All articles by Amit Thadani

Amit Thadani

The cradle of wind energy

Name: WindEurope

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: 25–27 April 2023


Report: Preview

Vertical takes off

A new design tool from Sandia National Laboratories could help accelerate the development of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs). Nicholas Kenny speaks with Brandon Ennis, offshore wind technical lead at Sandia National Laboratories, to learn about the benefits this tool can provide, how Sandia used this new technology to design a cost-effective floating VAWT system – and what it means for the future of the industry.

Power to act

As the energy crisis rumbles on, renewables are proving increasingly important as nations search for alternatives to Russian oil and gas. However, the green energy sector has also found itself to be a target for cyber criminals and, worse still, state actors. Is enough being done to protect the sector and its customers? Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with Ana Kosareva, an energy consultant with Ørsted and former chair of WindEurope’s Cybersecurity Task Force, about the threat landscape.

Electrolyse the world

The combination of offshore wind and renewable hydrogen could prove crucial in fuelling the green revolution. But between transportation challenges and the pressures to sharpen infrastructure, getting electrolysis-made hydrogen from wind farms to consumers is far from straightforward. Andrea Valentino talks to Poul Skjaerbaek, chief innovation and product officer at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Danielle Lane, UK country manager at Vattenfall, to learn more.

Barriers to success

In January 2022, a cargo ship struck a turbine foundation at the under-construction Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands, following a collision with a tanker. Fortunately, the accident didn’t lead to any fatalities, but with the North Sea becoming an increasingly popular site for wind farms, industry insiders have started looking at ways to stop similar incidents in future. Enter MARIN, a Dutch maritime research institute that has tested several barriers aimed at preventing collisions between ships and offshore turbines. Andrea Valentino speaks to Bas Buchner, president; Yvonne Koldenhof, senior project manager and team leader; and William Otto, senior project manager; at MARIN to understand the results of their tests – and how they see anti-crash technology developing in the years ahead.

The way the wind blows

The UK is a world leader in wind power, producing some 30% of global offshore wind energy, but an endless carousel of prime ministers and cabinet reshuffles has caused uncertainty around the nation’s wind energy strategy. Gary King speaks to Giles Dickson, CEO for Wind Europe, and Joseph Tetlow, senior political advisor at Green Alliance, about the future of British wind.

Pivot to the future

A Barcelona-based start-up, X1 Wind, has begun offshore construction on a self-aligning, floating wind power prototype called PivotBuoy. This platform aims to achieve significant weight reductions compared with current offerings, and swivels passively with the wind, removing the need for motorisation and expensive active orientation of traditional turbines. Mae Losasso speaks with João Neves, strategy and business development at X1 Wind, to learn more.

An onshore thing

The onshore wind industry faces a number of challenges, from global crises like inflation, the lingering effects of Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the huge increase in raw material prices – not to mention other issues that are unique to the sector. Nicholas Kenny speaks with James Robottom, head of onshore wind at RenewableUK, and Aaron Barr, global head of onshore wind energy at Wood Mackenzie, to learn more.

The Energiewende storms ahead

For over a decade, Germany’s leaders have talked enthusiastically about boosting the country’s wind sector – but between local opposition and the lure of ambitious gas schemes, German turbines have traditionally struggled to get noticed. However, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine forcing a rethink of how the country secures its electricity – and a new green-friendly government ensconced in Berlin – could Germany finally fulfil its wind potential? Andrea Valentino talks to Christoph Podewils at Global Solutions Initiative and Heike Winkler at WEB, to learn more.

As fast as the wind

Floating offshore wind offers great potential over its fixed counterparts, able to harness energy from higher winds that occur far out at sea. However, current models have huge blades up to 115m long, maxing out speeds of around 11m per second, which limits the amount of energy that can be produced. Andrew Barnett speaks with Wind Catching Systems CEO Ole Heggheim and vice president of industry and government affairs Daniel Engelhart-Willoch to hear about a platform the company is developing, which will contain over 100 rotors with 15m-long blades stacked vertically within a 300m-high frame. Due to their smaller size, they should be able to harness higher wind speeds, generating more energy at a cost that could compete with fossil fuels.