Germans and EWEA still in dispute over rival wind energy body

German wind association Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE) had shown no signs by late November of a climb-down in its support for a new wind energy body set up to rival the long-established European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The EWEA had offered BWE an ultimatum to drop its support for the self styled "World Wind Energy Association" or face expulsion from EWEA. Also at issue is BWE's hosting of a wind energy conference in Berlin, planned to compete with the Global Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Paris in April 2002 being organised by EWEA and the American Wind Energy Association in collaboration with the major world wide national wind energy associations. It is the first time that a global wind power event is being held to showcase the industry. Material promoting the rival "World Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition," to be held in July, appears designed to create confusion over which event represents the main body of the wind industry. Its organiser, WIP of Munich, claim it is "The wind power event in 2002." WIP had previously worked on all major EWEA conferences in recent years. EWEA's Klaus Rave says the Berlin conference should be promoted as a political event to clearly distinguish it from the format of previous EWEA conferences. There have been ongoing talks between the EWEA and BWE to settle the issue. EWEA expected the BWE response by the end of November. If BWE opts to continue its divisive activities, the question of its future within EWEA will be decided by the association's members at their December board meeting.

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