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Wind energy associations draw truce over conference dispute

The European and German wind energy associations have drawn a truce. After a six month dispute over the organisation of rival wind energy conferences this year in Paris and Berlin within three months of one another, the two groups have reached a compromise, says the European Wind Energy Association's Bruce Douglas. The Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE) will drop the word "First" from the title of the World Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition in Berlin in July. BWE is the major backer of the event, ostensibly organised by a group calling itself The World Wind Energy Association. Furthermore, BWE will support the 2002 Global Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Paris in April, co-organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the American Wind Energy Association and the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association. In return, EWEA will drop its expulsion of BWE from its ranks of members and will support the Berlin event. In future, BWE and EWEA have agreed there will be only one global conference. "It is too late to stop either of the conferences or combine them," says Douglas. While the Berlin event has a clearly stated political aim, which appears to be the main purpose for holding it, the Paris conference is to be the industrial and commercial wind energy event of the year.

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