Visit windpowermonthlyevents.com for the latest on our upcoming conferences and webcasts

Friday Review - the week's most read on Windpowermonthly.com

WORLDWIDE: Far and away the best-read story of the week is Vestas' decision to take on suppliers over its V90 gearbox debacle. Following this is a mixture of the good and bad, including investment plans and company sales, and another departing CEO.

1.

At the start of the month it was revealed Vestas had set aside €40 million to cover failing gearboxes on 376 of its V90 3MW turbines. The gearboxes were supplied by ZF between 2009 and 2011 and featured integrated bearings.

Now, Vestas has said it is planning to seek compensation from suppliers over the problem. A Vestas spokesman said the company would look at targeting both ZF and Schaeffler, ZF's supplier of the bearings.

Vestas has had a difficult time in terms of product failures. Over the last two months a V112 has burnt down resulting in upgrades in the fleet, blade problems on the 660kW and now this. Maybe it's important to spread the responsibility.

2.

Windpower Monthly wrote earlier in the year about problems in China's offshore programme. Essentially, a bust up between the marine ministry and the National Energy Bureau (NEB) has meant the first 1GW tender is unlikely to be built.

Now, China Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREA) has conceded that the first offshore programme is virtually at an end. CREA director Li Junfeng said China needs to rethink its approach to offshore after the failure of the first concession projects.

Li said: "Officially, the first offshore concession projects still exist. But in reality, they have all ended. The locales for the projects have changed. The water depth of the sea areas have changed. The types of offshore wind turbines will surely change.

"Three years have passed since the public tender result was announced. During the period, the turbine technologies have advanced markedly. If we remain sticking to the result of three years ago, we will not keep abreast of the times."

3.

China is still in the news, with Goldwind's announcement that it is to sell its wholly owned blade manufacturer Tellhow. The offshoot is being sold to Simomatech, which also makes blades. Tellhow was launched by Goldwind in 2007 and makes blades for the company's 1.5MW direct drive turbine. Interestingly, Goldwind said the sale would allow it to "reduce investment in production".

The question is how much this decision was motivated by the current market in China. It is market leader there, yet this seems to have come at a price with a 97% fall in profit announced for Q1.

4.

Last week, the enforced departure of Gamesa's Jorge Calvet jumped into the top 5. This week, it is a similar tale concerning LM Wind Power's CEO Roland Sundén. LM said that Sundén, who had been with LM for six years, will be replaced on an interim basis by non-executive director Tim Robson.

The company did not say whether Sundén had a job to go to, or elaborate on the reason for his departure. It added that his replacement would be announced at a later date. As with Gamesa, the departure came on the back of poor financials - in this case a 41% fall in profit for 2011.

5.

One last story concerning investment. Despite overcapacity in the market and a crippled offshore policy, China is pushing on with its plan to develop large capacity wind turbines. China had earmarked CNY 93.92 million yuan ($15 million) for wind power research and development in 2012.

The funds will be applied to develop transmission, blade materials and grid access technology. China's National Energy Bureau said there were 22 R&D projects in all.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
[DAYS_LEFT] days Subscribe Now

Left of your Windpower Monthly free trial

Your free trial Subscribe Now

to Windpower Monthly has expired

Windpower Monthly Events

Search more than 4,500 companies in the Windpower Directory

Latest Jobs