Recharge, the global renewable energy news and intelligence platform, has unveiled the contenders for its second annual floating wind power award.

To be announced on the eve of FOWT19 in Montpellier, France on 23 April, the Recharge Floating Wind Power Player of the Year award will recognise a pioneer, innovator or influencer in the fast-emerging renewable sector.

Recharge is again running an online poll, where readers can vote on a shortlist of candidates. See the panel below for the list of contenders then cast your vote here.

“When discussing the rapid progress of the global energy transition, there are few better examples than floating wind, which, when we launched Recharge in 2009, literally amounted to a single turbine moored off Norway, the Hywind Demo,” commented Editor-in-Chief Darius Snieckus, who is convening FOWT19, where close to 1,000 delegates are expected.

“Today we have commercial-scale projects being advanced off Europe, Asia and the US, next-generation designs moving toward testing, and even the World Bank aiming to underwrite projects in emerging markets such as Brazil, South Africa and elsewhere. And Ireland now has its flagship prototype project underway, while Greece is considering a first industrial-scale development.”

Expectations that the global floating wind fleet could expand to as much as 15GW by 2030 could well be under-ambitious, Snieckus added. “The speed of development we continue to see in the sector is awe-inspiring. And we are now seeing first projects where floating wind is being deployed in other sectors, including offshore oil & gas.”

Last year, Finn Gunnar Nielsen, who led the R&D team at Norwegian oil & gas group Statoil (now Equinor) that designed the Hywind Demo, was awarded the inaugural prize at a ceremony in Marseille.

FOWT’s main event, conference and exhibition, now in its fifth year, will this year take place for the first time in Montpellier at the Corum from 24-26 April.


Henrik Stiesdal

Henrik Stiesdal joined the wind industry pantheon in 1978 when he invented one of the ‘Danish Concept’ turbines, a design which dominated the industrial landscape through the 1980s. Stiesdal continued to be a leading influence in the sector through his role as chief technology officer of Siemens Wind Power, which he left in 2014 to advance other projects, including the paradigm-shifting floating wind turbine design called TetraSpar, a prototype of which is now on track for installation off Norway next year. During his career, Stiesdal has created more than 175 inventions and logged more than 650 patents related to wind power technology.

Walter Musial

Walter Musial is a principal engineer and manager of the offshore wind department at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he has worked since 1988, in 2003 launching the offshore wind energy research programme at NREL which he now leads. Musial was also responsible for the development and implementation of the full-scale blade and drivetrain testing facilities at the National Wind Technology Center. As early as 2004 he made the case for building cost-competitive “deepwater wind turbines” to diversify the US electric energy supply with offshore energy sources that would be “complementary to onshore developments”. He has authored over 60 publications and holds two patents.

Paul de la Guérivière

Paul de la Guérivière is CEO of French floating wind pioneer Ideol, which is the first sector company to have two commercial-scale prototypes in the water, the 2MW concrete FloatGen demonstrator off France and the 3.2MW steel Hibiki unit off Japan. His innovative ‘damping pool’ platform concept has taken up a place along the oil industry-inspired spar and semisubmersible designs that have formed the first wave of pilot and array projects in Europe. Prior to founding Ideol in 2010, De la Guérivière worked in clean-energy business development in China and in the area of carbon finance. He holds a Master of Science degree from the École des Ponts ParisTech.

Yoshinori Ueda

Yoshinori Ueda is general manager of the Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA), and board member and head of the international committee at the Japan Wind Energy Association (JWEA). Through his work as committee member of several floating wind power working groups in Japan, he was influential in the development of the landmark 14MW Fukushima Forward project, the world’s first multi-unit array, and 2MW Goto pilot. Ueda majored in mechanical engineering at Kyoto University and worked in power plant production at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for more than 30 years, including on floating wind technology designs dating back to at least 2004.