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The European and American Wind Energy Conferences and Exhibition
ImageEWEC 2007 was organised in Milan, Italy, from 7 till 10 May and WINDPOWER 2007 from 3 till 6 June in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Both events are among the most important wind energy gatherings for their respective continents. EWEC 2007 attracted over 5,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors. The show in LA had around 7,000 attendees and over 400 exhibitors. Both events had a well-organised programme for both conference delegates and exhibitors.

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ImageThe biggest similarity between the shows is the good balance between the conference programme and the exhibition. However, the traffic on the exhibition floor in LA was more constant than in Milan, where the booth personnel were busier during breaks between the sessions. Nevertheless, the exhibitors needed all their time to inform the public about their products and services.

EWEC 2007
This year's conference programme included over 200 confirmed oral presentations in 40 separate sessions. There were also 300 poster presentations and nine parallel workshops. Now that the European Commission has set binding targets for each Member State for the percentage of energy to be generated from renewable sources, the European wind energy industry has a bright future ahead. Mechtild Rothe, Vice President of the European Parliament, stated in her keynote speech that only the potential supply and the point of departure should be used when setting the indicator levels, and not any political deals. The sharing of the 20% target by 2020 must be genuinely European.

ImageAnother issue she addressed was the market penetration of offshore wind. Currently, installed offshore capacity is 700MW. Knowledge and experience in this area is still too limited, and prices and costs are still too far above onshore wind. In order to increase offshore wind's market penetration, an ambitious offshore policy is needed.

However, it was noticeable that in Milan there were more projects and products focused on offshore wind than there were at the LA exhibition. Currently in the USA there is no offshore project ‘in the pipeline', but the potential is enormous. If Europe is able to speed up the adoption of offshore wind and get experience and knowledge of this technology, it will be a huge advantage for European companies when the USA is ready for offshore wind as well.

A link to the EWEC 2007 online proceedings will be dispatched by e-mail to all conference delegates by mid June; it will contain all relevant information, papers, presentations, sound files, photos and videos. Non-attendees and non-EWEA members wishing to access the information may purchase the link to the online proceedings for € 50 from mid June. Free public access to EWEC 2007 proceedings will be available from April 2008. For further information, and to buy the proceedings, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 2008 event will be held in Brussels from 31 March to 3 April. For more information visit www.ewec2008.info.

WINDPOWER 2007
This year, the?conference focused on what actions are required to make wind energy a significant part of the US electricity portfolio. The education programme addressed how to achieve this goal by identifying major issues and challenges, and discussing solutions for the advancement of the wind energy industry.

ImageSince the US production tax credit (PTC) has been extended through to December 2008 the North American market is booming. It is also expected that the PTC will be extended before the end of this year by another 2 or 3 years. Some companies have already doubled their revenue for 2007 compared to 2006, and we are just half-way through the year. That the industry is booming was clearly visible on the exhibition floor. The show was much bigger than the show in Pittsburgh last year; in particular the number of turbine manufacturers with displays increased. New-comers to the show this year were: REpower, Ecotecnia, Nordex, Nordic Windpower and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) together with Hitachi.

Nordex backed out of the US market in 2003, but have now decided to re-enter the market now the prospects are so much more positive.

Nordic Windpower introduced their two-bladed 1MW turbine, which will be commercially available in 2008. The Nordic 1000 is a utility scale turbine suitable for large developers. The design is based on a the results of a 30-year, US$ 75 million, investment in R&D by the Swedish government and the European Union.

ImageAnother new turbine, which is based on older technology, is the 2MW turbine developed by Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) and Hitachi. This is a downwind turbine which is particularly suitable for complex terrains. Initially the turbine was developed for the Japanese market because the landscape there is more complex than in many other countries. However, there are many locations in the USA where such a turbine would be a suitable choice.

Clipper Windpower introduced the 2.5MW Liberty turbine last year, and after only one year of sales effort they have firm and contingent orders for 5,600MW through to 2011.

The DeWind brand is also back in the market. CTC Technology acquired EU Energy last year, and they had acquired DeWind earlier. Since the DeWind brand is a well-known name in the industry (especially in Europe), it made sense for the new parent company to reintroduce the brand to the market.

{mosimage}It seems that the pie is big enough for every player to have a piece, but the industry still needs to solve the supply shortage bottleneck. Experts were saying that this problem is unlikely to be solved before 2009.

WINDPOWER 2008 Conference & Exhibition will take place from 1 till 4 June in Houston, Texas. More information can be found at www.windpowerexpo.org.
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