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EWEA Offshore panel debate: Driving technology forward

DENMARK: Windpower Monthly and three leading wind technology figures discussed the challenge of pushing technological advancement in turbines even further.

Speaking at EWEA Offshore 2015, MHI Vestas chief technology officer Torben Hvid Larsen, Senvion CTO Norbert Giese, and LM Wind Power test and validation centre director John Korsgaard discussed whether larger turbines were a realistic possibility.

"I think that we haven't reached the ceiling yet, we can take it much much further," said Larsen. "But I think also that we have to look at the whole value chain and suppliers and vessels and infrastructure that has to develop.

"We know that we will probably drive it to 10MW around 2020 if you look at the industry. But I'm really concerned that, when we look at the infrastructure and suppliers, whether they can follow us in the industry."

Giese echoed his sentiment saying: "It's not only the turbine, we need to bring the cost down and have innovations in all aspects, let's say electrical systems, substations, installations. The whole infrastructure has to grow with us. It's not helpful to have a 10MW turbine, but not the right vessels or the right harbours."

But Korsgaard was more positive about the ability of others to keep up with the industry: "When you have those kinds of problems you just have to solve them. Two years ago we launched a 73.5-metre blade into the market. We got the infrastructure to get that to the harbour. Of course the infrastructure has to develop along with it, but we can still do it."

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