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Windtech International March April 2024 issue






Innovating today, shaping tomorrow

Every year the EWEA Annual Event brings together companies and individuals to play an active role in shaping the future of our industry and enabling the innovation today that is crucial for building a better tomorrow for wind energy. This year EWEA 2012 will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 16 till 19 April. Around 450 exhibitors coming from Europe and beyond are expected and the organisers hope for 10,000 or so attendees. This year’s theme is Innovating today, shaping tomorrow. Innovation is a returning theme in many of our articles and in this issue we present several innovative solutions.

{access view=!registered}Only logged in users can view the full text of the article.{/access}{access view=registered}As a result of the rapid growth in the offshore wind sector, the demand for spatial environmental data is increasing all the time. Traditional visual aerial survey methods suffer from reliability, safety and data quality drawbacks. These can be overcome by new digital methods. On page 6, Stuart C. Clough, Director of Remote Sensing at APEM, discusses the application of these new technologies to offshore aerial bird and mammal surveys.

Wind turbine layout optimisation is a continuing research topic. Layout tools attempt to identify the best layout of wind turbines on a land or offshore area in order to maximise energy capture. They model free stream wind flowing through an area with sited turbines and calculate the energy output of successive turbines while taking wake effects and turbulence intensities into account. A key component of such tools is the ‘optimiser’ algorithm used to efficiently search through a modest proportion of candidate layouts to identify the best one. The article, written by Kalyan Veeramachaneni and Una-May O’Reilly, on page 25, discusses various bio-inspired algorithms, and then the CMA-ES algorithm, an evolutionary algorithm that performs stochastic sampling optimisation by mimicking fundamental aspects of the neo-Darwinian evolutionary process.

It is not just for products and technology that innovation is important. Organisational innovation might also be key for success of the industry. Consolidation within the wind sector has been much discussed over the past 12–18 months, due to weakening demand and ongoing price pressures. Everyone expects consolidation to happen, as the complexity of the global demand picture and the overall excess in manufacturing capacity make it difficult to expect the industry to just continue to limp along. The good news is the truly competitive technologies and companies behind them will rise to the top and emerge from this period stronger, more globally diverse, probably more vertically integrated, and able to fulfil the promise of cost-competitive clean energy. In the article on page 29, Philip Totaro considers the wind turbine market and OEM outlook for the next 12–18 months, both globally and for different regions of the world.

Enjoy reading,

Floris Siteur
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