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Europe’s wind industry will converge this spring in Bilbao. From 2-4 April, Bilbao will host the WindEurope 2019 Conference & Exhibition, the most important gathering for the wind industry, attracting 8,000 professionals and over 300 exhibitors from 50 countries.

The 2019 WindEurope Conference & Exhibition in Bilbao will build on the tremendous momentum achieved in recent years by wind power. According to the IEA, wind is now on course to be the EU’s largest power source well before 2030 – overtaking coal, nuclear and gas. In Bilbao, there will be several high-level sessions outlining the steps for a win-win synergy between the wind industry and policymakers. The reasons for this are very clear: “Wind energy is a key enabler of the energy transition, providing reliable, competitive and sustainable electricity,” says Event Ambassador Ignacio Galán, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Iberdrola. With the correct policies in place, the wind industry can actually deliver the kind of future that policymakers so often like to speak of. Prosperity and jobs, investments and growth, clean and affordable energy: these are not slogans, but concrete (and achievable) ambitions for wind energy.

Speakers include the Spanish and Portuguese Energy Ministers, Ministers from Croatia and Norway, and Michal Kurtyka, the Polish Minister who chaired the recent UN climate talks in Katowice. In plenary discussions they will explore what Event Ambassador Markus Tacke (Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy) calls the industry’s “deep commitment to improving the communities in which we operate by creating jobs and growth, protecting our natural environment, and improving people’s quality of life.

The theme of the event is: ‘Delivering a clean economy for all Europeans.’ Key to this is reaching out more to people, ensuring that the growth of wind energy means a more prosperous Europe. Because, while the industry has major milestones to reach in terms of how much wind we get into Europe’s energy mix, there is a significant shortfall in terms of skilled and qualified wind energy workers. Today, wind energy already provides more than 300,000 jobs in Europe and, as Event Ambassador Steve Lockard (Chief Executive Officer of TPI Composites) says, wind energy is already “impacting the people we employ and the communities in which we operate in a positive way around the globe.” But it has the potential to do much more. In particular, speakers will address the challenges around manpower, skills and qualifications. The conference will feature a special plenary on ‘Skills, Jobs, Communities’ and high-level panels on a Just energy transition, System Integration, and much more.

Speaking on the choice of location for the event, WindEurope Deputy CEO Malgosia Bartosik explained: “Bilbao and the Basque Country are shining examples of the economic strength and potential of the wind industry, a sector which represents 263,000 jobs across Europe. It illustrates that even a region that does not have the best natural wind resources is benefitting enormously from the growth of the sector by producing and exporting the relevant equipment and technology to the rest of Spain and Europe.

The region has become a significant industrial cluster for wind energy, and this is creating real local economic value and jobs. The fact that industry giant, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, decided to base its global HQ in Bilbao, is just one of many examples of the importance of the industry in and around Bilbao – and illustrates why Bilbao is a logical choice to host the annual European wind industry get-together in 2019.

Source: WindEurope

FuturENERGY November 18

Superconductors clearly have the potential to be a key enabling technology of the 21st century. Now this technology has matured sufficiently to go one step further to a relevant demonstration in the field of renewables. The world’s first superconducting wind turbine will be installed this year off the coast of Denmark, a landmark achievement by the EcoSwing EU-funded project, that is set to revolutionise the wind energy industry through the deployment of lighter, more cost efficient and more powerful generators.

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Within a few weeks before the summer 2018, Spica Technology retrofitted an entire wind farm in Arrild. The Danish wind farm consists of 12 Wind World W4200 600kW turbines that were retrofitted with a new control system.

The 12 wind turbines that are placed in the southern Denmark is owned by Green Power Partners and managed by Momentum Gruppen. The turbines were in reasonably good mechanical conditions, but Momentum experienced several challenges with the turbines:

  • Continuously stops and errors.
  • Often no possibility in troubleshooting the causes for errors.
  • Challenges in supplying spare parts to the original control system from WestControl.

For Momentum, repowering was not an option do the turbines good mechanical conditions. The turbines were still set for years of operation and placed in an area that was not cut for repowering in the coming years. For that reason, Momentum was in the need for a future-proof solution that could resolve their challenges and was based on contemporary components.

A simple solution was needed

It was important for Momentum that the solution was familiar with a control system from the most common wind turbine types in Denmark – a simple solution with a known structure and user interface – for the sake of their service technicians.“I have followed Spica Technology throughout the years since their first Micon retrofit and steadily developing a consistent solution fitted for other types of wind turbines. The knowledge of their experience and their number of retrofits, where the customers are still satisfied, made me comfortable in recommending the Spica Retrofit Controller for our client Green Power Partners,” says Jeppe Lyngaae, Senior Technical Manager for Momentum Gruppen.

Remote access to solve several challenges

After the retrofit installation of the control system in the 12 Wind World W4200 turbines, Momentum experienced a far better direct access to the current operation of the turbines and the possibility to solve several challenges with remote access. The Spica Retrofit Controller with Spica Control System helped Momentum to:

  • Compare data between the turbines.
  • Predict and optimise maintenance.
  • Customise settings and parameters.

Optimised operation with accurate and consistent data

As the first turbines were retrofitted, it did not take long before we experienced major positive progress with the turbines. With more accurate and consistent data from the turbines, we can now troubleshoot the causes that interrupt the operation,” explains Jeppe Lyngaae and continues:
Now, the turbines deliver more flawless operation than before. Since the retrofit installation in the late spring, there has been strong indications that the operation will the dominated by planned maintenance visits rather than service calls with limited troubleshooting in the control system like before.”

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APQP4Wind is a new wind industry standard designed to enable wind energy OEMs and component manufacturers to strengthen their cooperation with regards to quality assurance processes. The APQP4Wind program is expected to be instrumental in bringing diverse quality processes across the wind industry much closer to one another. It is also instrumental in establishing the common mindset and terminology needed in the industry to work collaboratively on these issues. For Deublin, fulfilling the requirements of APQP4Wind implies that the standards will be implemented throughout the designing and manufacturing processes, so aligning Deublin with its global wind OEM partners.

Innovation is no longer just about technology. It is also about continuously finding new, more effective processes to deliver higher quality and increased customer satisfaction at reduced cost. It is no accident that Deublin adopted APQP4Wind without being required to do so. It is a part of the company culture to drive innovative product designs, that can stand for high operational reliability accompanied with a long service life at the lowest cost.

The APQP4Wind project was initiated in 2016 by the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA), after the trade body recognized the importance of establishing quality processes standards for the wind industry. DWIA enlisted the support of key OEMs like Vestas, Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy and GE to contribute to the development of these new quality standards. The training program that Deublin participated in has been developed in cooperation with DNV GL and Bureau Veritas, who have both been certified as official APQP4Wind training providers.

Source: Deublin

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Ingeteam has announced that it just completed the training program designed to deploy the new APQP4Wind quality processes standards across the industry. Ingeteam, as an excellence-driven converter manufacturer, voluntarily sought compliance with the demanding requirements and welcomes the quality standardization for the wind sector.

APQP4Wind is a new wind industry standard designed to enable wind energy OEMs and component manufacturers to strengthen their cooperation with regards to quality assurance processes. It is also instrumental in establishing the common mindset and terminology needed in the industry to work collaboratively on these issues. For Ingeteam, fulfilling the requirements of APQP4Wind implies that the standards will be fully complied with throughout the designing and manufacturing processes, so they are well aligned with their partners’ processes.

Innovation is no longer just about technology. It is also about continuously finding new, more effective processes to deliver higher quality and increased customer satisfaction”, said Ana Goyen, Director of Ingeteam Wind Energy. “It is no accident that Ingeteam adopted APQP4Wind without actually being required to do so. Our company culture is innovative by design, which is why we have always been able to anticipate our customers’ needs. It underpins our continued effort to stay ahead of the competition, striving to meet our clients’ most stringent requirements”, she continued.

The APQP4Wind project was initiated in 2016 by the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA), after the trade body recognized the importance of establishing quality processes standards for the wind industry. DWIA enlisted the support of key OEMs like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa, to contribute to the development of these new quality standards. The training program that Ingeteam just completed has been developed in cooperation with DNV GL and Bureau Veritas, who have both been certified as official APQP4Wind training providers.

The APQP4Wind program will be instrumental in bringing diverse quality processes across the wind industry much closer to one another. It is great to see that leading component manufacturers like Ingeteam have quickly recognized the importance of this endeavour. We hope that they will inspire many other wind businesses within the supply chain to follow their example”, concluded Jens Peter Høiseth, Regional Director, DNV GL Business Assurance.

Source: Ingeteam

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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.

Source: WindEurope

In 2017 the wind energy industry invested €51.2bn in Europe. This included investments in new assets, refinancing transactions, mergers and acquisitions at project and corporate level, public market transactions and private equity raised. Wind energy represented the largest investment opportunity in the power sector, accounting for half of all investments in 2017. The technology is seen as a major driver for moving beyond fossil fuels and conventional power assets. Cost competitiveness and reduced risk perceptions have brought in domestic and international market players looking to diversify their portfolios and/or align with their sustainability targets.

Europe invested a total of €51.2bn in wind energy in 2017, accounting for half of all power sector investments in that year. The total investment figure was up 9% on 2016. The development of new wind farms accounted for €22.3bn of this figure. These figures form part of WindEurope’s recently published ‘Financing and Investment Trends’ report. The €22bn invested in new wind farms was down on the €28bn invested in 2016, but it covered more capacity: 11.5 GW compared to 10.3 GW, reflecting the falling costs of wind energy.

The rest of the investment went on the refinancing of existing wind farms, the acquisition of projects and companies involved in the wind sector and on public market fundraising.Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2018

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The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). According to the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi todaythe total number of people employed in the sector (including large hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million globally, surpassing the 10 million figure for the first time.

China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70 per cent of all industry jobs globally. Although growing numbers of countries are reaping the socio-economic benefits of renewables, the bulk of manufacturing takes place in relatively few countries and domestic markets vary enormously in size. Sixty per cent of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia.

“Renewable energy has become a pillar of low-carbon economic growth for governments all over the world, a fact reflected by the growing number of jobs created in the sector.” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalised picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” continued Mr. Amin. “Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”

The solar PV industry remains the largest employer of all renewable energy technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs, up almost 9 per cent from 2016 following a record 94 gigawatts (GW) of installations in 2017. China was estimated to account for two-thirds of PV jobs – equivalent to 2.2 million – representing an expansion of 13 per cent over the previous year.

Despite a slight dip in Japan and the United States, the two countries followed China as the largest markets for solar PV employment in the world. India and Bangladesh complete a top five that accounts for around 90 per cent of global solar PV jobs.

Jobs in the wind industry contracted slightly last year to 1.15 million worldwide. While wind jobs are found in a relatively small number of countries, the degree of concentration is lower than in the solar PV sector. China accounts for 44 per cent of global wind employment, followed by Europe and North America with 30 and 10 per cent, respectively. Half of the top ten countries with the largest installed capacity of wind power in the world are European.

“The energy transformation narrative is one of improving economic opportunity and a rise in social wellbeing as countries implement supportive policies and attractive regulatory frameworks to fuel industrial growth and sustainable job creation,” said Dr. Rabia Ferroukhi, Head of IRENA’s Policy Unit and Deputy Director of Knowledge, Policy and Finance.

“By providing policy makers with this level of detail about the composition of renewable energy employment and skills requirements, countries can make informed decisions on several important national objectives, from education and training, to industrial policies and labour market regulations,” continued Dr. Ferroukhi. “Such considerations will support a fair and equitable transition to a renewables based energy system.”

The Nordex Group has opened a plant in the North Brazilian state of Brazil Piaui for the production of concrete towers. The plant is to produce the 65 towers required for the Lagoa do Barro wind farm, which Nordex will be installing in the near future.

It marks one of the first major investments in this state’s wind power industry. Large parts of the plant were originally used at a former facility in the south of Brazil and transported in heavy-duty loads to Lagoa do Barro City in a good 300 trips.

With this step, Nordex is able to optimize the construction costs of the wind farm and complete construction work with minimum environmental impact. “We also wanted to ensure that the local population directly benefits from the project. Tower production alone will provide work for some 300 people,” said David Lobo, Head of Sales Brazil, who is managing the project for the Nordex Group.

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On the 8 January preparations started for the installation of one of the tallest wind turbine towers in the world, designed by the Spanish company Nabrawind Technologies (NBTECH), in Eslava (Navarra, Spain). The objective of this project is to use a full-scale prototype to validate a new innovative design and assembly process, which removes the need for large and high cost cranes currently used by the wind power industry.

Once installed, to validate its durability and performance, a fatigue test will be performed on the prototype that will simulate 25 years of real life conditions in only 6 months. “With this test, it will confirm in an accelerated way the performance of the tower in operation. This will improve the reliability of the structure and minimise any technical risks before the first pre-series,” says Ion Arocena, Head of the NBTECH Tower Program. This is achieved by using a novel system that generates loads on the upper part of the tower, by oscillating it in a controlled manner, to simulate in a short time frame real life conditions of a tower in operation.

This test method, never performed to date on a wind turbine tower, was formulated during the NEVA project. The project is a collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Center of Spain (CENER) and financed using FEDER funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

nabra_2A solution to the new challenges in the wind energy sector: the logistics and installation of XXL onshore wind turbines

The main innovative feature of the Nabralift (commercial name for the structure designed by NBTECH) lies in its patented assembly system, a new self-erecting process using hydraulic jacks on the ground. This allows for the tower to be elevated by introducing new modules from below. The tower is composed of smaller elements, which eliminates the need for specialised trucks and cranes. This new system signifies huge advances for the logistics of transport and assembly of the tower.

This isn’t the only innovation patented by this company; they have also developed technical solutions for wind turbine blades under the name of Nabrajoint. “Basically, it consists of a novel joint for a modular blade that will facilitate the transport of large wind turbine blades in two or more sections.” Says Javier Callén, Head of the NBTECH Modular Blade Program.

Significant cost reduction

The Nabralift technology solution offers a significant cost saving compared to conventional towers of up to 15-20% (depending on the height and power output of the wind turbine): firstly, due to the simplicity of transport and logistics as there is no need for specialised lorries or cranes; secondly, due to its construction being 20% lighter than a conventional tower of the same height; lastly, because it is installed on a foundation of three concrete pads, which reduces the consumption of concrete by 30-40% compared to current towers.

Straightforward industrial deployment using proven manufacturing technologies

The wind energy sector is fully globalised, and all markets increasingly demand the latest generation of wind turbines. “Only a few years ago, taller towers were almost exclusively installed in Northern Europe. However, the emergence of the 3 MW+ wind turbines and the saturation of areas of high wind in many countries, means that markets such as Spain, India, Latin America and China are well positioned for our tower technology,” says Eneko Sanz, General Manager of NBTECH.

To meet this demand, NBTECH has designed each part of the tower using conventional manufacturing technologies, straightforward to deploy in any continent, with maximum reliability and low costs.

In the last months NBTECH has closed various agreements to manufacture its tower and blade components to be supplied within Europe, with the objective to deliver the first pre-series in 2019. Deployment in APAC and LATAM is expected soon due to the high level of interest shown by potential clients.

Source: Nabrawind Technologies