AWEA: Conference digest - Attendance down but strong presence from chinese manufacturers

Attendance at this year's American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) conference was down from last year, perhaps reflecting what more that one speaker at the event described as a difficult year. About 20,000 people attended, compared with 23,200 who gathered in Chicago last year.

The challenging market, however, did not deter the hundreds of turbine makers, component suppliers, consulting firms, financiers, transportation specialists, construction firms and other service providers looking for a piece of the giant US market for wind. There were 1,393 exhibitors, up from 1,280 in 2009. The international appeal of the US market was also evident on the show floor, with companies from 22 countries outside the US showcasing their wares. Germany led the pack with more than 50 exhibitors, followed by Canada with more than 40, China and Denmark each with more than 30, and Spain with 25. The exhibition space itself was about a third bigger than last year, covering 369,000 square feet. For the first time, AWEA took its show outside with an exhibit area for displays too big to fit inside. One of those was a 40-metre turbine blade that GE Energy took on a 28-day, nine-state, 2,436-mile tour to Dallas from the Molded Fiber Glass plant in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where it was manufactured. Proponents of wind energy covered it with signatures of support along the way. With the 2010 exhibition done, the US industry is looking to next year in Anaheim, California.

Welcome texas style

Texas wind producers welcomed AWEA delegates by setting a new all-time record for wind power production in the state on the first day of the conference. At 5:16 pm of May 23, just as the opening kick-off party was getting under way, Texas wind turbines produced 6,721MW, meeting 14% of peak electricity demand on that hot afternoon.

Big year for china

If 2009 was the year of the Koreans, 2010 is the year of the Chinese. This year Korean turbine manufacturers like Samsung, Hyundai and Unison were again a big presence at the AWEA conference. But the number of utility-scale Chinese turbine makers at Windpower 2010 shot up to at least eight, from just one last year.

That repeat performer, Guangdong Mingyang, marked its return with news that it is to open Dallas offices as a base for North and South American sales, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with city officials with an eye to building a Dallas factory. Meanwhile, China's top manufacturer Sinovel (3.5GW installed domestically in 2009) and second-place Goldwind (2.7GW) both made debuts this year, mounting big displays to suit their ranking as China's titans of wind. Goldwind, the only Chinese manufacturer with turbines on US soil, had announced the appointment of US CEO Tim Rosenzweig only the week before.

Smaller Chinese players like Guodian United Power, Sany, A-Power, Zhejiang Windey and Envision also took sizeable stands. But Dongfang Electric, China's third-place manufacturer, was notably absent.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Windpower Monthly Events

Search more than 4,500 companies in the Windpower Directory

Latest Jobs