WindEurope’s annual event has opened in Copenhagen under the name ‘Electric City’ today as the wind industry increasingly is taking a more holistic view of the power system, with a focus on electrifying transport, heating and industry.

The three-day conference and exhibition will count on 400 exhibitors and is slated to gather more than 7,000 participants in what is the biggest live event of the wind industry since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recharge is the event’s official media partner.

With new partnerships beyond wind, Electric City aims to promote the use of wind energy across all sectors of Europe’s economy as the EU aims to boost the share of electricity in the energy mix to 75% by 2050, with wind power reaching half of the electricity mix by then, WindEurope stressed.

“Electrification is the cheapest and cleanest way to decarbonise our energy system. Most processes that today rely on fossil fuels can transition to renewable electricity using existing technologies,” WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson said.

“Wind energy will play a central role in this. And that’s the focus of our annual WindEurope event which takes place this week in Copenhagen - how wind can help electrify transport, heating and industry.”

Thomas Brostrøm, senior vice president global renewable solutions at Shell, added: “Electrification is critical to achieving real change in the energy system and reaching the EU’s climate neutrality targets.

“At Shell, we are playing our part by building an integrated power business and we want to lead the way through system-wide collaboration and innovation to deliver cleaner power at scale. Offshore wind is critical to this mission and accelerating our transition to a net-zero emissions business.”

To electrify its energy system, the EU needs to boost its wind capacity to 1,000 gigawatts of onshore and 300GW of offshore wind by 2050, up from a combined 180GW today.

That means that Europe should build twice as many new wind farms every year as it is building today, and must simplify permitting rules and procedures for new wind farms, WindEurope stressed.

“Renewable electricity, including offshore wind, is now cheaper than fossil sources,” said Rasmus Errboe, senior vice president and head of region, continental Europe at Orsted.

“Now we need to find the space to build it, and customers to use it.”

To bring the wind industry together with the transport, heating and industry sectors, Electric City partners include Eurelectric, Hydrogen Europe, the European Association for Electromobility (AVERE), the European Heat Pump Association (epha) and the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE).