Germany: Onshore and Offshore Wind Results Presented at DEWEK 2012

Germany: Onshore and Offshore Wind Results Presented at DEWEK 2012

The latest results of research and development concerning offshore wind energy, but also topics related to the onshore use of wind energy, will be presented on 7/8 November at the 11th German Wind Energy Conference (DEWEK 2012) in Bremen.

The conference is accompanied by an exhibition and also features a technical excursion on the day after the event. The excursion to Bremerhaven includes visits to the handling and storage area of large wind energy components, the production facilities of the offshore wind turbine manufacturer AREVA as well as to the rotor blade test stand of the Fraunhofer IWES Institute.

Offshore wind energy is becoming more and more important, as is shown by the development in the German North Sea, where at present six offshore wind farms are under construction and another project is to follow later this year. Despite the present discussion about technical and financial problems and the challenges of farshore wind farm construction, the progress that has already been made is unmistakable. After completion in 2013/14, an additional 438 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of almost 2,000 megawatts (MW) will be installed in the German North Sea and another 80 wind turbines with 288 MW in the Baltic Sea. By comparison, at present only two offshore wind farms (together 108 MW) are fully operational in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea.

In Europe, according to information supplied by the European Wind Energy Association EWEA the installed offshore wind energy capacity increased by 50 per cent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year. The most dynamic development of all EU countries can be observed in Great Britain. In European coastal waters, according to EWEA, 132 new offshore wind turbines, totaling 523.2 megawatts (MW) were fully grid connected in the first six months of this year. In view of the economic and financial crisis this is a remarkable achievement.

The realization of the farshore wind farm projects in the German North Sea presents a much higher technical challenge than the nearshore wind farms previously erected in Northern Europe. The experience gained in the offshore test site “alpha ventus”, the German pioneer of these farshore wind farms, along with other German research activities focusing on offshore application will contribute a great deal towards a better reliability of this technology.

What can be done to reduce the weather-related problems of offshore logistics, what methods can be implemented to automate the rotor blade production and how can the foundation structures which are subject to extreme dynamical load be designed for 20 years of safe operation? What are the options for grid connection and what is the best way to distribute the energy flows in a North Sea grid and to bring them ashore?

Answers to these questions are presented at the DEWEK to international experts from research and industry in 21 sessions with 105 papers and a poster session with over 80 posters. The accompanying exhibition offers an additional opportunity to network with colleagues and representatives of the industry.


Press release, November 01, 2012; Image: marum