Windtech International celebrates 15 years of wind energy technology
With this first issue of 2019, Windtech International enters its 15th year of publishing. With our publication we now reach wind energy professionals active in more than 108 countries and it is read by over 12,000 people in the industry. The very first issue was published in November 2004 and since then we have published 112 issues. In all these years, Windtech International has established itself as the worldwide magazine and website for the wind energy industry, with a clear focus on technology and covering topics from rotor blades to foundations and from hardware to software. Many times we have been one of the first publications, if not the first, to talk about new technology and applications, and a lot has changed in the past 15 years.
Most notable is the growth in the average capacity of wind turbines. The average size of onshore turbines was around 1.5/2MW, while it is now more in the 3/4MW+ range. This is especially the case in Europe but also in the USA, and in some emerging markets the trend is towards higher capacity turbines as well. OEMs are already introducing bigger onshore platforms (5/6MW+) so this trend will certainly continue.
Around 2004, the offshore wind market had just started to develop and the main activity in the offshore field was in Europe. In my opinion it also took longer than most people expected to develop into the mature market that it is nowadays but that is probably in part because we had to deal with the credit crunch.
But look where this market stands now. At the end of 2017, the total worldwide offshore wind power capacity was 18.8GW. Currently most offshore wind is installed in Europe (16GW) but this market is becoming more and more international. The core markets for growth are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and China. But in the next decade, Taiwan, Japan, France and the USA will also become gigawatt markets. And also offshore the trend is to install bigger wind turbines. For example, Siemens Gamesa recently launched a 10MW offshore turbine based on its previous platforms. MHI Vestas already has a 9MW platform and GE has announced that the first Haliade-X 12MW wind turbine prototype will be installed in the Netherlands during summer 2019.
Increasing turbine size is not just a matter of enlarging the individual components. It requires a lot of research, innovation and technological development. This trend is a perfect fit with Windtech International and in future issues we will keep you updated about new innovations.
Let me end this note by thanking all our supporters, staff, editors, authors, advertisers and, of course, readers, for your help and support during the past 15 years. On to the next 15 years!