Following the resounding success of the first ‘Wind India’ conference cum exhibition held in 2006, WISE decided to hold the event on a biennial basis. With the advent of 2008, WISE organized 'Wind India 2008' on 25-26 November 2008 at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai. The event witnessed the participation of the global wind power industry and all associated stakeholders, including more than 15 Danish and European companies and consultants.

Global and national stalwarts from the energy sector graced the inaugural session of the conference. The Chief Guest, Dr Pramod Deo, Chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), New Delhi; Dr Andrew Garrad, CEO & Founder, Garrad Hassan Group, U.K; Hans Jorgen Koch, Deputy State Secretary, Danish Energy Agency, Ministry of Climate and Energy, Denmark; Chetan Mehra, MD, Weizmann Ltd., Mumbai; Ramesh Kymal, Chairman, Organising Committee, 'Wind India 2008' and MD, Vestas Wind Technology India Pvt. Ltd., Chennai; and G M Pillai, Founder Director General, WISE. In his inaugural speech, Dr Deo highlighted the role of electricity regulators in promoting market growth of the renewable energy (RE) sector. He said that CERC has recently initiated the process of establishing uniform guidelines for tariff setting for renewable energy procurement. He opined that the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism should be adopted for interstate trading of renewable power. He also felt that technical solutions need to be devised for more grid penetration. In his keynote address, Dr Andrew Garrad mentioned the significant engineering and technological developments made during the past 25 years for optimising wind turbine performance. Dr. Garrad felt that India possesses enough potential and talent to emerge as a major wind turbine manufacturing hub.

Welcoming the participants to the conference, G M Pillai said that today, the wind sector has achieved tremendous growth in India, and can no longer be called a peripheral sector. He expressed the hope that with many new players entering the sector, capacity addition of 5000 MW per year is possible by 2012, provided favourable policies are in place.

One of the major highlights of the event was the distribution of the ‘Wind India 2008’ Awards to stalwarts in the wind industry and to some of its major allies for their efforts in shaping a green India. The awards given under 11 different categories are the second in the series initiated and institutionalised in ‘Wind India 2006’. Some of the major awardees during the period 2006-2008 included the Enercon Group which received four awards [first prize for the Best Service Provider among Manufacturers, the Best Independent Power Producer award, the Best Wind Turbine (500 kW-1 MW) award, and the second prize for the Best Manufacturer]; Suzlon Energy Ltd, which bagged the first prize for Best Manufacturer (2006-2008) and the second prize for the Best Service Provider among Manufacturers (2006-2008); and Vestas Wind Technology India Pvt Ltd which took the Best Wind Turbine (>1 MW) award. The first prize in the Best Wind Power Financier category was bagged by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA), followed by Bank of India which received the second prize. The award for the Best Wind Power Developer state in terms of total installation was given to Tamil Nadu, while in terms of percentage increase Gujarat emerged the winner. The Best Public Sector Investor award went to Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd and the Special Institution Recognition Award to Centre for Wind Energy Technology, Chennai. For the Best Media Report/Publication on Wind Power, the award was presented to Mr Jami Hossain, Head, Windforce Management Services Pvt Ltd for his book, ‘Emergence of the Wind Option’.

More than 400 delegates were present at the conference-cum-exhibition which witnessed the presence of high level government officials, policy makers and regulators, as well as distinguished academicians, researchers, and industry chieftains from India and abroad. Eminent faculty, both from the national and global arena were key speakers making highly topical presentations through seven extended sessions. Issues ranging from challenges and opportunities in expanding the wind market to tackling challenges in grid integration, the economics and financing of wind power, and innovations for growth of the wind sector, was discussed at the two-day conference.

The ‘Wind India 2008’ exhibition with more than 55 exhibitors from India and abroad drew an overwhlming response from the delegates as well as the general public, with more than 2000 people visiting the stalls. The main attraction at the exhibition was the exclusive Danish pavilion with prominent wind industry and associated companies from Denmark such as Mita-Teknik, AVN Energy A/S, Avanti Wind Systems A/S, C.C.Jensen A/S, DEIF A/S, Eltronic A/S, Hydra Grene A/S, SSP Technology A/S, Svenborg Brakes A/S, Zero-Max A/S, and Windsyn. Besides, the Danish Wind Energy Group and the Trade Commission of Denmark also participated in the exhibition. Leading Indian wind power companies like Suzlon Energy Ltd, Vestas Wind Technology India Pvt. Ltd, Enercon India Ltd, L M Glasfiber (I) Pvt. Ltd also formed a part of the exhibition. Other major Indian exhibitors included WinWinD, ReGen Powertech Pvt. Ltd., Ghodawat Industries (I) Pvt Ltd, R K Windmast, NRG Systems, and Eagle Wind Power Pvt Ltd, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), etc. 8.2 Consulting AG from Germany, Suzhou Red Maple Wind Blade Mould Co. Ltd from China also participated in the exhibition.

A signature campaign pledging to strive for a ‘greener tomorrow’ was launched by IWTMA during the conference. The campaign aims to promote the use of renewable energy in India.