12 yrs

Wind Directions Article: EWEA at 30 - from humble beginnings to mainstream power player


Over the last three decades both EWEA and the wind power industry have come together to successfully influence European energy policy. Chris Rose and Zoë Casey take a walk down memory lane...

Britain and Argentina were waging war over the Falkland Islands in 1982, the first artificial heart transplant in a human occurred in the US, Germany, at the geographic centre of the Cold War, was still divided, Apartheid had made South Africa a pariah, and the Euro did not exist.

But at the other end of the news spectrum, a small group of scientific and engineering visionaries meeting in Stockholm agreed to establish the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) which in the next 30 years went on to become the world's major voice for wind power.

From a humble start in London to the modern twofloor office it currently inhabits near the European Commission, Council and Parliament in Brussels, EWEA is now recognized as the largest wind energy network in the world.

It wasn't always that way…

Jos Beurskens remembers the idea of forming EWEA being discussed after the ISES (International Solar Energy Society) Solar World Forum in Brighton 23-28 August 1981. A small group discussed "intensifying European wind power collaboration" which at the time was dominated by the British Wind Energy Association.

By the next international wind energy conference in Stockholm 21-24 September 1982 a new meeting was held and the European Wind Energy Association was formed with Dr. Gijsbrecht Piepers elected as Chairman.
Some of the people who participated in the early discussions were Mario Pedersen from Denmark, Horst Selzer from Germany, Giuseppe Selva from Italy, Norman Lipman, Donald Swift-Hook and John Dixon from the UK,
Gijsbrecht Piepers from the Netherlands and Charles Hirsch.

"EWEA is now recognised as the largest wind energy network in the world"

In the early days, EWEA had modest objectives including acting as a coordinating body to bring together the industry and represent their views at European level. "It is hoped that EWEA would have some infl uence on the European research scene with regard to the size of the resources that governments and EEC are prepared to put into wind energy R&D," the offi cial minutes of the meeting held in September 1982 said.
In its founding stages, Beurskens remembers EWEA beginning as "a few of enthusiastic volunteers" from Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Getting EWEA and wind power off the ground

EWEA's first Chairman, Gijsbrecht Piepers, noted that the problems of developing modern wind power, which was pursued after the 1970s oil price crisis, were extremely underestimated.

"People thought you just build turbines without any problems, but it proved much more diffi cult to design a machine that would make optimum use of the variable power of wind — and then translate that energy into useful electricity," Piepers recalled in a Wind Directions interview in 2007.

His memory of the birth of EWEA is that "it was very easy to say that we will have a new Association, but not so easy to devise a programme of action and fi nd the money to fund it."

By the 1980s EWEA had increased its membership to 200 individuals, but the then-Chairman Norman Lipman felt the need for the association to work together. "We must…convince our bureaucracies and our governments that we have something here of long term benefi t to our societies.

A European view is essential if we are to succeed," he wrote in the April 1986 edition of Wind Directions.

At the time, the wind energy sector was most successful in two places: California – fuelled by generous tax breaks, and Denmark – the birthplace of modern wind energy; and the world's installed capacity stood at just 100 MW.

"it was very easy to say that we will have
a new Association, but not so easy to
devise a programme of action and fi nd
the money to fund it." Gijsbrecht Piepers
on the founding of EWEA

Bigger and better

By the early 1990s, all that was changing as turbines were getting bigger and capable of generating larger amounts of electricity. EWEA was fast becoming a well-run, professional organization that spoke with one voice for the entire industry.

EWEA developed a positive reputation for always promoting truth and scientific facts, Beurskens noted, adding the association gained credibility because its scenarios for future wind energy targets were conservatively pragmatic instead of being wildly optimistic.

In parallel, national governments in Denmark, Germany and Spain began to put their weight behind wind power with Denmark setting ambitious targets in 1990 and Germany launching its fi rst Feed-In Tariff in 1991.


- A meeting is held in Brighton, UK, to discuss the set-up of a European Wind Energy Association.
- EWEA is formed in September, in Stockholm. It has no staff or budget of its own, and represents individuals rather than organisations. Gijsbrecht "George" Piepers is elected as Chairman.
- A group of European agricultural machinery manufacturers fly to California to assess the market for producing wind
turbines. 20-30 turbines are shipped and installed from Europe to California by the end of the year.
- Wind turbine size reaches 55 kW.
- The first European wind farm (5 x 20 kW turbines) opens on Greek island of Kyathos.
- Denmark's Development Program for Renewable Energy (the UVE program) is established.
- EWEA joins the then British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) in publishing Wind Directions, now the oldest English language journal devoted to the technology of wind energy (originally published in 1977).
- Europe exports 350 turbines, with a total capacity of 20 MW, to California.
- First official European wind energy conference ("EWEC") held in Hamburg.
- In Denmark, Vestas starts serial production of a 75 kW three-bladed turbine.

EU-decision makers targeted

In 1991 a report part-funded by the European Commission called "Time for Action: Wind Energy in Europe," was launched. It set out the arguments for wind power including the environmental and economic benefits, its target was EU decision makers and it marked a turning point for wind power.

Throughout the 1990s, under the leadership of Ezio Sesto and then Ian Mays, EWEA introduced corporate membership allowing major turbine manufacturers and developers involvement in the organisation and boosting EWEA's funds for its work with the European Commission's Energy, Research and Environment departments.

By the late 90s with Christophe Bourillon as its first Executive Director, EWEA was officially recognized by many global organisations and was the only international renewables body to attend the historic 1997 Kyoto climate change meeting.

Klaus Rave, current Chairman of the Global Wind Energy Council, recalls that when, in 1999, Arthouros Zervos joined, it was a joint decision to move from London to Brussels. "Having a base in Brussels meant that for the first time we could invite the industry to Brussels where the European Commission and European Parliament are located," Rave said.

In 1999 Rave became President. "I tried to expand EWEA since we are not just manufacturerbased and component makers. We are the industry from project developers and insurance to R&D and national associations. We are an umbrella organisation," he said.

The Presidency was handed on to Zervos in 2001 and in the early 2000s EWEA started holding its own conferences to generate income which goes right back into building the industry.

Coming of age

Christian Kjaer, the current Chief Executive Officer of the association, knows all about the need to obtain funds to invest in the political lobbying, communications and events which in turn hugely benefi t the industry.

By early 2006, Kjaer was promoted from policy director to CEO at the same time the Association's board promoted Bruce Douglas from marketing director to Chief Operating Officer.

Kjaer said that "dual structure" worked well in that the goal was to make money to hire people to influence European policy to incorporate more wind power onto EU grids. "Increasing income was Bruce's doing and hiring the people, the policy people, was my contribution," he said.

Malogsia Bartosik, EWEA's Membership and Events Director, who joined in 2004 refl ected on the growth of EWEA's events: "I was the seventh person to join the association. Eight years later, we are over 60 people working on behalf of our over 700 members! My first event was EWEC 2004 in London. We had gathered 2,000 people at that event and I thought it was enormous. This year's event in Copenhagen had almost 11,000 participants – that's more than I could have ever imagined back in 2004."

During the period with Kjaer at the helm, EU installed wind power capacity has risen from 40,506 MW to 93,957 MW at the end of 2011, the sector has moved from being dominated by Denmark, Germany and Spain, to a truly European industry with new markets offshore and emerging in Eastern EU nations, and major political decisions took place.

A mainstream source of electricity

"For me, the biggest achievement was the adoption of Renewable Energy Directive," Kjaer said, referring to the 2009 EU approved legislation that called for a binding target of a 20% share of wind power and other renewable energies in the region's energy portfolio by 2020. Crispen Aubrey, who was editor of Wind Directions, between 1997 and 2008, says the main change for the wind power sector was its transformation from a niche market into a major international industry.

He said what has been particularly impressive is the steady industrialisation
of the manufacturing process, enabling wind turbines and their components to be produced at a scale that is necessary if it is to make a significant contribution.

"For me, the biggest achievement was the adoption of Renewable Energy Directive," – Kjaer

- West German firm, Windkraft- Zentrale, begins exporting wind turbines.
- Installed wind power capacity in the US - all of it in California - exceeds 1,000 MW from about 13,000 turbines.
- The EU announces funding for 97 demonstration projects and trials up to 1989.
- Dr. David Lindley becomes president of EWEA.
- The European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) conference is held in Rome. 800 participants from 36 countries attend.
- Europe's installed wind energy capacity reaches 40 MW.
- The Dutch government sets up a financing programme - the 'Integraal Programma Windenergie'(IPW) – for the wind turbine industry in the Netherlands.
- Vestas decides to concentrate exclusively on wind energy.
- EWEA holds international workshop on wind energy and the environment and publishes a reference book on wind energy.
- Germany launches 100 MW wind energy support programme.
- The UK announces plans for its first wind farm.
- 600 delegates attend EWEC '89 in Glasgow, Scotland, sponsored by the UK government and the European Commission.
- Europe's largest wind farm installed in Jutland, Denmark (42 x Nordtank 300 kW turbines).
- California's wind capacity reaches 1,500 MW from 15,200 turbines.
- Danish government sets target for 800-1,350 MW of wind energy by the year 2000.
- Dr. Ezio Sesto becomes EWEA's president.
- Germany introduces feed-in tariff law for renewable energy (Einspeisegesetz) with payment to producers of 90% of retail electricity price per kilowatt/ hour.
- First offshore wind park constructed at Vindeby off the coast of Denmark with 11 x 450 kW turbines.
- EWEA publishes action plan for European wind energy development, showing potential for 100,000 MW by 2030.
- First Spanish wind farms open at Tarifa in Andalucia; National Energy Plan envisages up to 200 MW of wind capacity by 2000.
- The EU has a cumulative wind power capacity of 800 MW.
- British Board of Trade announces new government target for wind energy of 3,500 MW of installed capacity.
- Spanish company Gamesa starts joint venture with Vestas to manufacture wind turbines in Spain.
- Wind power estimated to supply 2.5 million Europeans with electricity.
- France installs its fi rst wind farm in the Tramonte wind corridor of the western Mediterranean using four
Vestas 500 kW turbines.
- EWEA's new president is Dr. Ian Mays

"I also have to take my hat off to the German green movement, which has single-mindedly promoted the fixed feed-in tariff environmental incentive that has proved such an important factor in the growth of the industry."

Challenges ahead

Aubrey noted that the ongoing challenge for wind power is to ensure that current industry trends continue – that mass produced turbines become more reliable, efficient and economic, and that wind continues to be integrated into a network alongside other renewable sources, including solar, biomass, wave and tidal, without any need to fall back on expensive nuclear just because
it is relatively low-carbon.

There are many hurdles on the way to achieving this, not least securing new EU renewable energy targets for 2030, but also bringing down costs in the industry, especially offshore and ensuring the funding flows into R&D projects, and "EWEA will work tirelessly to achieve these", Kjaer said.

EWEA from 2006 to 2012
• EWEA revenues increased from €3.8 million
to €15.8 million,
• Staff increased from 14 to 65,
• Membership rose from 230 to 720 today.

Rave said the wind power industry must now give birth to new markets and face its coming of age. "This is both tough and worrying because in some markets wind power is having a mid-life crisis," he said. "Market entry costs are high. More mature markets face fierce competition from China and an overcapacity in manufacturing. It's a very demanding time for the industry."
Andrew Garrad, President of GL Garrad Hassan, recalled: "I have witnessed the birth and growth of an industry. It has been fascinating commercially, technically and politically," he said, adding the wind energy sector has moved from ridicule from the conventional generators to being part of the mainstream.
Thirty years after it began as a kernel of an idea, EWEA has become the world's largest and most powerful wind energy network. ?

"I have witnessed the birth and growth of an industry. It has been fascinating commercially, technically and politically" - Andrew Garrard

Thirty years of technology improvements Ten years ago, on the occasion of EWEA's 20th anniversary, the installed capacity of wind energy in Europe had reached the then dramatic figure of more than 20 GW. Now it is almost five times as much, pushing towards a total of 100 GW, supplying over 6% of European electricity and leading the renewables revolution.

One reason why these impressive landmarks are being reached is that the basic technology of wind power has achieved a level of reliability and consistency which would have been unimaginable when the Association first opened its doors.

At the heart of this has been the design of the wind turbine itself which, after many years of disparate branches and tributaries through which numerous options have been explored, has been consolidated into the horizontal axis, three-bladed, upwind confi guration which now dominates the market. Last year over 24,000 machines were manufactured around the world, nearly all of them following these basic design parameters. This in itself is an achievement worthy of celebration. Individual turbine size has also followed an interesting trajectory where initial adventurous forays into giant megawatt capacity or larger machines were sensibly hauled back until reliable models in the 5-750 kW bracket were first established at mass production level before moving up to 1.5 MW and more recently 2-3 MW series Thirty years of technology improvements By Crispin Aubrey designs. Meanwhile, some manufacturers have achieved series production turbines with a capacity of 5 MW and above, enabling more productive use to be made of increasingly scarce European sites with a good wind regime.

The largest capacity turbine on the market at the moment – the 7.5 MW Enercon E-126 – is a testament to the engineers who developed it in the company's German headquarters. Enercon's founder and chief executive Aloys Wobben enjoys reciting his vision that his country's electricity supply could be substantially secured if one of these giants was located close to every rural

Wind turbines have also become more efficient in terms of the cost of energy production. This has been helped by reducing the relative weight of components as turbine sizes increase. The latest 6 MW Siemens turbine, for example, has a weight per megawatt similar to that of many turbines in the 2 to 3 MW range. According to Henrik Stiesdal, the company's Chief Technology Officer, "reaching this low weight with a strong and robust machine is the result of targeted innovation combined with our more than thirty years of wind industry experience."

Within the envelope of the turbine there are other specific achievements. The use of composite materials to manufacture rotor blades has seen both their size and durability reach unprecedented levels. As a rough guide, doubling a turbine's rotor diameter quadruples its rated capacity.

- Danish manufacturer Nordex erects prototype of 1.5 MW
turbine in Denmark. Vestas and German company Tacke soon follow suit.
- European Commission publishes Green Paper on energy policy, with commitment to increase contribution from renewables.
- France launches a tender programme with a target for 500 MW by 2005: "Eole 2005"
- The Kyoto Protocol is agreed in Japan, with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% of their 1990 level by 2012.
- An EU White Paper sets non-binding goal to double Europe's share of renewable energy from 6% to 12% (14 to 22% of electricity supply) by 2010.
- EWEA announces target for 100,000 MW by 2020.
- Global wind industry record for new installed wind capacity in 1997: $1.5 billion in sales and 1,520 MW new capacity installed—up 22% over 1996's figures
- Greenpeace, EWEA and the Danish Forum for Energy and Development publish the Windforce 10 report, showing
how wind could generate 10% of global electricity by 2020.
- Dr. Klaus Rave becomes EWEA's president.
- First large scale offshore wind farm, Middelgrunden, is erected off Copenhagen.
- New German Renewable Electricity Law continues support for wind energy through fixed payments per kWh of
output over 20 years.
- European Directive on Electricity from Renewable Sources sets national indicative targets for each EU member state with an overall goal of 22% by 2010.
- France introduces fi xed tariff support system linked to target for 10,000 MW of wind capacity by 2010.
- UK opts for Renewables Obligation, with rising quota for renewable energy linked to green certificates.
- Professor Arthouros Zervos takes on EWEA's presidency.
- Horns Rev offshore wind farm opens in Danish North Sea (80 x Vestas 2 MW turbines).
- EWEA is represented.at Earth Summit in Johannesburg.
- The EU's cumulative wind power capacity exceeds 20,000 MW at 23,157 MW.
- Vestas and NEG Micon merge to form the world's largest turbine manufacturer, Vestas.
- Spanish government sets target for 13,000 MW of wind by 2011.
- EWEA sets new targets for 75 GW by 2010 and 180 GW by 2020.
- German turbine manufacturer REpower installs prototype 5 MW turbine.
- Siemens buys Bonus Energy of Denmark, the fi fth largest wind turbine manufacturer, and joins the wind energy business.
- The EU's cumulative wind power capacity exceeds 30,000 MW at 34,372 MW.
- Oil price moves above $70 per barrel, boosting gas prices and intensifying concerns about security of fossil fuel supplies.

This year, at the EWEA conference and exhibition in Copenhagen, the Danish company LM Windpower displayed a blade which was 73.5 metres long, the fi rst to breach the 70 metre barrier. The ability to produce blades of such length is largely the result of advances in the use of composite materials, in this case a combination of glass fi bre and polyester. The skill has been to reduce the weight of the materials while at the same time ensuring that they are strong enough to withstand the constant battering from the weather which is their daily experience.

The other major area in which innovation has driven wind power's technology advances has been out at sea. Installing wind turbines offshore, where the output from individual machines can be 40% more than on land, has brought enormous challenges. At the core of these has been the requirement to lodge foundations either into or on to the sea bed which will be strong enough to support turbines being buffeted by winds which are substantially stronger than on land, and, increasingly, in water depths of 30 metres or more.

So far, there has been no consolidation on foundation types, but the industry has come up with a range of solutions - from the simple monopole to the gravity foundation to a range of tripod structures – which have shown that it is
possible to ensure a solid, reliable support for offshore turbines across a range of different sea bed conditions and water depths.

There are some areas where the technology challenges have been greater than most. One of these is the turbine gearbox, whose reliability has posed major headaches for operators. On current evidence, however, those days have largely passed. A recent survey of 350 turbines for the European ReliaWind project, managed by GL Garrad Hassan, showed that gearbox assemblies contributed just over 5% to the overall failure rate of components, as against more than 10% for yaw systems and more than 20% for pitch systems.

At the same time, there is continuing debate about whether the logical move is to abandon the gearbox completely in favour of a direct drive system where the turbine rotor is directly connected to a low speed, usually permanent magnet, generator. Almost 20% of the world's turbine manufacturers (by output) have so far opted for that route.

Alongside the wind turbine and its components, there have been major advances in the assessments required to ensure that a cluster of turbines in a particular location makes best use of the wind available and can then transfer its electricity output seamlessly into the local grid network.

These advances include computer modeling of the surrounding terrain and specifi c proposed location for a wind farm in order to understand which would be the best precise position for the turbines, and always taking into account restrictions such as vegetation and nearby habitations.

In terms of the grid, modern turbines now have the capacity to supply electricity in a manner which meets all the requirements of the network operators, including the ability to continue operating when faults or breakdowns occur in the wider system. A number of European countries have also inaugurated dedicated control centres where the variability of wind output can be integrated with the national grid, alongside other generating inputs, in a way which ensures it is a much more predictable and reliable contributor to the national power supply. As the proportion of wind energy in country networks moves steadily upwards to levels of 10% or more, this is an essential tool.

There are still improvements to be made, not least in the cost of manufacturing and operating turbines and in the infrastructure required to make large offshore wind parks a stronger economic proposition. But the last 30 years
have already shown that the skills and dedication of the engineers and researchers who have carried the wind industry thus far are well up to the task. ?

- China sets target for 30 GW of wind power by 2020.
- European wind power moves above 40,000 MW, exceeding the EU target for 2010 five years ahead of time.
- US wind power capacity leaps above 10,000 MW
- EWEA sets new target for 180 GW of wind in Europe by 2020, 300 GW by 2030.
- Christian Kjaer becomes EWEA's CEO.
- EU adopts new binding target for 20% renewables in energy supply by 2020.
- Eurobarometer survey shows that 71% of EU citizens are "very positive" about the use of wind power in their country.
- First European Wind Day marked across Europe with a wind turbine erected in the centre of Brussels.
- The world's largest wind turbine, the 7 MW Enercon E-126, is installed in Emden, Germany.
- Italy passes a Financial Act including a green certificate scheme for renewable energy.
- Nine zones are identified around Britain's coast for construction of 25 GW of wind farms in the third round of government sponsored offshore development.
- The EU's 2009 Renewable Energy Directive is agreed, committing Europe to getting 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
- The European Parliament's energy committee agrees to dedicate €565 million to offshore wind projects as part of the EU Economic Recovery Plan.
- EWEA joins forces with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) to coordinate Global Wind Day.

Wind power past, present and future: the national view

Renewable UK
Dr. Gordon Edge, RenewableUK Director of Policy, said the sector was "just on the drawing board or in place in terms of small scale, domestic machines" 30 years ago. The first commercial onshore wind farm opened in the UK in 1991 in Cornwall and today the UK sector has "6.8 GW of onshore and offshore wind, and leads the world in the latter."

But the UK sector had to overcome a number of obstacles and challenges over the past three decades. "In the early days, there was a lack of financial support for wind available, making it difficult to get projects off the ground. Then we saw long delays with planning, grid connection and lack of ability to deal with the problem of aviation radar."

The sector continues to face serious obstacles. "In 'austerity Britain' some question whether we can afford renewables like wind. There is also opposition on visual grounds, and there are still delays with planning, particularly as local authorities have seen cuts."

Edge said 2012 has been a challenging year for the UK industry as financial support was reviewed for the short term (2013-2017) but companies are moving forward with projects, and the offshore industry has made an important step in showing how it can reduce costs out to 2020.

Edge also said polls consistently show that two out of three in the population favour wind power even though a vocal minority get a lot of media coverage and therefore some local politicians oppose wind developments.

AEE – the Spanish Wind Energy Association
Heikki Willstedt, Energy Policy Director of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), said the development of wind energy in Spain has been pretty successful due to an early approach from companies, a solid regulatory framework and society's general backing of the generating technology.

"These three factors were crucial for the industry to develop in every single link of the value chain, from the very big turbine manufacturers to the small components companies, Willstedt said. "Our companies became world leaders and are present in over 30 countries, and export technology and know-how worldwide.

The Spanish wind industry is currently facing serious obstacles, he said. "This is the most challenging period ever and we need to sit down with our Government as soon as possible to design together a new roadmap for our industry."

"2012 is the last year of the Preallocation Register, meaning that developers are making the final push to install the approved megawatts (1,900 MW in total). It is the last year for the current regulation, Royal Decree 661/2007, which means that, with no regulatory framework from 2013 onwards and suffering a green moratorium that nobody knows when will end, there have been no new turbine orders for the Spanish market so
far this year."

He said he believes that once the current recession is over and electricity demand picks up, wind energy will be back as the only mature enough renewable technology that can make European renewable targets happen by 2020.

"The question is in what shape will the industry be if governments are stubborn enough to stop it for a few years, as [that would mean] manufacturers would leave the country. That would mean Spain would probably have to import turbines in order to reactivate wind energy's growth."

DWIA – the Danish Wind Industry Association
Jan Hylleberg, CEO of the Danish Wind Industry Association, said the sector has grown tremendously in the past 30 years and by 2020 50% of the nation's electricity consumption will come from wind power.

Hylleberg said economic recessions and political "stop and go" schemes were the biggest obstacles the national association had to overcome and, because the sector is a relatively new industry, technical challenges also played a role.

Today, the biggest challenge is the global financial crisis, because the Danish industry is by far the most globalised in the world.

Meanwhile, "polls show that more than 90% of the Danes support wind power," he said, adding 95% of the Danish Parliament supports the political agreement which secures that 50% of the electricity consumption in Denmark will come from wind power by the year 2020.

In 10 years from now, he predicted the industry will be bigger, stronger and more globalised, and the cost of wind energy having been reduced significantly.

APREN – the Portuguese wind energy association
António Sá da Costa, President of APREN, the Portuguese wind energy association, said wind power in Portugal was insignificant 20 years ago. By 2000, he said, the sector was responsible for only 0.5% of consumption but today it represents slightly over 20% of the Portuguese electric consumption.
He said the national sector initially had to overcome a number of challenges including obtaining funding for expansion and making the electricity grid operators understand the industry and its advantages.

Nowadays, the industry has to deal with the ongoing financial crises while also meeting the country's obligations towards the EU objectives for renewable energy.
"The big challenge for the sector is to inform correctly the real costs of wind electricity compared with the 'other' electricity coming out of the large thermal power plants," he noted.

Despite that challenge, he predicts in 10 years the share of wind electricity in Portugal should be around 25%, with some of it coming from offshore wind farms installed in fl oating platforms.

Austrian Wind Energy Association
Martin Fliegenschnee-Jaksch of IG Windkraft, the Austrian Wind Energy Association, said the national association was founded in 1993 and the first wind farms were erected in the nation the following year.

"All of them are still working and producing green wind electricity," he said. The national sector has benefited from feed-in tariffs and that by 2020, with the aid of a new renewable energy law, wind power installations in Austria will increase to more than 3,000 MW.

"Up to 2020 more than 10% of the electricity consumption will be from wind energy. In 2020 more than 3,000 MW will be installed and will supply 50% of all households in Austria with green wind energy."
But the future potential is much higher: "Sites in forests and alpine regions have just started to be developed and re-powering hasn't even started." Not only that but EWEA will be holding its next annual event in Austria next year – EWEA 2013 will take place in Vienna 4-7 February. ?

What has EWEA done for you?
RenewableUK: "EWEA's ability to lobby the European institutions effectively was key in securing a strong Directive in 2009; that Directive, with its challenging targets, has transformed the policy landscape for renewables in the UK," Edge said. "EWEA's research reports and EUwide statistics are also very useful in building a picture of the UK as part of a wider European

AEE: "EWEA has played an important role in the adoption of the 20% renewable energy target for 2020 for the whole of EU that has helped set an ambitious wind power objective for Spain, and given the sector the needed long-term vision.
Current efforts by EWEA to convince the EU Commission to set mandatory renewable energy objectives for 2030 are also appreciated.
The assistance given by the EWEA to AEE in regards to communication with the European Commission has been quite valuable."

DWIA: "Even though wind power was invented In Denmark, EWEA has played an important role in the sector's success. The organization has a strong voice in European politics which is very important at a time where the EU plays a big role in its member states. EWEA is also an important player when it comes to knowledge and statistics about wind power."

APREN: "The role of EWEA has been very important in several ways like helping to defend the sector in Brussels and giving to our association,

APREN, the full support in the current difficult situation we are facing in Portugal. EWEA is very good at passing on information from Brussels about the wind energy industry and the politics that effect its development. The open discussions with the other country associations, mainly in the NAN meetings and EWEA's conferences and exhibitions are also very important."

IG Windkraft: "The lobbying at the EU level of EWEA is very important. The support with information and fi gures about wind energy is a crucial source for our work here in Austria.
Also the National Association Network (NAN) is a very important platform for interexchange of wind power information."

- Wind power provides 2% of worldwide electricity.
- Europe accounts for 48% of the world's wind energy capacity - the EU-27's cumulative wind power capacity is 75,103 MW.
- The European Commission allocates over €902 million to electricity interconnection projects as part of its broader European Economic Recovery Plan.
- Ten North Seas Countries agree to work together to develop an offshore electricity grid.
- Denmark's wind power share of electricity reaches over 20%.
- The EU-27's cumulative wind power capacity is 84,650 MW.
- The European Parliament votes to create a dedicated budget line for wind energy research and development for the first time.
- 9,000 people attend EWEA's 2011 Annual Event, which takes place in Brussels. EWEA launches its call for 2030 renewable energy targets.
- Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster - Germany announces plans to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022 as well as double the country's share of renewable energies.
- The EU Energy Roadmap 2050 is launched, binding renewable energy targets for 2030 could be in place by 2014.
- The EU-27's cumulative wind power capacity is 93,957 MW.
- The world's largest offshore wind farm opens off the coast of Cumbria, England. It has a capacity of 367 MW.
- Commission launches Renewable Energy Strategy
- EWEA turns 30!

Find out many more timeline facts: www.ewea.org/30years


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