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Publisher's Note September 2015

Reaching for the higher winds

The hub heights of onshore wind turbines are shooting up to elevations of 100 metres and more in order to reach more consistent and faster winds and so produce more energy than is available at lower heights. In order to harness this higher grade energy, wind turbine towers must evolve to reach new heights. Many towers, and especially those of 100 metres and more, are nowadays made from concrete. However, this market is being constrained when it comes to increasing tower height because of the limited availability of the powerful cranes needed to erect such tall towers.

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Publisher's Note July/August 2015

Lack of policy support is the main barrier for small wind take-off

Most attention in the wind sector goes to large wind turbines and utility scale projects, but in the small and medium sized wind energy market a lot is happening as well and this market is growing. Fuelled by the spread of innovative financing programmes centred around the leasing model, growth in the installation of small and medium wind turbine (SMWT) power systems is accelerating. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from SMWTs will grow from US$ 1 billion in 2015 to nearly US$ 2.4 billion in 2023.

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Publisher's Note June 2015

American wind energy rebounded in 2014 but will this continue?

Windpower 2015 was held in Orlando from 18 to 21 May this year. There were close to 400 exhibitors, a little less than last year in Las Vegas. At the time of writing I do not know the exact number of attendees but I had the impression that attendance was better than in recent years. As always the manufactures attracted the most visitors to their booths and launched new products at the show. GE launched its Digital Wind Farm ecosystem, a dynamic, connected and adaptable wind energy ecosystem that pairs turbines with the digital infrastructure for the wind industry. The technology could boost a wind farm’s energy production by up to 20%. Siemens launched a new wind turbine especially for the US market. The new turbine features a 120-metre rotor. The product was developed with an eye towards increasing energy production for sites with medium to low wind conditions, which are prevalent in markets within the Americas region. At wind speeds ranging from 6 to 8.5 metres per second, the Siemens SWT-2.3-120 can yield an increase of nearly 10% in AEP compared to its predecessor, the SWT-2.3-108. Serial production of the SWT-2.3-120 will commence in the USA in 2017. During the show we spoke with many people and have gathered ideas for future articles about lubrication, resource assessment, novel floating foundations designs and much more. Keep an eye on future issues to stay informed about the latest technological developments.

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Publisher's Note April May 2015

The Offshore Wind Business as a United Industry

Over 8,000 delegates from 54 countries were in Copenhagen this year for EWEA OFFSHORE 2015. The central theme of the event was how to bring down the levelised cost of energy. At the event, three players within the offshore wind industry (MHI-Vestas Offshore Wind, DONG Energy and Siemens Wind Power) launched an initiative and issued a joint declaration outlining the concept of a ‘United Industry’. The goal of the declaration is to inspire the industry to come together around the promise of reducing its cost of energy, which remains a top priority for the offshore wind industry. According to a study commissioned by EWEA the industry should knock down 26% of its capital and operating costs in order to become highly competitive by 2023. The study, conducted by Ernst & Young, highlights four key actions to reduce costs. First, the introduction of higher capacity turbines with better energy capture and reliability with lower operating costs could lead to as much as a 9% reduction in costs. Second, a steady project pipeline allowing continuous production of support structures would cut up to 7%. Third, greater competition between industrial actors in several key supply chain areas would lower costs by as much as 7%. And, fourth, greater supply chain optimisation and logistical integration could potentially achieve a 3% saving. The report expects the sector to be close to reducing the levelised cost of energy to €100 per megawatt-hour by 2020, by which time cumulative installed capacity in European waters is expected to have tripled to 23.5GW. The study adds that the cost could be reduced to €90/MWh by 2030, as long as a continual stream of new projects come on-line.

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Publisher's Note March 2015

When will offshore wind become a real global market?

EWEA Offshore is a biennial event that unites the whole of the wind energy value chain under one roof. The event attracts thousands of offshore wind energy professionals from Europe and beyond including manufacturers, developers, operations and maintenance, and logistics and installation. This year the event is happening in Copenhagen between 10 and 12 March. Globally, offshore wind is still in an early stage of development. Most of the capacity installed (8.7 GW) is in Europe, in the North, Baltic and Irish Seas. The only other substantial market is in China, although there are developments in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, as well as early movement in the USA.

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Publisher's Note January February 2015

Investments in wind energy in 2014 reach almost US$ 100 billion

The last couple of years have been turbulent years for the industry but there are plenty of signs the industry has found its way up again. Marketing budgets are always a good sign of the economic state of an industry and its companies, and at Windtech International we have seen positive signs in this direction. In 2014 global investment in clean energy was US$ 310 billion, which is 16% more than in 2013 according to Bloomberg New energy Finance. In 2004 this number was US$ 60.2 billion. Total new installed capacity of renewables was 100GW in 2014.

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Publisher's Note November December 2014

Ten years of the latest technological developments

The new event WindEnergy Hamburg, which came to a close on Friday 26 September after four exhibition days at the Hamburg site, had a good start. The new fair demonstrated its international character; more than 33,000 visitors from all parts of the world were there, getting information on the latest products and services from 1,250 exhibitors from 33 nations. A third of the visitors were from outside Germany, including 24 delegations from 22 countries. The Windtech International team attended the event as well, and on page 22 you can find our review of the fair. We also obtained plenty of inspiration for future articles and in this issue we present an article about dynamic rotor geometry measurement, a concept we spotted in Hamburg. Dynamic rotor geometry measurement (DRGM), developed by windcomp between 2008 and 2010, is a method for the verification of the aerodynamic condition and the aeroelastic behaviour of a wind turbine rotor and the turbine tower system. On page 7 you can read the full article about it.

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