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EWEC 2006 Highlights


27 February - 2 March, Athens
At the end of February, the European wind industry met during 4 days in Athens during its annual European event. 2,770 participants from 50 countries attended the event, 200 oral speakers in more than 20 sessions and 350 poster presentations animated the conference during the 4 days. In addition to the sessions, 159 exhibitors presented their latest products and services.

Dimitris Sioufas, Greek Minister for Development opened the conference alongside the following keynote speakers from a wide variety of political backgrounds:

  • Stavros Dimas , Commissioner for Environment, European Commission, Belgium
  • Britta Thomsen , MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of ITRE Committee, European Parliament, Belgium
  • Michael Müller , Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
  • Arthouros Zervos , President, European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), Belgium

From the political perspective, the following CEOs from some of the leading manufacturers gave their vision of the future of the wind industry:

  • Esteban Morras , CEO, Acciona Energia, Spain
  • Thomas Richterich , CEO, Nordex AG, Germany
  • Fritz Vahrenholt , CEO, REpower Systems AG, Germany
  • Per Hornung Pedersen , CEO, Suzlon Energy, Denmark
  • Ditlev Engel , CEO, Vestas, Denmark


A link to the online proceedings containing all relevant information, papers, presentations, photos and videos will be dispatched by e-mail to all conference delegates as from mid May.

Non-attendees and non EWEA Members wishing to access the information may purchase the proceedings as from May 2006 for 50€. Free public access to EWEC 2006 proceedings will be available as from May 2007.

Press Releases :

EWEC 2006 Conference Highlights and thoughts

(this section has been done in cooperation with Jos Beurskens, ECN)

During the four days of the conference, numerous sessions and meetings have been held, a lot has been said, discussed, debated and formulated during formal and informal meetings, inside and outside the sessions.

But three main statements can be formulated:

  • Wind energy technology is on the brink of becoming a main stream energy option, so a ‘conventional’ energy technology;
  • The energy context, in which wind is developing, recently changed dramatically;
  • Technical and scientific progress in all relevant areas of wind energy is continuous, good, but not spectacular;

Is wind energy mainstream?

At present the installed wind power In Europe is over 40,000 MW and in the world it is over 59,000 MW. A few years ago about 85% of all power was concentrated in only 5 countries, now this percentage has dropped to 73%, wind power is spreading in Europe and globally as well. 40,000 MW wind power generate 3 % of Europe’s electricity demand. 3% is visible in the statistics but not yet significant. For the future, the no fuel campaign by EWEA, launched during the opening, announced an objective of 300 GW installed by 2030 supplying more than one fifth of European power demand, this is mainstream energy.

What needs to be done to a further deployment of wind from 3 to 23%

* Cost reductions: In order to realize a cost reduction of about 15% the present installed power has to be doubled (assuming a progress factor of 85%). This is a major task; a lot more difficult than doubling the installed power ten years ago when figures were small.

* Political support: More countries fully committed to renewable energy (and energy saving/efficiency) in general and wind energy in particular are needed. The commitment has to be continued in the pioneer countries and extended elsewhere.

* Grid improvement measures. During earlier conferences we only heard about grid studies, now we see implementation in policy and the first implementation actions. (Intermezzo: Grid improvements are not only needed because of the large scale introduction of wind energy. also the increasing international trade of electricity requires a different structure of the grid.)

What has been changed over the years in the EWEC conferences

In the 80’s the conferences were about the presentation of again another multi MW proto type.

In the 90’s the conferences were dominated by the commercial up scaling in terms of larger machines, larger wind farms capacities and market growth figures. The adagio was “larger, larger, larger”.

In the light of what has been said and heard during this conference on the requirements for reliability and quality –adagio of the 2000’s could hopefully be “better, better, better”.


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