All eyes on Copenhagen as Europe?s annual wind energy event is set to begin

Do you want to know more about what makes wind energy work and what the future holds for the sector? Then perhaps you should join the thousands of wind power enthusiasts who will be descending on Copenhagen this weekend for the EWEA 2012 Annual Event.

For more information on how you can visit the exhibition or attend the conference sessions, from as little as €50, check out the website.

Hosted by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the four-day conference and exhibition that officially begins this coming Monday 16 April is expected to attract at least 10,000 professionals intent on learning about wind turbine rotor length, green electricity production, supply chains, national and international grid systems, and climate change mitigation.

And, as the ambitious EWEA 2012 conference programme indicates, that’s just for starters.

Indeed, Europe’s biggest annual wind energy event is designed to appeal to the widest variety of interests so that when it is over next Thursday participants can leave with renewed optimism in the ability of the rapidly-expanding sector to continue providing increasing amounts of emissions-free electricity, jobs and advanced research and development possibilities.

It also seems more than fitting that EWEA 2012 will be held in Denmark, a pioneer of modern wind energy and a major contributor to the European industry which by the end of last year had 93,957 MW of cumulative installed capacity — representing 10.5% of total EU power capacity.

As usual, those speaking at the conference represent some of the most successful leaders in the business and renewable energy world.

For instance, Dr. Patrick Dixon, international conference keynote speaker and Chairman of Global Change Ltd. will moderate the debate session ‘Setting the scene: Asking ourselves some tough questions’ on the first day of the event. Ranked one of the 20 most influential business thinkers alive today, Dixon is a management consultant whose clients include many of the world’s largest multinationals.

The event will be opened by the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning Schmidt, and the Crown Prince, with EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger giving the key-note speech. At the opening session EWEA will launch its new report ‘Green Growth’, which shows wind energy’s contribution to EU employment and GDP.

A panel discussion on European energy supply, moderated by Danish Energy Minister Martin Lidegaard, will also include Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas Wind Systems; Jan Kjaersgaard, EMEA CEO of the Wind Power Division at Siemens Energy; Stephan Ritter, General Manager Europe, GE Energy, Renewable Energy; Ian Mays, CEO of RES Group; Øystein Løseth, President & CEO of Vattenfall; Christina Grumstrup Sorensen, Senior Vice President, DONG Energy; Pedro Ruiz, General Manager, Acciona Windpower and Xabier Viteri, CEO, Iberdrola Renovables.

Consisting of six tracks, the conference timetable will look at policies, markets and programmes; financing; hardware technology; resource assessment; integration in electricity systems and markets; and science and research.

More than 500 exhibitors have already signed on to showcase their products and capabilities in the exhibition hall, and networking opportunities will be many and frequent.

Here’s a last thought as you get ready for Monday’s conference opening:

It seems almost certain that, as the EU power sector continues to move away from fuel oil and nuclear, there will be more demands on wind power to help fill that void. And that’s a good thing for all of us.

So, enjoy the event. Enjoy Copenhagen. Enjoy the wind. But if you can’t make it to Copenhagen, don’t worry, you can follow all the blog posts and news from the event, along with photos, quotes and videos, on

Zoë Casey,