News Release from Deutsche Messe AG


Wind Industry Profile of


For a long time, wind power failed to create any kind of stir in the U.K. Now, however, the winds of change are really gathering strength – and nowhere more so than in Britain’s coastal waters. This year, more offshore plants have been installed here than anywhere else in the world. They are springing up in both the North Sea and the Irish Sea. In 2009, the construction of what is currently the world’s biggest offshore park, Greater Gabbard, will begin 25 kilometers off the coast of Suffolk and will boast an output of 500 megawatts. This offshore park will be operated by a subsidiary of supplier Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE).

Siemens Energy won the contract to supply the wind energy equipment in spring of this year. The company is due to deliver the 3.6 megawatt class turbines in the next two years. “Greater Gabbard marks a milestone for Siemens,” comments René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable Energy Division, underlining the importance of the project.

Greater Gabbard continues the success story of the German-Danish manufacturer on the dynamic British offshore market. Siemens has already supplied turbines for the now completed projects at Burbo Banks (2007) and Lynn and Inner Dowsing (fall 2008). Next year, Siemens will begin work on a total of four projects in the U.K. with a combined output of over 760 MW. In order to meet the sheer scale of demand, Siemens will expand its production on a continuous basis. This year, the company produced around 2,100 megawatts. “We want to increase our output to 4,500 megawatts by 2011,” says Oliver Lönker, press officer of Siemens. He added: “Around a quarter of that will then go into offshore projects.” Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Siemens Wind Power Business Unit, emphasizes just how important the British market is for Siemens: “Almost two thirds of our current contracts for offshore wind parks are from the U.K. In terms of expanding wind power offshore, the U.K. is currently leading the way in implementing its targets.”

In the medium term, Siemens will stick to the tried-and-tested 2.3 and 3.6 megawatt turbines. “Naturally, we too are working to develop more powerful turbines. However, we will only offer these to our customers when we are sure that they are as robust and reliable in operation as our current machines,” explains Lönker. At the moment, the engineers at Siemens are focusing on developing a gearless version of their 3.6 MW model. A test system with permanently activated generators is currently in operation in Denmark, with a second to follow shortly. The wind power community is eagerly awaiting the first useful results for this model, which will display very little of the original “Danish Design” of the company’s one-time predecessor Bonus.

However, it remains to be seen when and if a gearless Siemens installation will be used in the waters off Britain’s coast. It’s also a question of cost – gearless systems could prove to be more cost-effective in terms of maintenance. That’s a factor that’s twice as important when it comes to installations in the sea. Whatever happens, recent comments by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown left no-one in any doubt that the next few years will see this dynamic development in Britain’s offshore areas continue. Mr. Brown emphasized that offshore wind power will play a key role in achieving Britain’s climate targets by 2020. The program he has instigated to mobilize the power of renewable energies is “the biggest shift in energy policy since the birth of nuclear power”.

At HANNOVER MESSE 2009 (20 to 24 April), Siemens will be mounting a truly powerful display at “Wind” –the new flagship fair for wind generation technology, components and services.
Deutsche Messe AG
Michaela Gärtner

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