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AWEC 2024 Will Bring Together Research, Development and Industry

The Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC) celebrates its 10th edition this year in Madrid, Spain. The “Universidad Carlos III” has the pleasure of hosting AWEC 2024 following Chico, Stanford, Leuven, Hampton, Berlin, Delft, Freiburg, Glasgow and Milan.

Gonzalo Sánchez Arriaga, Associate Professor at UC3M points out that “AWEC 2024 is going to be very important to boost the research and development of Airborne Wind Energy systems in Spain. For the first time, our country will host this important event, which will bring together companies and research groups in the sector for three days.”

Regarding the location, Sánchez Arriaga added that “for Universidad Carlos III de Madrid it was an honor to be selected to host this congress and we are putting all our resources and effort into making it a success. We are sure that the participants will enjoy the modern facilities of the Puerta de Toledo Campus and the advantage of being able to hold an event of these characteristics in the center of Madrid.”

For Roland Schmehl, Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology (and AWEC co-organizer together with Arriaga and Stefanie Thoms from Airborne Wind Europe), “the AWEC 2024 will be a stage for industry front runners to showcase their newest products and operational milestones. In addition, academic research teams will report on cutting-edge theoretical and experimental results, regulatory, social acceptance and environmental impact studies.”

Organization and sponsors

The Airborne Wind Energy Conference was initiated in 2009 with the purpose of gathering leading scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs from the emerging field of airborne wind energy to present their latest findings and achievements in slide and poster presentations and panel discussions. Since 2019, the conference is jointly organised with the UC3M, Airborne Wind Europe and Delft University of Technology.

This year, coinciding with the event, Airborne Wind Europe member The CT Engineering Group, became an AWEC 2024 gold sponsor, members Windswept and RWE became silver sponsors, and the European Academy of Wind Energy and the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE)  became bronze sponsors.

The peer review of submitted abstracts is concluded by now and the preliminary program is available from the conference website. Registration for conference attendance is possible with different fees for students and regular delegates.

High level speakers confirmed

Adding to the “R&D community”  AWEC 2024 has the honour to welcome eight high-level keynote speakers, representing a variety of expertise across the renewable energy sector. Most of them are already known within the AWE field like Cristina L. Archer (University of Delaware), Sarah Barber (Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences), Fernando A.C.C. Fontes (University of Porto), Reinhart Paelinck (Flysurfer, Kiteswarms and Fuchszeug) and Paul Veers (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL). Additionally, in this edition of the conference, the organization of AWEC aim to further widen the scope, by incorporating David Lecoque, the CEO of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) to learn about his experiences and expectations, as well as Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, to share his experiences of opportunities and challenges to establish a renewable energy industry. As a very special guest, Teresa Riesgo, the General Secretary of Innovation of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain and President of Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) who will give an introductory speech to kick-off the Conference, reflecting the Spanish goals and measures towards reaching net-zero, according to the EU commitment.

Abstracts submitted

In total, 105 abstracts were submitted by authors from all over the world, undergoing a peer review process to ensure a high quality of the individual contributions. The conference program includes the following contributions:

– 75 oral presentations distributed over 15 sessions,
– 25 poster presentations in one poster session,
– 6 key note presentations by invited speakers,
– 1 interactive role-playing game with the audience, and
– 11 company pitch presentations by industry leaders and following panel discussions, in 2 plenary sessions.

The abstracts are from 55 different institutions in 18 different countries. Roughly 21 of the 55 institutions are new to the technology. Important is also the participation of new players from outside Europe like China (both from universities and from industry) and contributions from the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Iran.

Sánchez Arriaga commented that “the number of contributions we have received, their quality, and the good geographical distribution of the participants, indicate that the congress will be a major success.”

Comparing with the last AWEC edition

The AWEC 2024 will have 20% more oral presentations than the AWEC hosted in Milan in 2022. “What is new in my opinion for the AWEC 2024 is a systematic coverage of research activities required for the deployment of the new technologies. These are the social acceptance and environmental impact studies mentioned above. The AWEC 2021 was still more focused on technical aspects, while now we see also many studies around this” ended Schmehl.

Registration is open now

The AWEC 2024 registration is already ongoing. We recommend to register early and to not miss out the opportunity to experience first-hand the exciting presentations on the latest developments in AWE technology, keynote speeches, panel discussions and live exhibitions already mentioned. Different fees for students and delegates are available, so make sure you will be there.

Article written by: Kristian Petrick, Secretary General of Airborne Wind Europe; Gonzalo Sánchez Arriaga, Associate Professor at Universidad Carlos III Madrid; Roland Schmehl, Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology.

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