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World wind energy council established
1 August 2001
Renewables lobby group Eurosolar, led by German politician and renewables campaigner Hermann Scheer, is behind the foundation in July of what the group refers to as a World Council for Renewable Energies. The "council" is described by Eurosolar as "an independent global network" of non-governmental organisations "acting in the field of renewable energies, environment protection and development aid." Its members, claims Eurosolar, include companies and scientific institutes, though neither the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) nor the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) are supporters. The world council was founded at a conference in Berlin in July dedicated to the promotion of global technology transfer for renewables. This conference, with 400 participants, called for governments to found an International Agency for Renewable Energies, to be dubbed IRENA. The conference said it was unacceptable that governments paid millions to support the international Atomic Energy Agency and the transfer of nuclear technology to developing countries, but there was no similar institution for renewables. Germany is seen as being "the appropriate country for the seat." The world council initiative appears to be closely connected with the founding on July 1 of a World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) by Danish national Preben Mægaard, a member of Eurosolar. Mægaard has made a name for himself as a fierce opponent of market-based support mechanisms for renewables in developed markets; green credit trading will be a "disaster" for Denmark, he says. The founding members of the WWEA include 12 minor wind associations from developing countries or countries without wind markets, with the notable exceptions of the Japanese, Australian and German wind energy associations. Explaining the reason for the participation of the South African Wind Energy Association in the initiative, SAWEA's Herbert Oelsner says that little help in the way of funding has been forthcoming from established groups like EWEA and AWEA. "This was the first lifeline or ray of hope going," he says: "The first real action from the developed nations to the north to acknowledge the desperate need for help to the underdeveloped south."
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