Poul la Cour Prize to RES?s Ian Mays: wind power beyond frontiers

The prestigious Poul la Cour Prize was awarded to Dr Ian Mays, CEO and founder of RES – one of the world’s leading renewable energy developers. He is recognised as one of the foremost contributors to the development of wind energy on the international stage.

Since 1993, the Poul la Cour Prize has been awarded to individuals who have pioneered the development of wind power and have achieved exceptional results in the wind community. This year’s winner was presented with the prize in Berlin, on the opening day of GRIDS 2010, the conference and exhibition organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The prize was awarded to Dr Mays by EWEA Chief Executive Christian Kjaer.

“I would like to congratulate Ian,” said Kjaer. “His commitment and enthusiasm for the development of wind energy have not faltered in 35 years of work; his company is one of the most successful wind energy developers worldwide and one of the first independent power producers to achieve such great results. I see him as one of the people who brought the wind industry to the international stage, through his business and political activities.”

Dr Mays was the first President of EWEA and the first Chairman of the British Wind Energy Association (now known as RenewableUK), following their evolution into trade associations. As such, he has always followed legislative developments closely and championed the interests of what is now the world’s fastest growing energy sector.

“I am delighted and grateful to be honoured in this way by the industry”, said Mays. “In the three decades that I’ve been in wind energy, I have seen it move from the margins to the mainstream, to become an essential part of the solution to climate change and energy security whilst bringing sustainable jobs and economic prosperity. I applaud all the people I’ve worked with over the years at RES and in the wider industry. But there is still more to do. The next few years promise exceptional growth and rewards and I look forward to contributing to that success.”

Previous winners of the Poul La Cour Prize:

• 2009: Mechtild Rothe, Vice-President of the European Parliament – for her commitment to promoting renewable energy in Europe
• 2008: Jos Beurskens, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) – for his outstanding achievements and many years’ service in the field of wind energy
• 2007: Erik Lundtang Petersen, Risø – in honour of outstanding achievements in wind energy and for his scientific integrity
• 2006: Andrew Garrad, Garrad Hassan – for outstanding personal achievement in wind energy
• 2004: Esteban Morras, EHN – for establishing EHN as one of the leading renewable energy developers in the world
• 2003: Wolfgang Palz, European Commission – for his work at the European Commission
• 2001: Ecotecnica – for their co-operative organisation structure
• 1999: Søren Krohn, Danish Wind Industry Association – for www.windpower.org
• 1995: Aloys Wobben – for the gearless ENERCON wind turbines
• 1993: Erik Grove – for pioneering blade design