“Concentrating efforts for wind power growth in Japan and worldwide!” 
Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General, World Wind Energy Association.
Your World Wind Energy Conference WWEC2016 will kick off on 31 October. Is there a specific theme for the upcoming congress?
Actually we are organizing two events back to back with each other, the WWEC2016 in Tokyo, directly followed by the 1st World Community Power Conference in Fukushima city. The theme for the WWEC2016 is: “Concentrating efforts for wind power growth in Japan and worldwide!” – reflecting the strong need to accelerate the deployment of wind power as part of the global shift towards renewable energy. The WCPC is following the theme “One year after Paris – five years after Fukushima: Community power for a renewable future!” hence highlighting even more clearly the global and Japanese context in which these events are taking place.
Is your conference also of social and cultural resonance?
The WWEC2016 programme covers the very broad variety of all topics related to wind power, including social and cultural aspects. There, and also in Fukushima, it will become very evident that the shift towards much more decentralized renewable energy sources will go hand in hand with deep social and cultural changes. In addition to this, the international delegates will of course also be pleased to enjoy Japanese culture and hospitality which will also be part of the social programme.
For your WWEC2016 you have chosen Tokyo. Why?
Our Japanese colleagues have proposed to host the WWEC2016 in Tokyo as it is the political, scientific, economic and also cultural center of Japan. In the case of Fukushima city, the initiative came from the mayor of Fukushima who has invited us to come to his city and contribute with our event to re-viving the area which has been hit so heavily five years ago not only by the earthquake and tsunami but especially by the nuclear disaster. Fukushima wants now to become the starting place for a new, civil movement towards a community based shift towards renewable energy.
For those delegates who cannot join you in Japan, can they participate remotely?
We do not offer any online broadcast of the event but of course we will make sure that the main results of the events will be disseminated widely. For this purpose, interested persons can not only access the presentations but we will also adopt a conference resolution which will include the main highlights of the events – in Fukushima, we are planning to launch the Fukushima Community Power Declaration which will set out a global strategy for community based renewable energy.
What are the main challenges for the World Wind Energy Association these days?
The world market for wind power is still growing fast, in particular in the non-European markets. However, some countries, in particular in Europe, have slowed down a lot their investment in wind power and put at risk the future of a very vibrant and innovative new industry. I am very confident that the rest of the world can take over the leading role which Europe used to have, but it is still a major matter of concern for Europe, in terms of its impact on industry as well as on science.