Poor wind industry presence at China's first renewable energy expo

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With some 300 delegates from 23 countries at the conference and 5000 visitors through the exhibition doors, the poor presence of the wind power sector at China's First International Renewable Energy Expo in Beijing, held April 7-9, was all the more noticeable. There were just three booths taken up by wind power suppliers -- and the only offerings on display were small off-grid turbines for household use. Moreover, speakers at the five presentations made at the half-day wind power seminar on day three faced an audience of at most 30 people. The absence of major industry players was all the more ironic given the event's main sponsor was Spain's Corporation Energia Hidroelectrica de Navarra (CEHN), a major wind plant developer in Spain looking at getting into the Chinese market. The poor wind industry turnout, commented Ye Jing of the expo organising committee, may have been due to the staging later this year in Beijing of the third annual conference of the World Wind Energy Association, an alternative wind lobby financed out of Germany. The event, which includes Wind Power Asia 2004, is to be held in November. Meantime, the International Renewable Energy Expo is likely to be repeated next year, but may become part of the 15th World Solar Photovoltaic Conference taking place in Shanghai in November, says Ye Jing.

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