Bonn (WWEA) – On the occasion of the 11th World Wind Energy Conference 2012 in Bonn, Germany, the Board of the World Wind Energy Association has decided to give the World Wind Energy Award 2012 to the Hepburn Community Wind Farm in Victoria/Australia and its initiators.
The WWEA Board wants to recognise the Hepburn Community Wind Farm’s contribution to the introduction of community wind power on a large scale. The award is given to the initiators of the wind farm for launching Australia's first and groundbreaking community initiative that led to a 4.1 MW community owned wind farm, an excellent answer in particular in order to increase social understanding and acceptance of wind power.
Seen from outside of Australia, the project may appear small. However, the Hepburn Community Wind Farm stands for a social movement outside the strong fossil lobby in Australia, aiming at a fundamental energy transformation that is driven by Australia’s citizens. As the first initiative for a community wind farm on the Australian continent being started in 2004/2005, the time when WWEA held its WWEC in Melbourne, the wind farm has become an example and important reference project in Australia and has inspired many similar initiatives around Australia and beyond.
WWEA appreciates in particular that other communities and initiatives in Australia are now using the ‘Hepburn Model’ in order to develop their own community power projects, and WWEA hopes and expects that many of these initiatives will materialize in the future. The establishment of the interlinked community power assistance centre Embark adds materially to the ongoing impact of the groundbreaking Hepburn project.
WWEA would like to express its willingness to work closely with the Australian wind and in particular the community wind sector and to extend its full support and cooperation in fostering the transformation of Australia towards 100 % renewable energy and a strengthened understanding of the importance of sustainability.
Taking into consideration the important role that Australia plays in the international energy sector, such achievements and ambitions have also far-reaching international implications and will contribute to speeding up the global energy transformation.
With the award, WWEA would also like to encourage the government of Victoria and Australia as well as governments around the world to support communities in their efforts to harvest clean and inexhaustible wind power, for their own benefit and for the benefit of our planet.
The World Wind Energy Award – previous winners:
- 2011: the Egyptian wind turbine manufacturer Sewedy Wind Energy Group SWEG under the leadership of Ahmed El Sewedy
- 2010: the Founding Member States of the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA.
- 2009: the Hon. George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of Ontario;
- 2008 jointly to: Ms Jane Kruse, and Dr. Preben Maegaard, Denmark, Paul Gipe, USA;
- 2007 jointly to: the Hon. Ms Dilma Vana Rousseff, today President of Brazil, former Chief of Staff Minister of Brazil and former Minister for Mines and Energy, Ms Laura Porto, Director of the Department of Renewable Energy of the Ministry of Mines and Energ, Mr Valter Luiz Cardeal, Director of Engineering and interim President of Eletrobrás, Dr. Sebastião Florentino da Silva, Coordinator of the Proinfa Programme at Eletrobrás;
- 2006: the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind under the leadership of Mr Wu Gang;
- 2005 jointly to: Hon. Vilas Muttemwar, Indian Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, and Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairman of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission;
- 2004 jointly to: the German Minister for the Environment, Hon. Jürgen Trittin, and the German Parliamentarian Dr. Hermann Scheer;
- 2003: the Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon under the leadership of Mr Tulsi Tanti;
- 2002: Prof. Dr. Amin Mobarak, Chairman of the Industry and Energy Committee of the Egyptian Parliament;
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