Hamburg Offshore Wind Conference: The Gateway to Wind Energy
Hamburg, 26 September 2008 - The offshore wind industry is facing challenges: The reliability, safety and protection of offshore wind turbines against operational interruption are especially demanding. These topics were discussed at the 7. Hamburg Offshore Wind Conference by more than 160 international wind experts. Developers, manufacturers,
investors and operators of wind turbines debated about prototypes and mass production of wind turbines, design innovations, finance and the present sites on the European and North American wind markets.
Dr Andrew Garrad, Garrad Hassan and Partners, gave the key note about the current offshore wind energy markets in Germany, the UK, China and worldwide. He spoke about the political situation and the experiences made so far. Garrad pointed out that most offshore turbine problems have already been onshore turbine problems magnified by their location. Offshore wind energy gets more expensive but also more competitive, he stated. But what makes a real offshore machine? Garrad says, the optimum machine is the machine that you spend the most time optimizing. His conclusion: A strong political will and a strong grid are needed next to
the design of a power station and not a collection of turbines to further develop the offshore wind industry.
In block 1 of the conference called "The manufacturer's life", Norbert Giese, Head of Business Unit Offshore at REpower, presented the current status of the company's project Thornton Bank where REpower installed six 5M turbines on 19 September 2008. Paul Govaert, General Director Sif
Group, stated in his speech that one of the biggest challenges and
complaints is the steel quality and the rising steel prices. John
Robertson, BIFAB - Burntisland Fabrications, informed about "Mass
Manufacturing Creating a Sustainable Industry". His conclusion: The
manufacturing industry has to develop and produce high quality products
on schedule within agreed budgets.
What are the challenges operators in the wind energy industry have to
face? In a panel discussion delegates from operators like RWE Innogy,
E.ON Climate & Renewables, Vattenfall Europe New Energy, Airtricity and
DONG Energy presented their current projects and future plans in the
offshore wind sector. Mike Lewis from E.ON stated the 20:20 rule,
meaning that they put higher priority on projects below 20 m water depth
and below 20 km distance to shore. Operation and maintenance costs are
one of the biggest offshore uncertainties. DONG therefore will provide
an accomodation and service platform in their Horns Rev II wind farm in
order to make service actions more effective.
"Latest developments in offshore wind measurements in the North Sea" was
the title of a presentation held by Justus Kellner, WINDTEST. The expert
informed about the new research platform in the North Sea "FINO 3".
Until now, there is only a small amount of empirical data available for
establishing offshore wind farms in deep water. At FINO 3 data shall be
determined, so that associated risks can be reduced and the development
of planned offshore wind farms can be accelerated. In October 2008, the
FINO 3 platform is going offshore. The upper parts of the met mast will
be mounted in mid-October. The start of the measurements is scheduled
for the beginning of November 2008. Kellner also informed about
NORSEWInD, a wind resource database and offshore wind atlases of the
Baltic, Irish and North Sea basins. WINDTEST Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog is
responsible for the coordination of RS measurements, e.g. LiDAR (Light
Detection And Ranging). Calibration and validation of the RS equipment
is scheduled for early 2009. The measurements are planned for a two year
period beginning in summer 2009.
Dr Elimar Precht, DHI Wasser und Umwelt, held a presentation about
"Integrated Modelling of Waves for Offshore Wind Projects". The DHI
gains 20 years experience in metocean studies in the oil & gas sector
and is also involved in various offshore wind projects. Dr Precht lively
explained the influence of waves on offshore structures and that they
can impede the construction and maintenance. That is why wave conditions
need to be assessed, he pointed out. Florian Biehl, Germanischer Lloyd,
presented the design basis, a document that guides technical development
of a wind farm through all stages: It provides a description of the
project, defines environmental conditions, loads, safety levels and
provides a layout of the interaction of all relevant parameters for the
development of the wind farm. As such the design basis is to be seen as
a document of highest importance and can dramatically influence safety
and economy of the wind farm.
Money makes the turbine go round - in this section, Matthias Meyer,
NIBC, pointed out that offshore wind projects need banks not only for
debt finance but also for financial advice and that there is a group of
banks that understand the offshore wind business and are able to handle
its risks is limited. He assumed that offshore risks are significantly
higher than onshore risks but still bankable. The legal perspective was
introduced by the company Watson, Farley & Williams who showed the
question "who owns the turbine in internal or coastal waters, the
exclusive economic zone or in the high seas?" cannot be answered easily.
"Over the Seas - offshore abroad" was the title of the concluding block.
Richard Legault, Helimax Energy, gave an overview of the high potential
of the North American Offshore market which is not only being among the
west and east coast but also the Greater Lakes (124 GW on US and
Canadian site). Legault sees a take-off of the US-offshore wind market
in 2011 and of the Canadian in 2012. Following, Peter C. Hunter, NaiKun
Wind Development, explained the challenges of the NaiKun project in the
waters of British Columbia, Canada. The company will install 200 MW per
year in that field over a period of 10 years. Their challenge: The
demanding environment and the needed grid connection.
Germanischer Lloyd Corporate Communications
Tel. +49 (0)40-36149-4509, Fax +49 (0)40-36149-250, email@example.com
Your contacts are Dr. Olaf Mager and Stefanie Normann-Birkholz.
This press release is available at www.gl-group.com.