Publisher's Note October 2017

HUSUM Wind, the home of the wind industry with a German touch

From 12 to 15 September 2017 HUSUM Wind was once again the home of the wind industry for a week. Visitors and exhibitors discussed technical innovations and political conditions, made new contacts and filled their order books. A total of around 700 exhibitors from Germany and 25 other countries came together in Husum. The number of visitors at around 20,000 remained stable compared to 2015 and most of the time the aisles in the halls were packed with people.

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Publisher's Note September 2017

Europe is on Track for a Good Year

In the first half of 2017, 6.1GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe according to figures recently released by WindEurope. A total of 4.8GW of onshore wind capacity was installed in the first half of 2017, although it was heavily concentrated in Germany (2.2GW), the UK (1.2GW) and France (492MW). There has also been a flurry of activity in offshore wind: 18 projects in four EU Member States (Germany, the UK, Belgium and Finland), which saw a total of 1.3GW installed. In investments, € 8.3 billion on new asset financing was made in the first half of the year: € 5.4 billion in onshore and € 2.9 billion in offshore. Again, the trend for market concentration was visible, with 53% of total investments (onshore and offshore) made in Germany and no offshore investments made in the UK.

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Publisher's Note July/August 2017

Wind energy is becoming mainstream

Currently the wind energy business is in a good state. European wind power investments in 2016 rose € 43 billion from € 35 billion in 2015, an increase of 22%. Also the global energy system is creating more jobs in renewables than in fossil-fuel technologies. More than 9.8 million people were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2016, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). China, Brazil, the USA, India, Japan and Germany accounted for most of the renewable energy jobs. New wind installations contributed to a 7% increase in global wind employment, raising it up to 1.2 million jobs. As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, IRENA expects that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and leading to renewables becoming a major economic driver around the world.

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Publisher's Note June 2017

New developments in wind technology

Offshore wind energy continues to grow more indispensable to Europe’s energy mix. According to WindEurope’s Financing and Investment Trends 2016 report, new asset financing for offshore wind power projects reached a record-breaking € 18.2 billion in offshore wind in 2016. This year, WindEurope and RenewableUK are joining forces to host Offshore Wind Energy 2017, the largest offshore wind conference and exhibition in the world. From 6 to 8 June participants at Offshore Wind Energy 2017 will have the opportunity to participate in an exhibition by over 400 exhibitors. The conference will focus on innovation and forward-thinking as the industry continues to develop itself as a more mainstream energy source.

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Publisher's Note April May 2017

Can Trump stop the transition to renewable energy?

Just before this issue went to the printer, President Trump signed an executive order instructing the US Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP is the plan from former president Obama to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. The plan directed states to find ways to reduce emissions from electricity plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The plan was not to completely ban fossil fuels but to make sure that fossil fuel-fired power plants will operate more cleanly and efficiently, while expanding the capacity for zero- and low-emitting power sources like renewables. A benefit of the plan was also that the transition to clean energy would happen faster than anticipated. But can Trump stop the transition?

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Publisher's Note March 2017

Is vertical integration of blade technology the new trend?

Wind energy OEMs are constantly working to lower the cost of energy by innovation. One reason for this is to reach grid parity compared to other (non-renewable) energy sources. But another important reason is to be competitive and stay ahead of other OEMs.

So far we have seen mergers and takeovers of OEMs to benefit from the economies of scale and diversified geographical market shares. A good example of these are the Nordex/Acciona and Siemens/Gamesa deals.

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Publisher's Note January February 2017

Focus on technology development to continue reducing cost of energy

Just recently MAKE released its global wind turbine trends report 2016. According to this report the wind energy market will continue to mature as onshore turbines follow evolutionary technology developments, while revolutionary technology developments will be the focus for new offshore turbines. Turbines continue to grow larger, and become more productive, cost-effective and reliable due to technology developments. The coming decade will bring further change, but the role of technology has shifted as the industry continues to evolve and work towards levelised cost of energy (LCOE) grid parity. Differences in regional demand preferences are forcing many turbine OEMs to pursue platform-based wind turbine solutions that enable mass customisation to meet local needs, while providing scale to serve the global market. Wind energy is nearing the critical point of grid parity in many markets, where LCOE is competitive with traditional forms of thermal power generation. In this issue we present an example of a platform-based wind turbine solution. NGC StanGear is a serialised product platform based on an application database, standardisation and a modularisation concept for wind gearboxes. You can read more about the concept here.

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