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Broad range of delegates attend AWEA conference

A broad range of delegates, including a surprisingly large number of media representatives, attended the American Wind Energy Association's Windpower 2005 conference. Among the 4100 participants were about 85 members of the media, who attended in person or joined telephone news conferences -- a 34% increase in media interest over the previous year's event, which itself saw a 20% increase over 2003. The resulting coverage -- 45 news clips between May 12 and May 23 -- -was more than double that of the previous year. Overall, attendance was up about 500 from the year before, with project developers and operators making up 18% of the total and component suppliers about 13%. Also attending were utilities, government agencies, and non-profit organisations. Representatives from financial institutions were also a significant presence, a signal that US financial institutions are beginning to change their historic aversion to the perceived risk of investments in the wind industry. The most popular sessions at the conference related to provision of debt and equity for wind projects. Also popular were a forum of turbine vendors and sessions on multi-megawatt turbines, green markets and transmission. Nearly 500 abstracts for presentations were submitted, a huge increase over the 90 submissions just a few years ago, says AWEA's Christine Real de Azua. Most delegates were from the US, but 14% came from outside the country, primarily Canada and Europe. Within the US, the leading states for attendance were California with 15% of delegates, Colorado (13%), Texas (8%) and New York (6%).

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