Bringing the Wind Energy Sector TogetherWed, 02/19/2014 - 14:33
Any actor deeply involved in an industry can attest to the importance of networking, for both personal and professional gain and to collectively advance the development of a sector. Industry events provide a perfect opportunity for key stakeholders to come together under one roof, and Mexico Wind Power is the main event where the wind industry leaders meet to discuss the development of their industry and plan their future strategies.
The first Mexico Wind Power congress and exhibition took place in 2011. Unlike other events, Mexico Wind Power has the support of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE). The presence of these industry leading organizations emphasizes the fact that this is not a predominantly commercial show. E.J. Krause, a company specializing in organizing international business forums, exhibitions, and conferences is in charge of putting the event together. The 2012 edition included a minor exhibition with a high level conference program, but in 2013 the event went into high gear, putting together a large exhibition where companies could showcase their technological capabilities and services. The event sparks interest as a meeting point for the most influential wind energy players in the national and international arena. Talks revolve around the direction of the Mexican and international wind markets. The upcoming event will deal with the Mexican landscape and the expectations that exist regarding the goal of reaching 12GW of installed capacity by 2020, and the impact of both the Energy Reform and the Fiscal Reform on the Mexican wind industry. José Navarro, Director General of E.J. Krause Mexico, says the most appealing aspect about Mexico Wind Power is that it is an event made by the industry for the industry.
Mexico Wind Power has a larger attendance each year, while similar events in other countries see stagnating attendance rates. Navarro believes the same may soon happen in Mexico but that this should not be seen as a sign of discouragement. In fact, Mexico Wind Power’s success should be measured by the industry’s potential and market expansion, which Navarro says will be fostered by the current administration’s focus on renewable energy. “After growing from 800 visitors in 2012 to 2,000 in 2013, the 2014 edition of Mexico Wind Power is expected to receive around 2,000 visitors, and can count on the participation of 90 companies, most of which are foreign. Also, the event will see some newcomers that are becoming an important part of the value chain,” says Navarro.
Mexico Wind Power might seem small compared to other industry events but Navarro says it is well planned and concise. Navarro finds that a lot of companies are very well informed about the sector, resulting in interesting and dynamic exchanges at the event. The increasing number of attendants seems proportional to the interest in the industry, although adding more exhibition space to the event attracts more people. According to Navarro, exhibitions attract 60-70% of the attendants, who want to find out about suppliers in the market, create strategic alliances, and negotiate technological transfers. Foreign companies that are not present in Mexico also attend Mexico Wind Power to get a glimpse of market opportunities. Entities like ProMexico and the Ministry of Economy are involved in the show and seek to trigger alliances and foster agreements between Mexican and foreign companies.
Every year, Mexico Wind Power invites companies seeking to use renewable energy for self-supply. The government, manufacturers, and developers are evident actors, but offtakers are rarely in the spotlight. Navarro acknowledges the importance of these players, particularly large corporations that are considering getting involved in renewable energy projects. “AMDEE is doing an extraordinary job securing this segment’s participation in the event,” says Navarro. “Another interesting audience consists of people who live in or have ties to the communities where wind generators are installed.”
It can be inferred by now that in addition to disseminating relevant information, Mexico Wind Power is a powerful networking platform. “We share information with exhibitors about how to make the most out of the show,” says Navarro. “Like with any other show, we try to have as much activities or moments where people can really talk to each other and reach agreements.”