Oceans of opportunity: the world's largest offshore wind event

Brussels, (PresseBox) - Over 3,000 representatives of the offshore wind, oil and gas industries, plus policy makers, business people and scientists will gather in Stockholm from 14 to 16 September for the European Offshore Wind 2009 Conference and Exhibition - the largest offshore wind event in the world.

Participants will celebrate the major developments taking place for Europe's largest domestic energy resource and discuss the key next steps. This year's event is once again being organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), this time with the support of the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Wind Energy Association. The opening of the event will coincide with the launch of a new EWEA report exploring offshore wind's huge potential and development scenarios for the sector.

Europe needs to exploit its vast offshore wind resource in order to achieve the 20% renewable energy target set in the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. Offshore wind energy is making the transition from a concept with massive potential to a fast-evolving industry, and Europe is the global sector leader. In 2008, 366 MW of offshore capacity was installed, taking the global total to 1,471 MW - all in European waters.

Offshore wind offers an indigenous, clean energy supply for Europe that comes at a knowable price, creates jobs and strengthens the economy. The importance of the sector is now being recognised at EU level. In 2008, the European Commission declared that a blueprint will be developed for a North Sea offshore power grid, and earlier this year the EU institutions dedicated €565 million to offshore projects in the EU's Economic Recovery Plan to help extricate Europe from the economic crisis.

Maud Olofsson, Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Energy and confirmed keynote speaker at the conference, welcomed the decision to hold Offshore 2009 in Stockholm. She said, "European Offshore Wind 2009 is an important initiative in the European Community and it is a pleasure for Sweden to support this event arranged during the Swedish Presidency of the European Union." Other keynote speakers include Andris Piebalgs, EU Energy Commissioner, Eamon Ryan, Ireland's Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and David Kidney, Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), United Kingdom.

The conference programme includes 23 sessions covering all aspects of offshore wind energy, including policy, business and technology issues. It will examine how the development of offshore wind energy is progressing and present practical steps forward to decision makers at EU and national levels and a new EWEA offshore report will be launched. Building on the success of the previous events, the 2009 exhibition is double the size of the 2007 edition and more than 260 companies have booked their space.

A press conference will take place on 14 September at 12:00, right after the opening session. Accredited press members have free entry to the conference - register now.

For more information on the European Offshore Wind Conference: www.offshorewind2009.info

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