The first truly global wind power event will be held early next month in Paris.PARIS, France 2002-03-11 [SolarAccess.com] The 2002 Global Windpower Conference and Exhibition, organized by the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) will take place April 2 through April 5. According to the three associations, 2001 was the best year ever for wind power, with a total of 6,500 MW of wind energy generating capacity added to the grid worldwide in, bringing total wind power capacity in the world to 24,000 MW, enough to meet the energy needs of more than 10 million households. Wind power grew at an average 30 percent annually over the past five years, establishing wind as the world’s fastest-growing energy source. India passed 1,500 MW of total installed wind power capacity in 2001 and is the third largest wind power producer in the world after Europe and the United States. With 2001 installations of 240 MW of new wind generating capacity the year became the best since 1995 for added capacity. “With the ever increasing threat of global warming, developing countries, countries in transition and the developed countries have to address the issue of climate change”, said Rakesh Bakshi, Chairman RRB Consultants & Engineers Pvt. Ltd. and Conference Chairman. “We must accord greater recognition to environmentally friendly technologies, especially those like wind power which are already mature, established globally and have an excellent performance track record of more than two decades.” “The potential for wind energy in India is around 45,000 MW. It is expected that 10 percent of the proposed capacity addition in India of 100,000 MW in the next 10 years, i.e. 10,000 MW, would come from the wind energy sector. From zero to 1,500 MW has taken us about 20 years in India but from 1,500 MW to 10,000 MW shall take us ten years. Wind power has come of age and the next 20 years will see greater and enhanced deployment of wind electric generators as a clean and green source of power generation both onshore and offshore,” Bakshi said. The United States, the world’s second largest wind power market after Germany, installed nearly 1,700 MW in 2001 – more than double the previous record set in 1999. Total installed capacity increased by more than 60 percent to 4,261 MW by the end of last year. Utility-scale wind turbines are now operating in more than half of the 50 states. Europe also exceeded most expectations with an increase in installed capacity of more than 35percent. With 4,500 MW installed during 2001, total wind power capacity in Europe now surpasses 17,000 MW. “The timing for the first global wind power conference in Paris could not be better,” said Arthouros Zervos, President of EWEA and Conference Chairman. “The Paris conference underlines the fact that the wind power industry and the benefits it brings are spreading around the world. Over the past two decades the cost of generating wind power has dropped more than 80 percent. It is now time to show the world that security of energy supply and economic growth do not have to come at the expense of the environment. The technology is available to provide clean power reliably, cheaply and globally.” The conference is expected to attract over 1,000 participants from across the world, reflecting the widespread interest in wind energy and providing a showcase for this technology. It will involve the major players in the wind energy industry, from policy-makers and financiers to researchers and manufacturers. Through its links with key international institutions such as the UN and the World Bank Group, the Global Windpower conference will help provide sustainable responses to the world’s growing energy demand. The event will discuss issues of importance in wind markets around the world, including the expansion of the industry into emerging and developing country markets and the issue of EU enlargement. It will look in depth at the drivers for this expansion such as the need to combat climate change and to guarantee a secure energy supply.