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WindEurope 2024: The European wind industry picks up pace in Bilbao

24 March 2024

Last week, the European wind industry, decision-makers, and ministers were gathered at the WindEurope Annual Event in Bilbao to discuss the state of wind energy in Europe. Under the tagline “Our wind, our value – Creating value for Europe, living up to Europe’s values” the event explored the value of wind energy for jobs, nature protection, energy security, economic competitiveness, local communities, and much more.

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As many times before, Denmark had a strong presence at the biggest European wind event. Organised by Green Power Denmark and Danish Energy Export, the Pavilion – Powered by Denmark gathered nearly 50 Danish companies displaying state-of-the-art solutions, products, and services to help accelerate the build-out of wind energy worldwide.

Related content: From energy security to nature restoration: 5 tangible examples from the Danish wind energy sector

Danish participants were also active during the three-day-long conference, with notable highlights being Ørsted and Belgian Elia Group launching a joint paper on how offshore hybrid projects can help harness Europe’s vast offshore wind resources. This event was opened by Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, with panel discussions between Tinne Van der Straeten, the Belgian Minister of Energy; Lars Aagaard, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities; Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director General for Energy at the EU Commission, as well as Catherine Vandenborre, Elia Group ad interim CEO, and Olivia Breese, CEO Europe & Head of P2X from Ørsted.

The launch was followed by a ministerial session, where Lars Aagaard spoke about the importance of a joint European collaboration with the involvement of industry ideas, emphasising the North Sea cooperation and an ambitious Danish presidency for 2025.

Explore Danish wind energy

Wind energy plays a key role in reaching Denmark’s target of 70 % greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030. And with some of the best wind conditions in the world, it is easy to understand how Denmark has become a global hub for wind power technology.

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Gearing up for gigawatt expansions across Europe

After several years of pandemic, war, inflation, and energy crisis, optimism in the industry has begun to emerge. Investments in new wind farms are on the rise. More permits are being issued. And the supply chain is making money. According to estimates from WindEurope, the EU is expected to develop wind farms equivalent to 29 GW annually from 2024-2030, bringing the European 2030 targets within reach. For comparison, last year saw the construction of 16.2 GW. Therefore, there is still a need for businesses, politicians, and authorities to demonstrate initiative on the green agenda.

Significantly more wind turbines need to be installed if wind energy is to become the backbone of the European energy system. It’s not just a matter of climate; it’s also a statement about independence and resilience.

This was the message from Roman Andarak, Ukraine’s Director General for Strategic Planning and European Integration, at the opening speech on Wednesday 20 March in Bilbao, with the backdrop being the unnerving shift in the geopolitical landscape that has created an urgent need for a rapid plan to build a European energy system that is no longer dependent on Russian fossil fuels. An expansion of renewable energy and gearing up on wind energy is fundamental to building a resilient and energy-independent Europe.

Formed in early 2019 and currently chaired by Denmark, the North Seas Energy Cooperation plays a pivotal role in this respect, paving the way for close collaboration between nine countries in the North Sea region. The cooperation aims to strengthen cross-border offshore wind production and grid interconnection, an initiative that holds the potential to power more than 230 million European households with affordable clean energy.

We will win the green fight by creating better conditions for green technologies and by working together in new ways – across borders and throughout the value chains. That’s why cooperation between both Member States and industry is our main focus when we get together in Bilbao, Spain. With the Danish Presidency of the North Seas Energy Cooperation, we will specifically focus on how countries and the industry can collaborate to create more stable and robust supply chains. The North Seas is waiting for us, and I look forward to hearing ideas from the industry so that we can utilize the possibilities to the fullest.” Lars Aagaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, and current Chair of The North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC)

Discover: The Baltic Sea as the frontline for European Energy Security

Discover the wind value chain

Dive into our digital visualisation of Denmark’s green wind value chain, and discover companies and organisations that specialise in wind-related technology, research, and innovation.

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European wind returns to its cradle in 2025

In 2025, WindEurope Annual Event will once again return to Denmark as policy-makers, ministers, experts and professionals  from the entire wind industry gather in Bella Centeret in Copenhagen from 8-10 April.

Dubbed by many as the “birthplace of wind energy”, Denmark and WindEurope will seeks to continue the success from the 2023 Annual Event in Copenhagen, where the conference broke attendance records with close to 16,000 participants. The organisers are expecting to confirm this trend in 2025 with all exhibition stands already sold out and full house expected.

Also read: Offshore galore: The global wind industry returned to Denmark

Key themes for the 2025 edition of WindEurope Annual Event will be exploring the role of wind energy as the backbone in the future energy system and the main source to a continued direct and indirect electrification of society. Coupling sectors like heating and cooling, transport, buildings and industrial processes through electrification and power-to-x technologies is a crucial step in transitioning our energy system, phasing out fossil fuels and reaching our climate targets.

Additionally, the event will highlight the immense need for a more diverse renewable energy sector grounded in inclusivity and equality in the workplace and at the same time putting a keep focus on attracting students and young talents, encouraging them to choose the renewable energy sector as their career path. All of this will be play a crucial role in supporting the green transition, as it requires a multitude of skilled hands.

Learn more about WindEurope 2025

WindEurope 2025

In 2025, the WindEurope Annual Event returns to Denmark as policy-makers, ministers, experts and professionals from the entire wind industry gather in Bella Centeret in Copenhagen from 8-10 April.

Learn more about what to expect from the 2025 edition of Europe’s biggest wind event.

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