Over 7500 people from 78 countries attended the European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) and Exhibition in Marseille, France, last month, compared with 6400 from 82 countries when the event was staged in Brussels in 2008. More than 1900 participants in the Marseille event were conference delegates, while 5600 were exhibition visitors and exhibitors. The largest contingents came from France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands. Over 500 papers were presented in 50 sessions, side events and seminars over the four days, divided into four parallel sessions covering policy, science, technology and finance. There were 390 exhibitors, a marked increase on previous EWEC events, spread over 9000 square metres of exhibition space. Of these, Germany fielded 57 exhibiting companies, France 42 and the UK 35. Denmark and the Netherlands were each represented by 33 companies and Spain by 22, while the US produced a respectable 19 exhibitors. A wind industry activity monitor set in motion at the opening session indicated that during the conference 45 turbines were installed in Europe, which attracted EUR 89.6 million of investment, generated 1.31 TWh of electricity and avoided over one million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Charles Dugué, president of the French Wind Energy Association, said he was "a little disappointed at the lack of political involvement," with no minister present on the opening day, but was "happy and proud that the event took place in France." The overall size and success of the conference is particularly good given the predominance of nuclear power in France. See the May issue of Windpower Monthly for a full series of reports from EWEC 2009, held March 16-19.
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