United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The turn out

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Some 250 people attended the UK's largest annual get-together at the University of Wales in Cardiff. Numbers were up on 1997 figures -- which had been the lowest for some years -- but were more or less in line with attendance at other recent BWEA conferences. The city centre venue was deemed a plus factor, allowing delegates to opt out of campus accommodation in favour of the more luxurious comfort of local hotels.

Twenty-three exhibitors managed to fill the space available, but representation by wind turbine manufacturers was down to an all-time low of just six. This no doubt reflects the diminishing number of players in the light of NEG Micon's recent crop of takeovers. Nonetheless, the decision of some other manufacturers to stay away is perhaps surprising, given that the British market for wind turbines is due for another boost with the imminent announcement of contracts under the next round of NFFO support. Also absent from the exhibition were larger items of plant such as nacelles or blades. Two newcomers, Fugro and Seacore -- both offering offshore wind farm services -- made a timely first appearance.

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