The world’s biggest wind industry event, WindEnergy Hamburg, is just days away, this year in an all-virtual format but still ready to tackle the key issues confronting the global sector. What are the major policy roadblocks to deployment? How can developers get communities onside? Where does hydrogen fit in?
Those topics and many others are on the agenda at the WindEnergy Hamburg exhibition running from 1-4 December, and the Wind TV live platform being run by WindEurope for the conference side of the event.
As Exclusive Official Media Partner, Recharge will as usual be at the heart of the action, with a dedicated carousel on our website's frontpage devoted to news and analysis from the event, a daily e-newsletter and a special edition of this Agenda newsletter as the event wraps up a week today.
Wind TV viewers will also be able to watch Editor-in-Chief Darius Snieckus and fellow Recharge journalists discuss the big news from the event in live updates each day.
See you in Hamburg!
One of the biggest customers for the turbines and services on show at WindEnergy Hamburg is Italian renewables giant Enel, and that won’t be changing any time soon.
Enel unveiled plans to triple the renewable energy capacity under its wing by adding 75GW of new clean power by 2030, with the additions roughly split between wind and solar.
CEO Francesco Starace – who plans to make Enel a "renewable supermajor" – told investors the utility is unfazed by the arrival of oil & gas giants such as Total and BP on the scene, noting that there is plenty of growth to go around – and that he’d rather compete with a “logical” fossil group than some of the “crazy developers” historically active in the renewable power market.
Starace struck a cautionary note on hydrogen, however, warning that it’s still too early to say how the market will evolve, with a risk to investors of steep losses if they take the wrong “gamble”.
Even with those caveats, Enel is an early champion of green hydrogen – the ‘clean’ option for H2 from renewable energy that will be championed by a new lobbying group, the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition, launched this week by WindEurope and SolarPower Europe.
While Asian neighbours China, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam forged ahead, South Korea’s wind power sector spent the last decade best known for its failure to spark into life.
That has all changed and these days the East Asian economic powerhouse is a regular contributor of major news from the industry, given new life by the green transition agenda of President Moon Jae-in.
This week alone, global pacesetter Orsted said it hopes to develop 1.4GW off the Korean coast, and plans were unveiled to build the nation’s first wind-to-hydrogen project on Jeju island.
Local industrial giant Doosan Heavy Industries is also back in the offshore wind sector almost a decade after it walked away from its last foray.
This time its ambitions are domestic rather than international, at least to begin with, as Doosan struck separate deals to develop 2GW or more of projects and cooperate on development of floating wind systems.
While the direction of travel is promising, South Korea still has to lay down the comprehensive policy framework seen in Japan, which has just launched first long-awaited tenders to secure large-scale fixed-bottom offshore wind.