The sixth annual All-Energy exhibition and conference takes place 24-25 May 2006 in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is the UK's largest event devoted to all sources of renewable energy and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry - up to 200 exhibitors and over 2,000 attendees are expected.
No-one will argue with the statement that energy is one of the most important subjects on the national agenda, the government's energy review being the major catalyst. The subject itself is creating a plenitude of arguments based on the need for security of supply as the contenders in the "energy mix" ranging from new nuclear plants to micropower jostle for position.
The discussions are certainly far-reaching and there is no doubt that all this activity will lead to a highly successful and stimulating All-Energy exhibition and conference where discussion will be rife, especially during the free-to-attend conference in Aberdeen 24-25 May.
All-Energy is the largest UK show devoted to all sources of renewable and sustainable energy and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry, and this year's show - the sixth in the annual series - is well set to surpass the 2005 event in exhibitor and attendance figures as well as in "buzz". Last year's event attracted nearly 200 exhibitors and 2150 attendees.
This year's show has attracted the Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks MP, who will deliver a keynote opening address. He took over the energy portfolio just a short time before All-Energy 2005 but delighted exhibitors and attendees by not only speaking, but also by taking questions and asking for comments, holding one-to-one meetings, and touring the exhibition. Other keynote speakers in the opening plenary session on 24 May at this year's show are Lord Oxburgh the retired chairman of Shell, and Scotland's Deputy First Minister, Nicol Stephen MSP.
Supporting organisations play a key role
The annual All-Energy show is blessed with an impressive list of supporting organisations all of which help to steer it and ensure that each year it addresses the issues that are highly topical and relevant
to all sections of the industry…. This year will certainly be no exception!
The show is held in association with the British Wind Energy Association and the Scottish Renewables Forum, the Society for Underwater Technology is the learned society patron; and Aberdeen City Council the principal sponsor whose Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) gathers together a large group of exhibitors, many of whom have diversified into the renewable energy industry alongside their oil and gas interests.
Beatrice takes a starring role
Aberdeen-based Talisman Energy (UK) Limited, a very active member of AREG, is putting together a compelling two-session conference stream on their DOWNViND (Distant Offshore Windfarms with No Visual Impact in Deepwater) Project. Talisman on behalf of their main funding partner Scottish and Southern Energy and the other fifteen pan-European consortium members are coordinating the DOWNVInD Project. DOWNVInD is supported by the European Community as an Integrated Project in their 6th Framework Programme, and the DTI and Scottish Executive in their respective renewable energy R&D programmes.
The Beatrice demonstrator project is a key part of DOWNVInD and is the flagship project for offshore wind energy development in Scotland, the UK and Europe. and one of great interest to the offshore oil and gas industry as well as the renewable energy industry. The 41 million euro project aims to install two demonstrator wind turbines later this year adjacent to the Beatrice oil field, 25 km off the east coast of Scotland. The conference session that is being put together will be very much a "this is how we will be doing it" session involving contractors.
Other supporting organisations such as the Department of Trade and Industry; Scottish Executive; British Hydropower Association; Highlands & Islands Enterprise (who draw together exhibitors from their region around an HIE lounge); Industrial and Power Association; International Marine Contractors Association; Micropower Council; Renewable Energy Association; Scottish Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association; Scottish Enterprise; and Scottish Solar Energy Group all play their parts in acting as "champions" of particular conference streams or sessions. Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce organise an annual renewable energy business breakfast to coincide with All-Energy. And organisations such as the Energy Institute, Engineering Industry Council, IMarEST, Offshore Contractors' Association, Scottish Council for Development and Industry ensure that they spread the word to their wide range of members.
Exhibitors in plenty
The All-Energy exhibition is filling up fast with exhibitors covering the whole renewable energy mix. Wind is well represented with manufacturers of large turbines such as Vestas, GE Wind Energy, REpower and Siemens and of smaller turbines too (Proven, Chillwind, Windsave, Ampair); and there are developers, manufacturers, contractors, suppliers of professional services and consultants who serve every aspect of the wind energy industry represented on the exhibitor list.
All-Energy has always featured a strong turn out from the wave and tidal energy segment of the industry and this is certainly proving to be the case at this year's exhibition - space has been booked by Lunar Energy, the Manchester Bobber, Ocean Power Delivery, Ocean Power Technologies and Wavegen with other developers in the process of making up their minds. Over the years the hydrogen/ fuel cell, PV/solar, hydro, bioenergy industries have increasingly become involved with All-Energy and the event is attracting a growing number from each of these renewable energy sources. A full and regularly updated exhibitor list can be found on the All-Energy website at www.all-energy.co.uk
Both days of the All-Energy Conference begin with plenary sessions. The one on opening day encompasses a scene setting presentation by Lord Oxburgh and views from Whitehall via Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks; and Holyrood with the keynote contribution from Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen. And on day two there will be a very different sort of plenary session when speakers representing the electricity "energy mix" - gas, coal, nuclear and renewables will explain, in a session chaired by a past Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, what their source will be achieving in 2020 and why.
Technical presentations in plenty fill the rest of the two packed days. In addition to the Beatrice stream there will be another offshore wind session devoted to other key aspects; and there are packed sessions on microgenertion, community schemes, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, climate change - a response by the power industry, grid/networks, overseas market opportunities, onshore wind, integrated initiatives, wave and tidal, hydro, finance and funding, skills shortages and opportunities, and hydrogen and fuel cells all on the agenda. With a click of the mouse, the rapidly developing conference programme can be seen at www.all-energy.co.uk
All-Energy gets off to a flying start with one networking event - the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast which combines interesting and highly relevant guest speakers and the opportunity to make new contacts. The free All-Energy giant networking evening on the evening of 24 May enables people to carry this a stage further. Last year the curtains were pulled back and, as well as delicious food and a bar, guests were able to test their golfing prowess, take part in the All-Energy Grand Prix (Scalextric-style), be entertained by live jazz and close up magicians; take part in whisky tastings; try out some fairground-style games of skill; and even watch the finals of football's European Cup Final. Even more surprises are planned for this year, which starts with a Civic Reception hosted by Aberdeen City Council.
All-Energy also publishes and distributes a regular free emailed newsletter, News@All-Energy that summarises renewable energy activity at home and overseas with useful web links to the entire story. This is available free of charge to all who email firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe" in the subject line and their full contact details in the message. All-Energy is more than just a short event, it links up with people within the industry throughout the year by means of News@All-Energy with well over 4000 people receiving the newsletter.
Further information on All-Energy 2006 and online registration at www.all-energy.co.uk (free online registration is already open) and email@example.com and on the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast from www.agcc.co.uk