Even COVID-19 wasn’t able to stop the international wind energy sector from networking and engaging in a professional conversation: At its debut from 1 to 4 December 2020, the first digital WindEnergy Hamburg succeeded in bringing the global wind industry together at a challenging time. For four days, three TV studios located in Brussels, Shoreham Port, and Hamburg alternated in broadcasting a 35-hour program of roughly 70 individual shows, reaching out to industry stakeholders in 100 countries.
“Together with our partner WindEurope, we have successfully shifted the focus of international attention back to wind energy, at a crucial point of the energy policy debate,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President, and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress. “Our WindTV live streams engaged with key industry experts as well as government stakeholders and society at large on all continents, despite the global pandemic. While I am convinced that no digital format will replace face-to-face interaction in the long run, I am pleased that we were able to discuss major challenges and new developments at a high level and bring together the international wind energy community for four days.”
“Four days of WindTV have come to an end. We hope the viewers enjoyed it! It was an honor to have so many top speakers. And it was great to be able to show things in so many different formats: panel discussions, documentaries, news, interviews, talks – and some entertainment along the way. The content showed a consistent message: the wind industry is resilient and ready to deliver the huge expansion the EU expects from us for the Green Deal – and to contribute to economic recovery as we do,” said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.
“Over the course of four days last week, GWEC was thrilled to bring viewers all the latest market trends and insights from some of the most exciting emerging markets for wind power across the world. Through WindTV, we virtually traveled to India, Latin America, Asia, and Africa to hear from some of the most prominent local experts and discuss how we can accelerate wind power growth to achieve the world’s decarbonization goals ahead of COP26 next year. After what has been a turbulent year, it’s great that the global wind industry could meet, exchange ideas, and learn from each other through WindTV so we can come back stronger than ever from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC.
First global digital event
WindEnergy Hamburg 2020 was the industry’s first-ever global digital event. Roughly 40,000 experts from around the world watched the four-day WindTV channel presented alternately by WindEurope from Brussels, Hamburg Messe und Congress from Hamburg, and the Global Wind Energy Council from Shoreham Port in the United Kingdom. The largest number of viewers were registered in India, followed by Germany, the USA, China, and Denmark, currently the world’s foremost wind markets.
Many renowned speakers had been recruited for the digital industry event. For example, Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, explained to Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, how important the fight against climate change is for Joe Biden and the role of renewable energy sources for the USA in the future. In his interview with Giles Dickson, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), emphasized that renewable energy is immune against Covid-19 and that he expects the sector to continue growing.
Successful digital version
WindTV covered a huge range of topics, from the development of global wind markets and challenges related to permitting procedures and community engagement to technologies, digitalization, electrification, and system integration, and through to innovations for onshore and offshore wind, challenges facing the supply chain of the wind energy industry, and green hydrogen. Daily Live Business News, GWEC Global Wind Briefs, Exhibitor Talks, VDMA Industry Talks, panel discussions about hydrogen, and the viewer forum “What people ask“ delivered vital information to viewers.
“While not every aspect of this event functioned smoothly, the digital edition of WindEnergy Hamburg was ultimately successful. We will work to eliminate the remaining shortcomings. But most important of all, we are now looking forward to hosting WindEnergy Hamburg from 27 to 30 September 2022 in our exhibition halls in Hamburg!” said Bernd Aufderheide.