First global wind conference announced for 2002

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The first global wind power conference and exhibition, bringing together all the major players in wind power, is to be held in the spring in Paris. The new world event -- The 2002 Global Windpower Conference and Exhibition announced at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) conference in Copenhagen in early July -- is a joint initiative by EWEA and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The conference will discuss major issues for wind markets around the world, including those in developing countries. The Paris conference in 2002 will be the first of a biennial event. The second will be in 2004 in Chicago and a city in the developing world will host the 2006 event. "The wind industry is now a global industry, and it is time for AWEA, EWEA and all wind associations around the world to be pursuing opportunities for closer collaboration," says AWEA's Randy Swisher. Eventually the plan is to phase out the separate major conferences hosted at regular intervals by EWEA and AWEA in their home markets "to avoid an escalation in the number of exhibitions ... and unnecessary extra costs on the industry." EWEA's Vicky Pollard stresses that the Global Windpower Conference has no connections with a rival world wind energy conference and exhibition scheduled for Berlin in July 2002 and sponsored by German wind energy association BWE. Indeed, EWEA has said that if BWE does not withdraw its sponsorship of the Berlin event and its support of a new "world wind energy association" it will exclude itself from EWEA membership. BWE's support of the rival event and a competing association "go against the interests of EWEA as a whole," states Pollard. Another of the world's largest wind associations, Denmark's wind turbine owner's association with 12,000 members, has said it will "of course" not be supporting the Berlin initiative but the Paris event.

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