Press Release WAB:
Production-Ready: Offshore Wind Industry
Starts the Industrial Phase
Industry meets at WINDFORCE from 17 to 19 June 2014 in Bremen
Bremerhaven, 21 May 2014. The installation of offshore wind farms in Germany is moving well ahead. After successfully completing the pilot and testing phases, the industry is going into the industrial phase, and experience with pilot projects is being applied in practice. Serial installation generates learning effects that are reflected in the ever shorter periods of time needed for reliable implementation and optimised construction schedules. Commenting on current developments in the offshore wind sector, Ronny Meyer, managing director of Wind Energy Agency WAB, said: “Offshore wind energy is a successful project. People involved in the industry on land and at sea prove every day that they can meet the challenges posed by the project of the century. Whether ships, ports, technology or expertise – everything is ready for a successful energy turnaround.” WINDFORCE, Germany’s most important trade fair and conference for the offshore wind industry, will take stock of the situation in detail. Organised by WAB, WINDFORCE is under the patronage of Sigmar Gabriel, the federal minister for economic affairs and energy. The event will focus on the industry’s further development. “The steady expansion of wind energy at sea has given us valuable experience in all areas such as planning and logistics, and the construction and operation of offshore wind turbines. An increasing reservoir of experience and declining costs will strengthen the offshore wind industry; Germany as a prime location for renewable energies will contribute to national and European supply security”, Meyer underlined.
Current facts and figures for the offshore wind industry
The industrial phase of the sector will expand existing capacity. Three offshore projects (alpha ventus, Bard Offshore 1 and Borkum Riffgat in the North Sea and Baltic 1 in the Baltic Sea), with altogether 143 wind turbines and a capacity of more than 600 megawatts, already generate enough clean and safe power for about 600,000 households. About the same number of turbines is already installed and will begin operating within the next few months. Nine more wind farm projects with a total of 645 turbines and capacity of more than 2,600 megawatts are already under construction and will be connected to the grid this or next year. This will supply a total of 3.6 million households reliably with offshore wind energy; this figure is equivalent to the number of households in Germany’s four largest cities. At the same time, 690 wind turbines with a total capacity of about 3,000 megawatts are in the preparatory phase of construction, and more are in the planning phase. Eight voltage transformation substations for offshore wind farms are already installed at sea; they concentrate and transform electricity, preparing it for grid feed-in on land.
Germany’s offshore wind industry has also set records. Standing in waters 45 metres deep at a distance of 100 kilometres from shore, and boasting a capacity of 400 megawatts, the world’s first offshore direct current (DC) substation is now operating in the North Sea. Another five DC substations with an overall capacity of 3,730 megawatts will be installed more than 30 kilometres from the coast in waters over 30 metres deep. The industry has also set a world record for cables: more than 650 kilometres of offshore DC cable have been laid in the seabed to transport electricity. The number of foundations needed is also evidence of the strength of the offshore wind industry: 511 foundations of different kinds, weighing between 350 and 1,000 tons, were anchored in the seabed in waters from 18 to 45 metres deep. These comprised 257 monopiles, 80 tripiles, 120 tripods, and 54 jacket foundations. The offshore wind industry and public administrations have invested more than one billion euros in eleven ports which have jackup, service and maintenance vessels, transport pontoons, heavy-load transport units and storage areas. These ports also serve as office locations for planning, and as starting points for transports and service and maintenance for the offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic seas. Germany’s strength is also evident in research and innovation; Germany does research in all areas of the offshore wind sector at the national level and at the international level in a cluster with other countries bordering the North Sea. Germany has registered 1,950 patents, placing it far ahead of the leading offshore wind nations Denmark and England. Growth in the industry is additionally reflected in the number of jobs: in recent years, 18,000 jobs have been created in the offshore wind industry across the whole of Germany.
WINDFORCE 2014 in Bremen
To strengthen the sector and foster the international exchange of information, Wind Energy Agency WAB is inviting the industry to its tenth annual WINDFORCE event from 17 to 19 June 2014 in Bremen. More than 250 international exhibitors at the WINDFORCE 2014 trade fair and 14 theme sessions at the conference will provide a comprehensive overview of international developments. Participants can look forward with excitement to hearing several high-profile speakers, among them Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, formerly the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Hildegard Müller, chair of the general executive management board of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, Andrew Garrad, president of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), and James Beal of the British Consulate General.
A unique opportunity to personally gain an impression of wind farms will be the North Sea Wind Farm Tour a day before WINDFORCE opens. Those interested can choose from four different flight routes for a bird’s-eye view of projects on Monday, 16 June 2014. In video clips during the flights, project leaders and operators will provide information on the current status of their wind farms. To book entry to WINDFORCE or to join the aerial tour, go to www.windforce2014.com. The registration deadline for exhibitors is 16 May 2014 for the conference and 6 June 2014 for the North Sea Wind Farm Tour. Tickets for the trade show can be purchased online in advance or at the door.
Wind Energy Agency WAB is the leading business network for wind energy in Germany’s northwest region and the nationwide contact partner for the offshore wind energy industry in Germany. The association counts among its members more than 350 businesses and institutes from all sectors of the wind energy industry, the maritime industry, and research.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Tel: +49 (0)173 / 7946082