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Wind conference puts the industry’s challenges on the agenda

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By Maja Schrøder Kristensen, September 06, 2017

In 2016, several key players from the wind industry have together with the research community defined the most central areas of strategic importance to the industry within research and development. This year’s WIND ENERGY DENMARK conference focuses on these exact priority areas, so the industry together can discuss and identify how to best tackle the challenges as well as how to realize business opportunities.

In 2016, the European technology & innovation platform, ETIP, identified together with the wind industry Industrialization & standardization, Grid systems, integration & infrastructure, Operation & maintenance, and Next generation technologies as the most strategically important focus areas for the wind industry in relation to research and development.

The identified focus areas have been carried through to Megavind, Denmark’s national partnership for wind energy, where they have been transformed into a strategy with recommendations developed by industry players such as Vestas Wind Systems and DONG Energy Denmark. The industry players have thus identified the focus areas that are relevant for the Danish wind industry as well as the European and global wind industry.

To transform the strategy’s recommendations into industry initiatives, it is necessary to turn words into action, and for that reason these exact areas constitute the scope of this year’s WIND ENERGY DENMARK conference, which will be held on 2-3 October at MCH Messecenter Herning, Denmark.

“In Denmark, we are first movers in wind energy, and therefore it’s important that we now focus on the areas defined by the industry as being strategically essential for the technology development in the field of wind energy. Thus, we will gather the entire industry for two days of thorough discussions on how we can translate strategy to action, paving the way for Denmark to maintain its leading position as a global wind power hub”, says Jan Hylleberg, CEO in Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA). DWIA organizes the conference together with Danish Research Consortium for Wind Energy (DFFV).

WIND ENERGY DENMARK took place for the first time in 2015. It focuses on research and technology development in the wind industry, as this is an area of constant scrutiny in relation to enhancing competitiveness and reducing the costs of wind energy. The conference brings together industry and research professionals from the entire value chain within wind, and zooms in on the industry’s present challenges and business opportunities. Therefore, it’s natural to use the conference as a platform for a joint discussion on these focus areas identified by the industry itself.

From standardization to new technologies
How can digitalization and Big Data help improve the methods of running and maintaining wind turbines, and what opportunities are there for standardization in the wind industry? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at this year’s conference. 

Standardization and industrialization are key drivers to reduce the costs of wind energy. Today, several components and processes have already been standardized and thus secured cost reductions in the industry. However, there is still an untapped potential for further standardization and industrialization in the industry, and this, too, seems as the natural next step, as the industry today is very mature.

During the conference, one focus will be on identifying those areas in which the industry can reap the most benefits through further standardization and industrialization.

Aside from standardizing products and processes that already exist in the industry today, it’s essential to look into the technologies of the future and assess which have “game changer potential” and the disruptive power to revolutionize the wind industry as we know it today. Hence, WIND ENERGY DENMARK also has this as a central theme on the agenda.

Boost in electrification and old wind turbines
In Denmark and in several other European countries, there is a desire to boost electrification, which will result in more electric cars running on green energy, and also new types of customers such as data centers that want to use green power. It’s necessary to find new solutions that already now are capable of accommodating the future demands for more green electricity in the grid. Accordingly, one of ETIP’s discussion points was how we make sure, that the green electricity can be integrated into the grid, and secondly, that we need to develop a strong infrastructure that can handle the large quantities of renewable energy. This will therefore also be a point of focus at WIND ENERGY DENMARK.

Last but not least, an important focus area for the industry is how to optimize service and maintenance of the large quantities of wind turbines that have already been installed in Denmark and abroad. More and more turbines are being produced, and this represents a big opportunity for cost reductions by minimizing the costs of running and maintaining them. By utilizing the data collected from the wind turbine’s internal system and analyze it to a greater extent, we will be able to establish a better understanding of the turbines internal environment and to estimate when the turbine needs service. Digitalization will also be among the topics that the industry will be discussing, when they gather in Herning 2-3 October.

You can read more about the conference and sign up here

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