European Offshore Wind 2009 conference and exhibition (EOW09) – the world’s largest gathering of offshore wind energy professionals took place in Stockholm from 14-16 September. The event, organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), was hailed a huge success, doubling in size from its previous edition in 2007.
Over 4,800 participants saw more than 270 exhibitors from across the industry, including the world’s foremost manufacturers, developers, power generators, constructors, engineers and utilities. The conference featured 23 sessions and some 500 presentations covering all aspects of offshore wind. More than 140 organisations signed a declaration launched at the conference pledging their commitment to offshore wind energy and calling on EU decision makers and national governments to put the right policies – particularly to speed up the development of Europe-wide electricity grids – in action to help develop the sector.
EWEA also presented the EU and governments with a 20-year offshore grid development plan to build on the 11 grids already in place and the 21 currently under study. EWEA proposes eight additional offshore grids by 2020 and six more by 2030.
The next wind industry event is set to check into Warsaw, Poland next year. The European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition (EWEC2010), which will be even larger than EOW09, will take place from 20-23 April 2010. EWEC is widely regarded as the most professional, comprehensive and informative event in the onshore and offshore wind sector. With over 7,000 key players in the wind industry expected to attend, it offers a unique opportunity to generate new business leads in this rapidly expanding sector. EWEA has a target of reaching 230 GW of installed wind energy capacity in Europe by 2020, building on the 64,949 MW which were already in place by the end of 2008. This target is evidence of the industry’s confidence and the growing recognition of the benefits wind power can offer European citizens. Last year, Europe’s wind energy avoided the emission of 108 million tonnes of CO2 – equal to 31% of the EU-15’s Kyoto obligations and the equivalent of taking more than 50 million cars off the roads.
These figures demonstrate why wind is the first choice when it comes to new power installations, and why the sector has cause to celebrate events such as EWEC.
EWEA chose Poland as next year’s conference destination since it is fast becoming one of the most promising wind energy markets in Europe – Poland currently has a total installed capacity of 451 MW and the sector provides some 1,200 jobs. The amount of electricity generated is expected to reach 2,000 MW by 2010 rising to 12,000 MW by 2020 – a level which is expected to meet around 12% of Poland’s energy demands, according to the Polish Wind Energy Association. Waldemar Pawlak, Polish deputy prime minister, said he hopes EWEC2010 will be a “catalyst for the dynamic development of this sector.”