New Zealand's first major wind energy conference in Wellington at the end of June attracted representatives from all the major -- and some minor -- players in the business to a full day of technical and business oriented presentations. Industry outsiders also attended to pose questions about the nature of wind energy development from an environmental and "not in my backyard" (NIMBY) perspective. The conference, supported by the newly formed New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, covered successes and problems with the country's fledgling wind industry, innovative technologies, such as the new Vortec diffuser system, and legislative and resource management barriers to wind energy development. The general enthusiasm for wind energy displayed at the conference was echoed at the first annual general meeting of the NZWEA on the same day. Long-time wind proponent Paul van Lieshout of DesignPower was elected chairman.
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