The EWEA 2015 Annual Event taking place from 17 - 20 November 2015 at Paris Expo, France presents an international platform for the wind energy industry to showcase and demonstrate its latest products and services. The event features a broad conference programme, extensive networking opportunities and a large exhibition.

With Europe’s industry leaders and policymakers attending, the event provides a periodic opportunity for the wind energy sector to meet with decision-makers and define the strategic direction for wind energy activities in Europe.

The comprehensive conference programme not only delivers cutting-edge technological knowledge, but also lively debates on European policy, markets and financial issues.

Whilst Europe is undoubtedly the home of wind energy, the global marketplace is becoming increasingly crowded with new players. Every year, EWEA brings together more than 60 nationalities from around the world, making the event truly international and a great place to find new suppliers, check out new developments and build partnerships.

“Where has the ‘science & research content’ gone? Nowhere! It’s everywhere!”
One of the key innovations of the conference this year is that it will be the first to feature the best of industry and science and research content within every session. In response to delegates’ feedback, rather than presenting content from the scientific community in a separate ‘track’ of sessions, it will now be incorporated into the relevant topics. Organisers hope this achieves the objective of further improving the coherence of the programme, increasing the value of sessions for delegates and building bridges between research into future technologies and the challenges that industry is solving today.

To make sure the best content is selected from both communities, EWEA, in partnership with the European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE), has appointed two topic leaders per topic – one from industry and one from the science and research community. Based on the thorough review by EWEA & EAWE members of over 440 abstracts from 33 countries, the topic leaders have developed 36 sessions under the following 9 topics:

-Turbine technologies
-Environmental impacts and acceptance
-Supply chain
-O&M and logistics
-Market development
-Resource assessment
-Integrating wind power
-Health and safety

EWEA 2015 continues the long-standing tradition of teaming up with the European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE) to ensure the best content from the science and research community features in the annual conference programme.

As in previous years the Academy’s members from across Europe have reviewed the science & research abstracts and will be topic leaders and session chairs alongside their counterparts representing industry.

All resulting presentations in the conference sessions are indicated as ‘science & research’ and the full papers of these will be compiled in the printed scientific proceedings. Conference delegates can pick up a free copy of the scientific proceedings outside the conference session rooms during the event. These full papers will also be available to full conference delegates in the online proceedings along with all other presentations and posters at the end of the event.

EAWE is a registered body of research institutions and universities in Europe working on wind energy research and development: a vital academic, research community to keep Europe in the world fore-front of wind energy pre-competitive innovation. Founded in 2004, the Academy formulates and executes joint R&D projects and coordinates high quality scientific research and education on wind energy at a European level

According to event organisers, the European Wind Energy Association we are entering a stage where the European offshore wind industry must shed 26% of outlays to reach cost-competitiveness with conventional forms of energy by 2023- making this a particularly interesting time for the industry.

In a report from EY, the industry must significantly reduce costs over the next five years through a number of key actions, outlining where the following savings can be found:

These include deploying larger turbines to increase energy capture (9%); fostering competition between industrial players (7%); commissioning new projects (7%); and tackling challenges in the supply chain such as construction facilities and installation equipment (3%).

Together with clear political signals from lawmakers on regulation and support schemes, offshore wind could compete with conventional forms of energy such as gas, coal and nuclear in the first half of the next decade. Alongside the release of the EY report, three of the biggest names in offshore wind have initiated a joint declaration – called 'United Industry' – as part of a commitment to reducing costs in the sector.

Dong Energy, MHI Vestas and Siemens Wind Power and Renewables have pledged to undertake joint and individual actions across the whole of the value chain to deliver "major long-term and tangible advancements.”

Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore of Siemens Wind Power and Renewables, has said: "Cost reduction remains a top priority of the offshore wind industry. We need to create profitable investments for offshore projects independent of subsidies. In a united industry, all stakeholders across the whole value chain are equally responsible to contribute and deliver. Siemens takes full ownership of this challenge. If we all do that, we will win."

The annual EWEA event takes place in a different European city each year and has an unmatched reputation for producing fruitful networking events in amazing surroundings. This year, the event is taking place just two weeks before world leaders will gather in Paris for the UN climate negotiations. Organisers claim that there will be no better time to show policymakers the strength of the wind industry while making international business connections.

By Jake Frith