Alan Rhodes and I were fortunate to have the opportunity this past week (April16-20) to attend the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) conference in Copenhagen. We attended the conference in conjunction with Mike Running and Pat Sims representing the Dumas Economic Development Corporation and met with a number of companies from various countries, including Denmark, France, Greece, Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland and Turkey. While many of the major wind energy companies attend both EWEA and AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) there were many company names at EWEA that we had not seen before. Some of the companies with which we visited have not yet explored the potential of operations in the United States. As would be expected, a number of these companies are concerned about the rate of wind development in the US pending a possible extension of the PTC. On the other hand and if the PTC is extended, several companies indicated that they believe the US could be a natural extension of their market and continue to explore the possibility of business in the US. We met with a fairly diverse group representing a number of disciplines, including wind developers, engineers, steel manufacturers, cooling equipment manufacturers, operations and maintenance, safety equipment and training, and technical and workforce training.
Underwood’s efforts in the wind energy industry and our contacts continue to confirm the world-wide interest in the continuing development of the wind resources in the US and, particularly, the “wind corridor” running from the Texas Panhandle and South Plains to Canada.
Importantly, the trip so offered Alan and I the opportunity to meet with our Danish friends, which is always a pleasure. As an added bonus, we made some new friends that were representing the State of Oklahoma at EWEA.
While EWEA is somewhat smaller than American version (AWEA) scheduled for early June, 2012 in Atlanta, however, we look forward to continuing our conversations with a number of the people and companies that were at EWEA and will be attending AWEA in a few weeks.