All articles by Blatha


Basque in the winds of change

Spain is very much back on the wind energy map, making it the ideal destination for the 2019 WindEurope Conference & Exhibition, which will take place in April in the northern-Spanish city of Bilbao.

No problems for Houston

AWEA WINDPOWER 2019 is on its way to the energy capital of the world, Houston, Texas. In May, this annual conference for the wind industry will bring together the biggest companies and the most advanced technology, and will show why the wind industry is so exciting and continues to develop.

The height of success

GE is designing and building the tallest-ever wind turbine, the Haliade-X, which at 260m will dwarf the current biggest turbine, at 187m, built by Vestas. There are plenty of advantages to upping the scale and height of turbines, but what are the hurdles of ever-increasing size and altitude? Molly Lempriere talks to GE engineering and product development leader Vincent Schellings.

Certain quality

With the opening of its new plant in Bilbao, Haizea is staking its claim to be the most significant new player manufacturing towers for wind turbines. Without a long history of successful implementations on which to call, the company has had to quickly demonstrate its commitment to excellence. Borja Muga, the company’s quality manager, speaks to Jim Banks about its road to attain the highest grade of certifications.

Hack away

This September saw the return of Hack The Wind, one of the success stories from last year’s Global Wind Summit. Focusing on blockchain, and operations and management optimisation, this year’s event was even more productive than the previous, as InnoEnergy’s renewable technology officer Emilien Simonot; Pedro Valverde, manager at EDP Innovation; and Antonio de la Torre, chief technology officer at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, discuss.

Testing times

As the rate of growth in the wind energy market continues to accelerate, there is increasing pressure for wind turbines to perform more efficiently and reliably. Testing components under realistic conditions is the area of expertise of Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems. Jim Banks speaks to the head of its wind turbine and system technology division, Martin Pilas, about how its testing facility has kept pace with demanding change.

Strong easterly wind

While offshore wind remains mostly a European affair, this picture is beginning to change, with ambitious installations planed across Asia. Abi Millar speaks to Feng Zhao, a Copenhagen-based senior director at FTI Consulting, about what is to come.

Back in the UK?

In 2015, David Cameron effectively called time on onshore wind by cutting subsidies for new projects. However, ministers have recently said they see onshore wind in the future energy mix. So which way is the wind blowing for new onshore wind farms? Heidi Vella talks to Energy UK policy manager Joshua Atkins to find out more.

Shock to the system

As the wind energy sector grows, so does the number of workplace accidents. Safety is a pressing issue, and the keys to managing a hazardous work environment are communication and education. Jim Banks speaks to safety expert Robert Milligan, of Pattern Energy Group, about how the industry is stepping up to the mark.

Turn to Taiwan

Carmine Frisk talks to Markus Wild, the managing director of EnBW Asia-Pacific, about the company’s new ventures in Taiwan, and why the country is a fast-emerging player in the offshore wind market.