World Wind Energy Award 2013 goes to French Wind Turbine Manufacturer Vergnet Eolien

The Board of the World Wind Energy Association has decided on the occasion of the 12th World Wind Energy Conference 2013 in Havana, Cuba, to give the World Wind Energy Award 2013 to Vergnet Eolien.

The WWEA Board recognises Vergnet’s contribution to the introduction wind technology that is adjusted to the needs of millions of people mainly in rural areas and in the so called developing world. Vergnet has become the first major successful wind turbine manufacturer from France with an international scope.
Vergnet is providing adjusted technology for which there is a major need in many countries, for example on the Caribbean islands. While many of the large wind turbine manufacturers showed no more interest in the market for medium-sized wind turbines, Vergnet has shown vision and courage by offering this needed technology.
According to the experience for example from a wind farm installed in Cuba in 2007, Vergnet’s wind turbines produce excellent results under Caribbean conditions and with the specific de-centralised grid structure.
Considering the huge need for and correspondingly bright prospects of wind power in decentralised applications, WWEA hopes and expects that Vergnet Eolien can play an even more significant role in many regions that still suffer today from a shortage of electricity.
WWEA would like to underline that the association sees it as a major task to foster the development of adjusted wind technology. For this purpose, WWEA is working closely with companies such as Vergnet and to extend its full support and cooperation in fostering such rather new wind markets, e.g. in the Caribbean region and many other new wind markets all over the world.
With the award, WWEA would also like to encourage the government of Cuba and of other countries in the Caribbean region and in Latin America to support the development of the domestic wind sector and the related industries.
The World Wind Energy Award – previous winners:
·      2012: the initiators of the Hepburn Wind Farm, Australia’s first community wind farm;
·      2011: the Egyptian wind turbine manufacturer Sewedy Wind Energy Group SWEG under the leadership of Ahmed El Sewedy;
·      2010: the Founding Member States of the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA;
·      2009: the Hon. George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of Ontario;
·      2008 jointly to: Ms Jane Kruse, and Dr. Preben Maegaard, Denmark, Paul Gipe, USA;
·      2007 jointly to: the Hon. Ms Dilma Vana Rousseff, today President of Brazil, former Chief of Staff Minister of Brazil and former Minister for Mines and Energy, Ms Laura Porto, Director of the Department of Renewable Energy of the Ministry of Mines and Energ, Mr Valter Luiz Cardeal, Director of Engineering and interim President of Eletrobrás, Dr. Sebastião Florentino da Silva, Coordinator of the Proinfa Programme at Eletrobrás;
·      2006: the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind under the leadership of Mr Wu Gang;
·      2005 jointly to: Hon. Vilas Muttemwar, Indian Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, and Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairman of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission;
·      2004 jointly to: the German Minister for the Environment, Hon. Jürgen Trittin, and the German Parliamentarian Dr. Hermann Scheer;
·      2003: the Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon under the leadership of Mr Tulsi Tanti;
·      2002: Prof. Dr. Amin Mobarak, Chairman of the Industry and Energy Committee of the Egyptian Parliament.
Special Recognitions
The Board of the World Wind Energy Association has decided also to give a Special Recognition to two personalities for the achievements that Cuba has made in wind power mainly in two areas: in science as well in government. Hence, a Certificate of Recognition was given to Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz as the political leader and to Prof. Dr. Conrado Moreno as the leading scientist, for initiating decisive step that enabled Cuba to use wind power, as part of a general switch to more renewable energy on the island.
Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz
Almost two decades ago, Dr. Castro started to shift Cuba’s energy supply towards renewable energy and energy efficiency. No other country in the Caribbean region has so far presented a similar progressive renewable energy programme like Cuba. Already in the early 1990s, Cuba created the first renewable energy programmes, including the establishment of CETER. In 1999, the first grid-connected wind farm was installed, and in 2005, the “Energy Revolution” was launched. WWEA hopes and expects that many other countries will also launch similar programmes in the future.
Prof. Dr. Conrado Moreno
Since 1975, Prof. Moreno has been involved in wind research activities, such as wind energy assessment and the design and manufacturing of wind turbines. He is one of the most experienced wind scientists not only in Cuba, but worldwide. His work resulted in the installation of wind parks, a comprehensive wind map of Cuba, and other important achievements. He has published numerous articles and books and, as a professor, he has given many courses on wind energy in Cuba and other countries and taught thousands of students about the basics of wind technology.