Renewable Energy Conference Is An International Success
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By Karen Hall, Vice President, Technical Operations, National Hydrogen Association

Historic Segovia, Spain was the idyllic setting for the first SWH International Conference: Solar-Wind-Hydrogen/Fuel Cells Renewable Energies, held July 7-10, 2003. The conference was hosted by Universidad SEK – Segovia-Spain, with organizational support from CMP Cientifica S.L. – Spain, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – Spain, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Switzerland.

It was truly an international meeting, with presenters from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The conference offered an opportunity to understand the science, economics, and politics powering the shift to renewable and sustainable energy sources.

The SWH conference covered topics ranging from fundamental research through applications to the economic implications of sustainable energy production.  In addition to discussions on the current state of renewable energy technologies, the impacts of nanotechnology and a hydrogen economy were analyzed.

One of the most noteworthy keynotes was from Preben Maegaard, President of the World Wind Energy Association, Vice President of EUROSOLAR, and Director for the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Denmark.  Mr. Maegaard described the need for public support for research and development of renewables on the same order as fossil fuels and atomic energy.  He stated that the World Council for Renewable Energies (WCRE), proposed an initiative in 2001 to establish an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) with a governmental membership base and a legal status similar to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mr. Maegaard reported that in April 2003 the German Bundestag decided that concrete initiatives should be leading to the formation of an international agency dedicated to the worldwide implementation of renewable energies.  For more information on this topic, please visit www.wcre.org.

For more details of the SWH Conference, please visit www.swhconf.com.

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