News Release: Afghan Sees Opportunity in Nation's Recovery from War

June 28, 2004

Golden, Colo. — The rebuilding of Afghanistan should be an opportunity to develop sustainable standards and practices in construction and energy production and use, Dr. Pir Mohammed Azizi, deputy minister of Irrigation, Water Resources and Environment, is expected to tell participants in the eighth World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC VIII).

Dr. Azizi is a plenary speaker at what is likely to be the world's largest gathering of renewable energy experts. WREC VIII will provide a forum for energy suppliers and consumers, as well as governments, industry, academia and financial institutions to discuss the development of energy sources that are secure, sustainable, accessible and economically viable.

The Congress runs Aug. 29 - Sept. 3, 2004 in downtown Denver.

Afghanistan must find reliable sources of energy to help reconstruction of the war-torn country and to further development, Dr. Azizi says. He and his government are concerned that booming energy needs might strip the country of its precious forests and result in inefficient buildings. Applying energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies will have a huge positive impact on the health and the social and economic well being of Afghans, as well as their environment, he said.

Other notable conference speakers include Stephen Timms, minister of energy for the United Kingdom, Herman Scheer, member of the German parliament and president of Eurosolar; Dominique Lallement, manager of the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme; Wiktor Raldow, head of unit, New and Renewable Energy Sources, European Commission; William Agyemang Bonsu, national coordinator for climate change, Ghana; and Dr. Abdulazia Othman Ahwaijri, director general of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Running concurrently with the Congress, the Energy Technology Expo in the Colorado Convention Center will bring together all branches of the international renewable marketplace under one roof. Booth space and sponsorships are limited. For more information, visit or contact Jim Yarish at 203-925-0004, ext.108.

WREC VIII allows policy makers, researchers, manufacturers, financiers, government officials and others to present their views in plenary and technical sessions and to participate in discussions, both formal and informal, enabling a transfer of knowledge among nations.

WREC VIII will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Other major sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the World Renewable Energy Network, BP, Xcel Energy, and the American Council on Renewable Energy.

More information on WREC VIII, including logistics and registration details, is available at

—Sarah Barba