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Wind Industry Profile of

The Windfair Interview: Cluster 'Renewable Energy Hamburg'

Astrid Dose, Public Relations Manager at the 'Cluster Renewable Energy Hamburg' answered our questions.

Please introduce the 'Cluster Renewable Energy Hamburg' to our readers.

Astrid Dose: In order to support and to strengthen the cooperation within the branch, the 'Cluster Renewable Energy Hamburg' was founded in 2010. It combines competences of companies, research institutes and other institutions. Furthermore, it establishes dialogue platforms for the actors and supports interfaces between different branches, e.g. logistics.

Our first important aim is to support research activities in the field of the renewable energies in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg. The cluster consists of an association and of a limited liability company doing the operational work and organized as a public partnership between the City of Hamburg and the association.


How does your daily work look like?

Our daily work mainly consists of networking through various channels. We organize a lot of events such as workshops and conferences, but also participate in trade and job fairs. We also focus on publishing academic surveys being conducted by external institutes as well as the support of innovation and research.


How many members does the Cluster consist of and where do they come from?

At the moment there are 180 members. About 80% of them are located in the area of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.


Do your members represent all branches of renewable energy or is there a focus on a certain industry, e.g. wind?

In the cluster there are mainly representatives of the wind energy industry. Apart from that there are also quite a few service companies which cooperate with various actors of the renewable energies. Presently there is a considerable increase of members from the field of heat supply, too.


The Cluster was co-founded by the City of Hamburg. How exactly does the support of the Senate look like?

The Senate started the cluster initiatives as an instrument of business development. That's why apart from us there are eight more industry clusters from other sectors. Half of our budget is financed by the local Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation. Our Supervisory Board consists of high representatives of that ministry as well as the Hamburg Ministry of City Development and Environment and the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research. The Supervisory Board Chairman is the State Councilor of the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation, Dr. Bernd Egert. We very much appreciate the strong support of the City of Hamburg.


The Cluster works as a representative for all renewable energies. But do you host events especially for the solar or wind industry e.g. or do you convey studies for just one single branch?

In general we cover all kinds of renewable energies in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg with our work. Nevertheless we focus on wind energy but also on storage technologies and heat. We also deal with topics of bio energy and solar energy.


The Cluster created a special award for the industry, the German Renewables Award, which will be granted at WindEnergy Hamburg this year. Please, tell us something about the award.

Since 2012, we have been bestowing the German Renewables Award, as an award from the industry for the industry. We intent to support innovators and pioneers. An independent jury consisting of eight actors from economics and science elects the award winners. The jury members do their daily work for the further development of renewables energies. Only the award for the best student thesis is endowed with 5,000 Euro. We are very happy that more than 60 people and projects applied for the awards this year – an evident sign that the German Renewables Award has been gaining more and more reputation.


During the last year the reform of the German EEG was a hot topic. The new rules came into effect in the beginning of August this year. How does the Cluster rate the final resolution? Do you see difficulties or chances for the renewable industries?

For most of the actors in our network it is important that after one and half years of on-going discussion about the energy transformation (Energiewende) and the electricity tariff brake (Strompreisbremse) we are facing a predictable situation now offering perspectives for the construction of more renewable energy plants. Concerning the wind energy companies with a strong position in the industry, we assume that the amendment of the renewable energy sources act offers solid perspectives for the development of both onshore and offshore. It is obvious that Northern Germany has gained a more important position concerning the goals of the energy transformation process. We regret that the long-term goal for offshore wind was limited from 25 to 15 GW. We are convinced that this reduction will be modified in the future when offshore will have made cost progress. The calls for bids (tendering) after 2017 announced in the law is still not very transparent. A lot of members are worried by this fact. As a cluster we intent to participate in this discussion open-minded. Nevertheless we consider the flexible examination of pilot projects for the tendering procedure as well as an accurate implementation and long-term transition process very important.

Katrin Radtke

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