First World Wind Energy Institute Programme launchedThe first programme of the World Wind Energy Institute (WWEI), supported by WCRE, started on May 15th, 2007, at the Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, as culmination of four years of preparations. The WWEI was created in order to cover the deficit in training and education in renewable energies (RE) which exists in many parts of the world. The uneven distribution of knowledge, experience and technology denies access to RE technologies to many countries and sectors of the population. This represents an important limiting factor for the necessary dissemination of renewable energy technologies.

The WWEI aims to provide exactly this knowledge and experience to students who are willing and able to play a leading role in the further development of RE, contributing to a just transition to a future energy supply based 100 % on renewable sources. Special attention will be given to countries and social sectors which currently lack access to such possibilities. Other objectives include promoting technology transfer, addressing social issues and improving the gender balance in the renewable energy sector.

Since the founding Meeting of the WWEI in May 2006, the initiative has come a long way. The response to the WWEI has been extremely positive: since its public launch in December 2006, the WWEI has received applications from four continents, from potential students with a wide range of personal, educational and professional backgrounds. Already at this early stage, the WWEI promises to produce extraordinarily capable, active and influential young leaders for the further development of renewable energy in all continents of the world.

The first group of WWEI students arrived to the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Denmark on May 15th, 2007, where they are receiving an in-depth theoretical and practical introduction to RE technologies. From August onwards they will divide in two groups that will cover Universities and Training Centers in Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark and Egypt. Each center specializes in a particular aspect of wind energy and covers other REs, enabling the students to deepen their knowledge and experience in the areas of expertise of their interest.

For this "trial run" of the WWEI program, we have selected a very small group that represents the diversity of students which we expect to participate in future runs of the program. We are happy to start with a first group of extremely brilliant students who will certainly add a lot of value to the program. With their help, we are evaluating whether the program covers the different needs that they bring along with their backgrounds. The first month has been very rewarding and satisfactory for all of us. A brief profile of the students is provided in the next pages.

The initial weeks were devoted almost solely to lectures designed to provide the necessary theoretical background to start with the technical training, which is now already underway, with several projects running in parallel in order to match the different skills of the students. Further lectures are taking place alongside real-life practical projects, as well as excursions to RE manufacturers and installations, and technical and social research related to RE.

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