The sixth event in the annual Aberdeen-based series of exhibitions and conferences was the most successful with 2,850 attending - a 33% increase on the previous year's figure; nearly 200 exhibiting companies; and over 150 speakers and chairs involved in the free to attend conference.
From the moment it opened on 24 May, All-Energy '06 - the UK's largest event devoted to all forms of renewable energy - had a buzz and excitement about it that spoke volumes about how far the renewable and sustainable energy industries have come in six short years. Exhibitors and visitors alike remarked on the 'step change' made in the space of just a year.
The sixth event in the annual Aberdeen-based series of exhibitions and conferences was certainly the most successful in terms of attendance, with 2,850 attending - a 33% increase on the previous year's figure; nearly 220 exhibiting companies from home and overseas taking part (Belgium, Holland, Japan and Norway figured on the exhibitor list for the first time); and 150+/- speakers and chairs involved in the vibrant free to attend conference - a far cry from the first event with its total attendance of 350!
Other firsts during the course of the two days included a display of 'cars of the future', the first conference session featuring Norwegian innovations - including the first presentation of the Hammerfest Strřm tidal power project given outside Norway; the first All-Energy session on carbon capture and storage; a half day session on plans for the installation of the Beatrice Demonstrator project this summer; first post-event technical visit …. the list of innovations went on and on!
In an opening session chaired by James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, a packed conference hall heard Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Nicol Stephen MSP announce a new £20 million package over a two-year period, including £8 million for research, testing and demonstration of emerging wave and tidal technologies, and the previously announced £3 million boost for the Scottish Communities & Households Renewables Initiative to support micro-generation. He went on to declare the Scottish Executive's intent to concentrate on ensuring that the jobs and economic benefits arising from renewables remain firmly in Scotland and the UK.
Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks MP (on a live link from Westminster rather than being at the show, due to parliamentary business) re-iterated the Government's support for renewables, saying that they were back on the agenda with a vengeance and highlighted the positive findings from the first DTI commissioned NOP survey saying that "despite all the hot air and scepticism from certain quarters, 85% of the general public support the use of renewable energy, 81% are in favour of wind power and just over three fifths would be happy to live within 5km of a wind power development".
The audience was treated to a compelling scene setter from Lord Ron Oxburgh, the retired chairman of Shell, who always speaks with enormous passion about the effects of climate change; and Cllr Kate Dean, Leader of the Council, speaking on behalf of the Lord Provost and the City of Aberdeen, and Rita Stephen, Development Manager with the Aberdeen City & Shire Economic Forum (ACSEF) gave presentations featuring Aberdeen - and the Shire - at the heart of the renewable energy industry.
Through four parallel session's Day One's conference sessions looked at offshore wind; climate change - a response by the power industry; grid/networks; bioenergy; carbon capture and storage; microgeneration; renewables and communities; and featured an international seminar staged by the DTI. Every conference room and every session was packed to the gunwales!
The day culminated in a Civic Reception hosted by Aberdeen City Council and guests were piped into the now-traditional Giant Networking Evening, sponsored for the first time by Shell, by AREG's Iain Todd. An evening of fun, good food and networking then followed.
Before the conference got down to considering onshore wind; skills - opportunities and shortages; wave and tidal power; innovations from Norway; finance and funding; hydro; hydrogen and fuel cells; and integrated projects, Day Two opened with a plenary session opened by Rt Hon Brian Wilson, and chaired by 'Energy' editor and AREG's chairman, Jeremy Cresswell considering where electricity would come from in 2020.
An initial vote showed gas and renewables leading, with nuclear not too far behind and coal lagging in final position. The Electricity Networks Association's CEO, Nick Goodall set the scene and was followed by spokespersons for the gas, nuclear, coal and renewable energy industries….. at the end up to 70% of this energy-intelligent audience had changed their minds and instead of opting for a favoured fuel of choice, held up all four coloured voting cards making them look like brightly coloured golf umbrellas signalling "a basket of energy"……
"There was a tremendous buzz and excitement throughout All-Energy from the moment it opened until closing time" says project director, Judith Patten, "It really was the best yet, and the positive feedback continues to come in from exhibitors completing exhibitor questionnaires; from speakers; and from people who visited the show. Exhibitor questionnaires without exception rate the component parts of the show (exhibition, visitors, conference and networking evening) as meeting or exceeding expectations; and when asked to rate All-Energy on a 1-5 scale (with one being excellent and 5 poor) the vast majority have opted for either a 1 or a 2 rating.
"Typical emailed comments include :
· "Undoubtedly the best All-Energy ever ….. a much more lively and professional lot of delegates than in previous years"
· "A great show…… the exhibition was buzzing from 8am on the first day, until we drove out the Saab BioPower at 6pm on the 2nd day"
· "Extremely informative and prestigious event"
· "The opportunity offered by Aberdeen is immeasurable"
· "Extraordinary level of interest in our stand - the old vocal cords are suffering"
· "It was fantastic"
· "Couldn't have asked for more"
"We're already looking forward to next year's All-Energy with great enthusiasm! And, can already announce that will incorporate an important 'first'," adds Patten.
All-Energy '07, organised by Media Generation Events in partnership with Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, will be held 23-24 May 2007 and incorporate H207 - Hydrogen and Fuel Cell 2007 Conference: 'A joint US-European vision of implementation' organised by the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Scottish Renewables Forum and the New Mexico Hydrogen Business Council. There will be a large H207 hydrogen and fuel cell pavilion within the All-Energy exhibition featuring hydrogen and fuel cell (HFC) companies from the USA and all over Europe.
The 2007 floorplan and booking form will soon be available on the All-Energy website at www.all-energy.co.uk as will be the majority of the conference presentations. These will also be available within the next couple of months on a CD. Further information from firstname.lastname@example.org; www.all-energy.co.uk; and from All-Energy at 34 Ellerker Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6AA, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 8241 1912; Fax: +44 (0)20 8940 6211.
What exhibitors say
Completed exhibitor questionnaires are coming in at a steady rate. Here are just some of the comments received so far:
· "The All-Energy 06 show once again shows the commitment to develop alternative methods in support of Global Energy needs. Aberdeen has demonstrated once again that it can take a key role, moving forward" - Roslyn Williamson, DNV
· "What impressed us was the size of the event. So many companies and so many people -and all dedicated to bring renewables forward! Marvellous!" Knud H. Nřrve, Innovation Norway.
· "All Energy 2006 was a great show case for an emerging industry that is now demonstrating a clear direction and purpose. Through the exhibition it has shown its intent to make marine renewables a reality and soon" - Simon Meade, Lunar Energy
· "If only one of the forty leads comes off we will make our money back on the event" - Dr Richard Blanchard, CREST, Loughborough University
· "All-Energy is a good mix of technologies, interests and business activities" - Paula Little, Econnect Consulting and Econnect Construction
· "The community element is building and the fact more exhibiters are displaying micro renewables technology is a demonstration of how the show is evolving" - Eric Dodd, Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company
· "A good location and a good show with a constant increase of attendees over the years with exhibitors and visitors from a wide range of the RE world" - Karlheinz Abel, Nexans Deutschland Industries GmbH & Co. KG
· "This exhibition is very much an event that the industry attends in order to win serious business" - Jackie Thomson, Orkney Islands Council
· "An excellent exhibition and conference covering all aspects of renewable energy" - Peter Rush, Windsor Insurance Brokers Ltd
· "All-Energy provided an ideal opportunity to catch up on the latest developments within the renewable sector and net working with like-minded individuals and originations" - Cheryl Stockwell, Waveney District Council (part of the East of England Partners group)
· "All-Energy confirmed the rapidly growing interest and demand for hydrocarbon alternatives. It now ranks as one of the most important shows on the circuit" - Dave McGrath, siGEN
· "All-Energy 2006 was a first-rate event in terms of the scale and variety of exhibitors; the quality of presentations and debate, and in confirming the sheer enthusiasm which exists for developing renewable energy in Scotland" - Gordon Patterson, Scottish Executive
· "All-Energy '06, a dynamic respectable show catering to wider public. Proven Energy would like to thank All-Energy 2006 and look forward to seeing you next year" - Mo Siddiqui, Proven Energy
· "The show has grown and developed from a "Renewable" exhibition and conference into a truly "All-Energy" exhibition and conference" - Neil Henderson, BMT Cordah Ltd
· "It gets better every year!" - Scottish Renewables Forum
· "A superb show, high quality exhibitors, high quality visitors, and high quality organisation" - Peter Anderson, Eclectic Energy Ltd
· "This was the first year where I felt renewables generally had moved from 'interesting' to 'business' " - Gordon Jones, Nortek UK
· "A thoroughly worthwhile exhibition and networking event bringing together all key players and stakeholders in the fundamentally important field of renewable energy" - Rob Brannan, Chevron Global Lubricants
· "The All-Energy Exhibition has now established itself as the foremost event in renewable energy and I believe will continue its rapid growth over the coming years" - Dr Robert Allwood, Cranfield University
· "Expectations were high after last year, and were met. All-Energy is one of only two exhibitions/conferences we attend each year and once again, has proved to be well worth the effort" - Richard Tarves, Chillwind
Further comments will be posted on the All-Energy website as they are received