Industry doing its best to get noticed -- Expo 2000

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Despite the efforts of Denmark -- specifically invited to show off its wind industry -- conventional energies eclipse renewables at the Expo 2000 world exhibition, which opened last month in Hannover. This despite the exhibition's theme, "People, Nature, Technology, a new world emerges," which might have been expected to allow new energy to eclipse fossil fuel and nuclear.

The Danish pavilion is dominated by a wind energy display mounted jointly by Vestas, NEG Micon and LM Glasfiber as well as the Eltra and Elkraft utilities, Zealand utility SEAS, and the organisations behind Denmark's "renewable energy island" (Windpower Monthly, January 1998). The display "addresses both intellect and intuition," according to the organisers, and allows visitors to "see, hear, feel and read the power of the wind."

Visitors can simulate various wind speeds, and have a "total experience," a virtual reality show on wind energy with panorama effects. The aim is to represent wind energy "as a natural part of the environment and an inexhaustible and clean source of energy."

As well as Denmark's exhibit, other wind energy activities at Expo 2000 include wind-art displays by international artists, a conference, and an integrated wind-solar-biomass project. The art projects, organised by wind developer Windwärts Energie of Hannover, are intended to attract the attention of Expo visitors. They include a Tacke 1.5 MW turbine with coloured lights embedded in the tower on the main A7 highway south of Hannover. A second project, sited close to the A2 motorway and titled "In the shadow of the wind," comprises an 80 metre long "table" representing the shadow cast by a Tacke Windenergie 1.5 M turbine installed just in time for the Expo opening. Another two projects are based on a 1 MW turbine and 1.5 MW unit, both from DeWind. Six projects were planned, but two have been abandoned because of siting permit problems. A total of 150 private individuals have invested in the wind-art and DeWind Technik and Tacke Windenergie are sponsors.

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