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EWEC 2009 - A key event at a critical time

European Wind Energy Conference 2009 - 16-19 March, Marseille, France

(PresseBox) (Brussels, ) The European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) 2009 comes at a critical time. Organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), it will be the sector's first large-scale discussion of the historic Renewable Energy Directive, newly agreed by the EU in December 2008. It will also be the industry's first major event since the financial crisis started shaking economies worldwide. From 16-19 March, EWEC delegates will meet in Marseille, France, to discuss and debate the new energy and economic era.

The Renewable Energy Directive has set EU Member States binding renewables targets by 2020 with an overall goal of 20%. To reach the 20% target, more than one-third of the European electrical demand has to come from renewables. Wind power can deliver 12-14% of the EU's electricity by this time, with an installed capacity of 180 GW, up from 56 GW in 2007.

Over 6,000 people are expected to attend EWEC 2009. Speakers will include policy makers, company executives, scientists, engineers, environmentalists and financial experts. Keynote speakers already confirmed for the opening session include:

Andris Piebalgs, EU Energy Commissioner
Waldemar Pawlak, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Poland
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Secretary of State for Ecology, France
Mechtild Rothe, Vice President, European Parliament
Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Roland Sundén, CEO, LM Glasfiber & EWEC 2009 Conference Chair

EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs expects EWEC "to be an opportunity to display the best European renewable technologies, and a forum within which the best European minds can address critical energy-related questions. I have no doubt that it will be a success."

EWEC 2009 will see the launch of the first ever Global Leaders' Forum, in which speakers from the industry, political, environmental and economic sectors will examine the relationship between energy supply and climate change. Last year's successful Job Fair will also be repeated on an even bigger scale.

In all, there will be over 40 sessions, workshops and side events organised during the four-day conference, as well as more than 500 oral and poster presentations. The annual exhibition has been extended twice to over 9,000m2, its biggest size ever, in order to accommodate all those who wanted to participate.

All press representatives and journalists will have free access to EWEC 2009. A press conference will take place on Monday 16 March at 12:00 in the conference hall press and media centre, with the keynote speakers listed above.

As befits its past and present as a melting-pot of different cultures and nationalities, Marseille will be the gathering point for people from Europe and beyond, all coming to the continent's premier wind energy event.

For more information about the Marseille conference please see www.ewec2009.info.

About European Wind Energy Association

EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 500 members from 50 countries, including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world's largest and most powerful wind energy network.

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