From 25-28 September 2018 the world´s largest wind industry event, the Global Wind Summit, will take place at the Hamburg Messe fair site. Comprising the world’s leading wind industry expo WindEnergy Hamburg and the WindEurope global on and offshore conference, the event shows the highlights of one of the most innovation-driven sectors.
The great importance of wind energy for the energy needs of the world is an uncontested fact. The industry is making giant strides in overcoming its core challenge: to further reduce the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) while opening up new markets. New technologies, products and applications have enabled wind energy to be competitive with fossil energy sources even today. Now the challenge is to further drive the energy turnaround towards achieving a decarbonised energy supply infrastructure. The new preference for public invitations to tender for onshore and offshore wind projects represents a global paradigm shift that encourages the industry to accelerate the speed of innovation. The Global Wind Summit will offer answers to the question what technologies are the best response to this paradigm shift. Exhibitors, visitors and conference participants from roughly 100 countries are expected to attend.
“Together with WindEurope and its top-flight conference programme the world´s leading expo Wind Energy Hamburg will highlight the industry’s global core topics,” stressed Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress, at the advanced press conference in Hamburg. “This makes the Global Wind Summit the international hotspot of wind energy.” Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer of WindEurope, agreed: “Wind will be at the heart of any successful electrification strategy, it is doubling down on technology development and digitalisation, it is actively preparing to move towards a merchant environment and it is entering new markets. Standing still is not an option if we want to maintain this excellence, so wind is breaking new ground. The WindEurope global on- and offshore conference at the Global Wind Summit will be a unique opportunity to exchange with captains of industry, leading policymakers and wind energy experts on how the industry gears up for these challenges”.
Tardieu emphasised the importance of the European wind industry: “Wind energy is a key part of Europe’s industrial base. The business of producing, installing and operating wind turbines supports over 260,000 quality high-skilled jobs. It generates € 60bn in turnover. The European wind industry has a 40% share of all the turbines sold globally and exports €8bn in technology and services every year. The WindEurope global on and offshore conference will continue to support this platform at the global level.” A view shared by Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. “For both onshore and offshore wind, the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg is the place to learn about key policy and market developments, best practice from around the world, and to have a look at the latest technologies and how they are being deployed.”
Cost efficiency, dynamic markets, smart energy
With 1,400 exhibitors from roughly 40 countries, WindEnergy Hamburg is the only global industry expo for the onshore and offshore segments. It covers the entire value chain, “in a breadth and depth no other event anywhere in the world can offer,” said Aufderheide. “WindEnergy Hamburg 2018 focuses on three key topics: Dynamic Markets, Cost Efficiency, and Smart Energy. This is how we explicitly address the key challenges facing the industry.” Dr. Gernot Blanke, CEO of the international project developer wpd, stressed: “Increasingly we see public invitations to tender for onshore and offshore wind energy projects aiming to reduce the levelised cost of electricity. Bringing this paradigm shift in line with specific site requirements is one of the key challenges for project developers operating internationally.”
Both in the national and the international competitive environment, achieving further improvements of the cost and energy efficiency of wind turbines play a major role. Henrik Stiesdal, one of the pioneers of wind energy and the owner of close to 650 patents in the field of wind energy use, said: “The increase in efficiency of existing turbines means that we could already generate nearly 50 percent more power just through higher towers and bigger rotors alone. Nevertheless there is still potential for optimisation: for onshore I see a realistic limit of 50 % and for offshore of 65 % in capacity factor.” In addition, Stiesdal sees further potential in digital energy solutions. “Normally we have a proportion of 25 % for maintenance and service in the overall costs. Digital solutions could give us the possibility to cut these costs by half. Today we have wind turbines as stand alone units: Digitization may open the opportunity to build intelligent wind parks and thereby reduce the wake effect. Overall I see an optimisation potential of 50 % for the next years”.
All in all about 35,000 industry visitors from around the world are expected to attend the Global Wind Summit. The nine halls of the world’s leading wind industry expo are nearly fully booked. The exhibiting companies hail from approximately 40 different countries, with 22 nations represented by regional and national pavilions. There will be a number of new countries this year, including South Africa, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania. The WindEurope global on and offshore conference which will take place in parallel at the fair complex will offer a highly qualified programme including more than 500 expert presentations, speakers and workshops covering current or future wind industry topics.