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Latest coverage from Husum WindEnergy 2012 - Liveblog day 1

Windpower Monthly blogs from the Husum 2012 conference, covering launches and events as they happens. Or if you're at the event, visit Windpower Monthly in exhibition hall 2.

 18.30 CET

Repower covered off the new additions to the 3M range. This consists of a new 3MW low wind turbine with a 122-metre rotor, a 139-metre hybrid tower and the recertification of the 3.2MW and 3.4MW turbines for higher wind speeds. Interesting views on the turbine's capacity from product manager Stefan Philipp who said he believes around 3MW class is probably optimum for an onshore turbine. The company also believed the move towards higher hub heights was a growing trend.

It is worth pointing out the press release referred to the new turbines as 'Suzlon Group' products. The same is also the case on the Repower website, the first time such a thing has happened and not the last. Repower is set to be rebranded next year so it's no surprise but one wonders how much of a part the Suzlon name will play in this.

 

17.30 CET

Retrofit could be the next trend, according to control systems specialist Mita-Teknik. Business development director Kristian Kjaerholm said more customers are looking at refitting turbines in the 100-600kW range, as opposed to replacing them with bigger wind turbines. One of the biggest markets for this sort of activity is the US.

 

Areva has been presenting its new method of installing offshore blades. The system allows it to transport and fit single blades rather than an entire 'rotor star', meaning cheaper and easier installation. It is the first manufacturer to do this.

 

15.00 CET

Just been in a Q&A with industry figures including Goldwind chairman Wu Gang and E.ON chief executive Mike Winkel. Interesting view from Wu on the trend for large capacity turbines (Goldwind is developing a 10MW machine). He said Goldwind was more interested in low wind. Additionally when asked about Goldwind's global strategy he said the company had no intention of targeting Europe and said it was focused on the US. With regards to the upcoming expiry of the PTC, Wu said he was confident an incentive would return. He said the company was in North America for the "long haul".

Winkel also had some interesting views on offshore and called for greater standardisation when it came to constructing projects. He said: "We've got to move away from building every wind farm like it's the first ever one." He said cabling remained one of the biggest challenges.

 

14.00 CET

A quick round up of the main comments to come out of this morning's sessions.

Hermann Albers, president of the German wind association, highlighted concern about the Chinese companies developing wind farms in Europe via 0% interest deals from Chinese banks. He said he was all in favour of competition but wanted it to be "fair". Albers also hinted there would be changes to the German renewable energy act in 2024.

Renewable energy writer Paul Gipe said offshore was too expensive and advocated community wind on the grounds that it was more likely to be accepted by the public. In addition, Jurgen Schmidt, head of German research institute IWES, advocated slowing offshore development in Germany. Instead, it should concentrate on developing onshore wind in southern Germany, which has tended to rely on nuclear.

Lastly, on German offshore, Peter Altmaier the environment minister has said regulation governing the reduction of risk in connection of offshore wind cables would be passed in the next two weeks. The regulation is eagerly awaited by many in the German offshore sector.

 

12.00 CET

Spoken to Enercon whose main focus for the event is the launch of the E115 turbine. Also spoke about concerns in Germany about the government introducing a cap on wind as they have with solar.

 

10.00 CET 10.00 CET

Well Husum has opened. The event is simply huge and is a good 20 minute walk from one end to the other, with all of the major manufacturers represented in some way or another.

In terms of the opening address, the new German environment minister Peter Altmaier made some interesting comments about "setting up a group of new energy countries" to help bring renewable energy to developing nations.

He also spoke about various domestic issues in Germany and the need for the states to deal with each other when it comes to exporting wind energy. He added the industry needs to look at integrating with other forms of energy generation, storage and grid management.

Overview

Since it launched in 1989, Husum WindEnergy has become the biggest windtech event in the world. This year there are 1,200 exhibitors covering all aspects of the supply chain.

It has also been a time when companies launch new products. This year's event is no different as Vestas and Suzlon are among those already bringing out new additions. Vestas is introducing a shell-tower version of its V112 turbine and Repower adding to the 3MW range.

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