential.
Companies backing the launch of the declaration include Acciona Energia, Airtricity, DONG Energy, E.ON Climate & Renewables, EnBW, GE Energy, Iberdrola renewables, Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd, NEO Energia - Grupo EDP, Renewable Energy Systems, SIEMENS Wind Power, Suzlon Wind Energy, Vattenfall Vindkraft and Vestas Wind Systems. Others signing up this week at the European Offshore Wind 2009 Conference in Stockholm include representatives of companies as diverse as Gamesa, Garrad Hassan, Goldwind, Fortis Bank, Leosphere, Tekmar Energy, Prism Cable & Systems, MoorTech, Primo Marine, Principle Power Portugal, Eirgrid, Baltship AS, Pharos Marine and Meteosim Truewind SL.
“By publicly supporting the declaration, companies and individuals are making a real difference to the development of the offshore sector”, said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. “With the actions we are calling for from governments and EU decision-makers, the sector can become a new, multi-billion euro industry, delivering thousands of green collar jobs and a new renewable energy economy”.
While the declaration is still open for signing, the European Offshore Wind 2009 Conference, taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, is closing today. Altogether, the event had over 4,000 participants. The next European Offshore Wind Conference will be held in 2011 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
For more information on the offshore declaration and to support it: http://www.ewea.org/offshore
For a video of conference participants talking about the declaration