EU looks at benefits of wind energy

Friday, 17 February, 2006

At a time of rising energy prices, increasing demand, energy supply insecurity and climate change, decision makers from the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States, as well as global industries CEOs, will gather in Athens to discuss these key issues at this year's EWEC - European Wind Energy Conference (Athens, 27th February - 2nd March).

The event coincides with the current discussion on a European Energy Strategy and will contribute significantly to the ongoing debate.

EC commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas said: "Promoting renewable energy is essential for our future - to preserve the non-renewable resources of the Earth for the future generations, to increase the security of our energy supplies, to actively fight climate change, to help poor countries to have an easier access to energy sources. Wind energy can positively contribute to these goals".

"We are at a defining moment in the history of energy supply, and energy is moving to the top of the political agenda. It will be a challenge for Europe to reach a contribution from wind energy in the same order of magnitude as the conventional technologies. It will require all the ingenuity the wind energy sector can mobilise as well as political vision and determination", said Britta Thomsen, MEP, vice-chairwoman of ITRE Committee, European Parliament.

"This must be combined with dramatically increased research funding, not least in offshore wind energy. But compared to the challenges of maintaining and securing Europe's current energy supply structure, the challenge is trivial.

Wind power is on course to become an increasing part of Europe's power mix. EWEA business forecast sees 180GW of wind generating 12% of Europe's total electricity requirements for 2020.

"Wind energy has come of age. These are exciting times as the industry's transition into the mainstream global power business accelerates. By 2010 the world market for wind power is predicted to double to 16 billion Euros per year. EWEC is widely recognized as the major international wind event and is the ideal forum to look at the future prospects of this fast-growing energy technology", said Ian Mays, conference chairman / managing director, RES, UK.

Item provided courtesy of European Wind Energy Association

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