WINDFORCE 2013: Industry Experts to Meet in Bremerhaven, Germany
WINDFORCE has been a fixed date in the calendars of national and international experts in the offshore wind energy industry for the past nine years. Many have registered again this year to attend the German offshore wind conference.
“We are very pleased that we can welcome more than 650 participants to this year’s WINDFORCE in Bremerhaven”, said Jens Eckhoff, managing director of Offshore Wind Messe und Veranstaltungs GmbH. “Although fewer guests will be present than in previous years, it is nevertheless a good sign that so many offshore specialists will meet, consult with each other, and talk about the next steps in the energy turnaround in spite of uncertain political conditions in terms of financing”, he added.
The patron of WINDFORCE 2013 is Germany’s minister of the environment, Peter Altmaier. “We see this as an important signal from Berlin, highlighting that without offshore wind energy there can’t be an energy turnaround in Germany”, said Ronny Meyer, managing director of the WAB Wind Energy Agency.
WINDFORCE 2013 will be held from 4 to 6 June in the Conference Center Atlantic Hotel Sail City in Bremerhaven, in keeping with the tradition of inviting participants to the city which characterises Germany’s offshore wind industry. Close to the venue, numerous businesses have their production sites in the Lunedeich industrial area, enormous turbines are shipped from the ABC-Halbinsel peninsula in the port, and the new Offshore Terminal Bremerhaven (OTB) is expected to be completed by 2015/16.
Bremen’s senator for economics, labour and ports, Martin Günthner, has pointed out that: “The offshore wind energy industry is of enormous importance to the state of Bremen, to Germany, and to the success of the energy turnaround. Germany must provide clear framework conditions that ensure investment in offshore wind energy is no longer slowed down but put into practice. And that safeguards hundreds of jobs in Bremen and Bremerhaven.”
The Offshore Wind Messe und Veranstaltungs GmbH and the WAB Wind Energy Agency are the joint organisers of WINDFORCE 2013.
Next year the event will be held together with the WINDFORCE trade fair at the Bremen Fair.
WINDFORCE 2013 will focus on cost reduction
In twelve theme sessions, international experts will give some 60 presentations and lectures on such themes as financing, transport and logistics, grid connection and environmental protection regulations for offshore wind farms. “The sector is looking for solutions and ways to provide a future for offshore wind energy in Germany. In spite of all the political hurdles it is facing, the industry stands behind offshore wind energy and is seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs”, said Ronny Meyer.
The organisers of WINDFORCE 2013 have therefore placed the issue of cost reduction at the heart of two theme sessions at the conference. To remain competitive and sustainable, offshore wind farms must become less expensive. “Cost reduction in the offshore wind industry is an important issue for the energy turnaround. Everyone in the business knows that we have to reduce costs – we want to identify options for that during the conference. It’s really urgent to raise savings potential if the sector is to be responsible for shaping the energy turnaround”, said Meyer.
Three theme sessions at the conference are dedicated for the first time to technical research. These sessions will deal with service, maintenance and the monitoring of turbines at sea, marine technologies, and the monitoring and further development of foundation structures and their installation. Lectures and presentations are being organised and presented in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES).
New ship exhibition at WINDFORCE 2013
The WORKBOATS in WATER Boat Show is celebrating its premiere this year at WINDFORCE. Service ships used in the offshore sector will be presented along the Weserkaje quay not far from the conference venue.
The exhibition will feature research, work and supply vessels for the offshore wind energy industry, as well as port and ocean-going tugs, and barges. Participants will be able to visit the ships during the conference. Ship owners are inviting those interested to join them on small excursions around the harbour and experience these vessels live and close up. German and international experts from shipping companies and shipyards will participate in a public discussion featured at the WORKBOATS in WATER Boat Show on 6 June at 2 p.m. to talk about harmonising and standardising European countries’ varying safety regulations for crew transfer vessels (boats which transfer mechanics and engineers to offshore wind turbines). Weather permitting, the one-hour discussion will be held on two ships docked at the Weserkaje quay. Otherwise, the Große Saal in the Conference Center Atlantic Hotel Sail City is reserved for the discussion. Several businesses are also presenting their services and products on the quayside.
On 7 June, the organisers are cordially inviting participants to join an all-day boat trip to offshore wind farms currently under construction or already operating in the North Sea. The route will take guests on the Halunder Jet catamaran to the Meerwind Süd/Ost, Nordsee Ost, Global Tech 1, Bard Offshore 1, Trianel Windpark Borkum, Alpha Ventus and Borkum Riffgat wind farms.
During the excursion, offshore wind businesses will present their crew, supply and installation ships. At each wind farm, specialists will report on current construction progress and on the challenges to personnel and equipment.
Press release, May 31, 2013; Image: wab