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More Exhibitors and Visitors for Third Edition
ImageFor the third time WindEnergy was held in Hamburg, Germany, this year between 16 and 19 May. There were some 10,000 visitors (compared with 8,000 last time), with about 30% of them from abroad (27% in 2004). During the four days of the fair, more than 330 companies from 26 nations presented their products and services for all aspects of the wind industry; nearly 50% of exhibitors were from abroad.

By Floris Siteur, Publisher, Windtech International
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{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}The Hamburg fair is trying to establish itself in the busy annual schedule of international events. Since the first fair in 2002 the show has grown with every edition, with more exhibitors and more visitors. This show can be seen more as a trade fair and less as a conference. There was an accompanying programme under the heading dialog@WindEnergy, but the character of the sessions was more on the dialog (as the name already indicates) than on scientific or technical issues. Such an event also attracts a different kind of audience to that of, for example, the annual EWECs organised by the EWEA. Visitors are more looking to do business than to enhance their knowledge.

From the Floor
ImageSix national pavilions were organised at WindEnergy 2006. Companies from the USA, Canada, UK, Denmark and Sweden presented their products and services in a combined booth. Most turbine manufacturers were present at the show; however, two of the big players were not exhibiting. Of course, the component suppliers were also present. For these manufacturers it was more important to be present than actually selling. Some of the manufacturers are already taking orders for 2008 and it seems that the turbine shortage will not be solved in the near future. Some manufacturers are trying to increase their capacity by vertical integration since the main bottleneck for the shortage lies at the component suppliers.

Wandering through the aisles and talking to the exhibitors I received mixed feedback. There seemed to be less traffic at the show than at some other shows but this impression may partly have been caused by the big and broad aisles. Some exhibitors were disappointed by this but others said they had more and better conversations compared with shows where the aisles are packed with people. Overall, a majority of the exhibitors were satisfied with the results of the show.
<CEO Forum
As at almost every show a CEO forum was held. Two CEOs from turbine manufactures, two CEOs from utility companies, one CEO from a component supplier and the president of the EWEA, Arthouros Zervos, participated in the round-table conversation. Dr Fritz Vahrenholt from REpower predicted a further consolidation for the turbine manufactures and maturing of the industry. In his opinion, to survive a manufacturer should grow more than the annual average growth of the market. Around 2010 there will be five to six international players left according to Vahrenholt. These players could come from the USA, Germany, Denmark, Spain and even China. Thomas Richterich, CEO of Nordex, shares the opinion that they should grow more than the market to survive and that there is the need that the component suppliers should increase their capacity quickly and dramatically. Eddy O’Conner, CEO of Airtricity, says that if wind energy wants to become a mainstream energy source, offshore wind is essential. Unfortunately, offshore developments are delayed at the moment due to several factors.
ImageAnother issue is that for Europe a new and bigger grid is necessary. The question is, who has to pay for such a grid. It should be done by the grid users but this must be arranged by the politicians. That is another crucial issue for this industry. The industry is too dependent on politicians and that makes it difficult for wind to become a real mainstream energy source.

Husum versus Hamburg
It is commonly known that Husumwind and WindEnergy are competing with each other and many people compare the shows. Competition is good for business and both shows want to become/stay the leading event for Germany. Husumwind has established itself over the last 30 years. In that sense it is not fair to compare the shows only on numbers and statistical information. Husumwind is seen as the event to catch up with people and meet old and new friends. The social character of the show is a strong competitive advantage. On the other hand, Hamburg has a great facility with the new buildings and has enough room to grow. Also there are plenty of hotels and other accommodation close by, and Hamburg Airport makes it easy for international visitors to attend the event. I don’t know if there is room for two major German shows and Husumwind is certainly not willing or intending to give up its current position. However, although Hamburg is not there yet, I see the potential for WindEnergy to become a real international industry fair. Only the future will tell.
The next WindEnergy – International Trade Fair will be held by Hamburg Messe from 20 to 23 May 2008.{/access}
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