Technological and market innovations are transforming the capacities and the ambitions of the wind industry, making this one of the most exciting and challenging eras in its history. It is crucial that all stakeholders stay up to date with the latest developments and have an eye on dramatic changes that are around the corner.
Taking place as part of the Global Wind Summit, the WindEurope Conference will gather more than 2,000 delegates for more than 50 conference sessions to address every aspect of the wind industry in 2018. Taking place alongside the WindEnergy Hamburg expo on 25-28 September, each day of the conference is organised around a distinct theme, with 500 speakers and presenters putting attendees at the cutting edge of wind energy.
As the world moves from the era of fossil fuel-based energy towards increasingly decarbonised energy, Europe is uniquely positioned to provide a blueprint for the rest of the world. Renewables already make up 30% of the power produced in Europe, but the complete decarbonisation of Europe's energy system requires dramatic changes to the power sector. This means accelerating the renewables-based electrification of three sectors: transport, heating and cooling, and industrial processes. At the WindEurope Conference, attendees will meet and learn from the industry leaders, experts and policymakers driving these transformations.
Digitalisation is opening new ways to design, manufacture, operate and maintain wind farms. From materials-science applications that predict failures in wind-turbine components with unprecedented accuracy to big-data analyses to optimise energy yields, the industry is becoming more sophisticated and is increasingly contributing to system integration. In addition to data ownership and data sharing - and the increasing importance of cybersecurity in wind - the WindEurope Conference will also focus on lifetime extension and cost reduction.
The industry has unleashed market innovations to dramatic effect, with record-low strike prices reached in tenders and corporate renewable power purchase agreements transforming how major corporates source their energy. The industry must now think beyond traditional support mechanism models and engage in closer dialogue with the financial sector. This raises significant challenges; there is no one-size-fits-all model for how industry players should operate in a merchant environment, and different regions and different players require different solutions.
Conference representatives from the finance community, investors, and the broader wind-supply chain will address current challenges and present new market solutions.
The conference will gather attendees from more than 100 countries, with international delegations from mature and emerging markets exchanging experience, learning from each other and signing up for new business. As new markets emerge across Africa, Asia and Latin America, a solid pipeline of wind projects are lined up in previously quiet regions. There will be conference sessions on development in constrained and difficult-to-access regions, and on how previously inaccessible expanses of ocean are being unlocked worldwide by floating offshore wind technology.
Finally, the decarbonisation of the world's energy system depends on both political and public support. For this reason, there will be conference sessions on improving the social acceptance of wind, exploring how the wind industry can further reach out to the public and maximise popular support for wind energy.
Whatever your area of interest and expertise, the WindEurope Conference at the Global Wind Summit is the key event of the year for all wind industry stakeholders.