King Felipe opened the Windeurope Conference & Exhibition 2019 on Tuesday in Bilbao.
The King was greeted on arrival by the Lehendakari of the Basque Government, Iñigo Urkullu; the Basque Country government delegate, Jesús Loza; the President of General Meetings of Bizkaia, Ana Otadui; Barakaldo Mayor Amaia del Campo; Bilbao Mayor Juan María Aburto; Windeurope President Gunnar Groebler; and Wind Business Association President Rocío Sicre.
From there, King Felipe went up to the conference room where he watched an introduction to the conference before giving his speech.
His Majesty noted that Spain was a fitting setting for a conference on wind energy:
“It is so highly fitting that the European wind industry should meet here in Spain, a country which for many years has been a leader in wind energy, and whose most universal writer, Miguel de Cervantes, transformed Don Quixote’s windmill into a true icon filled with meaning for many civilisations. By evoking this symbol, which brings together culture, history, and universal values, I would like to welcome all of you to our country. It is a real pleasure and an honour to do so.”
King Felipe also said that:
“We live in Spain, in Europe and many parts of the world, [this is] a key moment in terms of the trend of the energy transition towards renewable energies: key to the objective urgency from the point of view of both the need to continue fighting the atmospheric pollution and to reduce its impact on the climate, on the environment and, therefore, on the health and well-being of people, as well as on the sensitivity that increases and extends to all levels.
“Both require an increasing capacity for response and joint action.”
King Felipe spoke about wind power’s advantages, saying that:
“It is indisputably one of the key sources of energy, and it is obvious that wind power is already transforming Spain and Europe.
“That Spain exports wind technology is a well-known fact, a sector with a significant value chain, in which research and development have placed us 3rd among European nations in terms of the number of wind patents. Wind energy was Spain’s second-largest source of electricity generation in 2018, and today we rank 5th worldwide in terms of installed wind power capacity.”
Following his speech, King Felipe toured the exhibition hall and visited booths for the Euskadi Pavilion, the Wind Business Association, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Iberdrola, TPI Composites, Nordex Acciona, Vestas, and WindEurope.
The Windeurope Conference and Exhibition is held to support the future of wind energy and has three goals, per its official website: to help the people who work in wind energy; to help the people of Europe; and how wind energy can be a good transition for Europe.
Some of the questions the conference will ask include “are there enough [people who work in wind energy],” and “how to maintain [the] continued support for the expansion of wind,” and how to support the transition to wind energy in “coal regions and regions dependent on energy-intensive industries.”