WINDFORCE Conference an overwhelming success: offshore wind energy on the ascent

The thirteenth WINDFORCE Conference in Bremerhaven ended on 11th of May. In twelve theme blocks and 60 talks decision-makers and experts discussed the most recent developments in the offshore wind industry. Feedback given by the around 400 participants, including guests from Great Britain, the United States and Taiwan, was very positive: they praised the broad and balanced range of topics covering both the political and the strategic, the specialist sessions and in-depth talks with experts and highlighted the way the conference has continued to develop in terms of content and topics. Taking centre stage in the debates were the recent results of the first tendering round that will make the offshore wind industry into the cornerstone of the energy turnaround.

Bremerhaven, 11 May 2017 – Both in the sessions as well as in the talks the following became clear: industry and politics are united in the view that grid expansion must be rapidly accelerated by 2025. This is the only way to make up for delays that have already taken place. Andreas Wellbrock, Managing Director of WAB e.V., says: “In the first tendering round offshore wind energy has impressively shown how competitive it can be. The industry therefore calls for the expansion goals to be raised. Achieving climate goals is inextricably linked to modernising and developing a future-proof grid infrastructure. We must consistently exploit available opportunities to accelerate planning and approval procedures”.Among the well-known guests attending the event were representatives from German politics such as the ‘architect of the energy turnaround’, Rainer Baake, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as Bernd Westphal, member of the German Bundestag. The importance of offshore wind energy was underpinned by numerous specialist international contributions. For example, representatives of the Massachusetts General Court provided exciting insights into the ambitious expansion of the offshore wind industry in the United States. Speakers on behalf of the Allgäuer Überlandwerke and the Elektrizitätswerke der Stadt Zürich showed that municipally-owned utilities are placing their faith in offshore energy in order to raise significantly the proportion of renewable energies generated in their portfolio. The relevance of offshore wind energy – particularly for southern German and Swiss businesses - was once again clear.Andreas Wellbrock draws an extremely positive conclusion: “The WINDFORCE Conference has developed both nationally and internationally into the leading industry meeting place for offshore wind energy and has set down a clear marker: the expansion goals for offshore wind energy must be raised and the modernisation of the grid accelerated.” The next WINDFORCE Conference takes place in Bremen from 15 to 17 May 2018.

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About WAB
WAB e.V. is the leading business network for wind energy for the north-west region and nationwide contact partner for the offshore wind energy industry in Germany. The association comprises more than 350 businesses and institutes from all sectors of the wind energy industry, the maritime industry as well as research.