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Advance press conference: four months until the premiere Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel to open the wind industry’s leading international trade fair in Hamburg

The eyes of the wind industry worldwide will be on Hamburg in almost exactly four months’ time: from 23 to 26 September, WindEnergy Hamburg is to premiere on the Hamburg Messe site. “Sigmar Gabriel, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, will open WindEnergy Hamburg. This underlines the importance of this leading trade fair as a global platform for the wind industry – both onshore and offshore,” said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress, at the advance press conference in the wind power hub of Hamburg, on Thursday. For four days, some 1,000 exhibitors from over 30 countries will present their innovations and services on a total of 65,000 square meters. Industry companies from different countries are coming together in over 15 national pavilions. Wind energy markets ranging from Denmark to the United States and China are participating. In addition, numerous visiting delegations are expected at the leading trade fair in September, including two from Brazil and Japan.

“At WindEnergy Hamburg, the industry is going to impressively demonstrate how it contributes to innovative solutions for a sustainable energy supply,” said Bernd Aufderheide. The innovative capacity of manufacturers and suppliers alike was one of the main topics of the advance press conference. The focus was on new developments that improve the efficiency of onshore and offshore electricity generation with wind energy. “The wind industry is known for being driven by technological progress,” said Andreas Nauen, Chairman of the VDMA Wind Industry division and CEO of Senvion. Given studies on the potential for cost savings, the path to be taken is clear.

Volker Malmen, Managing Director / Head of Finance at Dong Energy in Germany, pointed out the vital role of offshore wind energy: “Due to its constancy, an increased use of offshore wind energy leads to higher energy yields, and at the same time it reduces system costs. This constancy allows for considerable systemic savings in storage and balancing energy.“ As examples of new developments in the offshore sector, he offered: “Apart from larger turbines with higher yields, it is especially about innovations surrounding the installation of large components. For example, the new foundation types we are working on to reduce installation costs.” Andreas Nauen highlighted the importance of offshore energy as a complement to onshore energy: “During full load hours and under ideal wind conditions, such as encountered in the German part of the North Sea, the energy we generate is comparable to that of a combined heat and power station. Not using this would be like Saudi Arabia not producing oil.”

According to Leopold Greipl, Managing Director of the VDMA Wind Industry working group, the supply industry, as a close partner of the manufacturing industry, drives innovations worldwide with a view to sustainable cost reductions and a continuous improvement of turbine availability. Examples of this included novel condition monitoring systems, sensors, control concepts, and lubricating systems.

The central topics at WindEnergy Hamburg will be the energy transition in Germany as a leading nation for technology and the important role of wind energy in the implementation of this transition. “Many countries are looking to Germany to see how this highly developed industrial nation is coping with an energy transition coupled with a nuclear power phase-out,” said Leopold Greipl. Hermann Albers,President of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), emphasised: “Hamburg will clearly show politicians in Germany that onshore wind energy is the low-cost driver of the transition.” In order to secure a good outlook for wind energy in Europe, he deems necessary binding and ambitious climate protection targets for the member states. In addition, he felt it was necessary to “stop the dependency on fossil fuel imports from insecure regions.” At the same time, this would strengthen the value chain in Europe.

Storage of wind energy will also be an important topic at the trade fair: H2Expo, held in parallel to WindEnergy Hamburg, will showcase approaches for integrating renewables into the energy market that also offer solutions in the area of storage and mobility. In addition, the leading trade fair offers numerous opportunities for networking and gathering information. In the Forum in Hall B6, experts will be giving technical presentations of current industry topics. The Recruiting Day on Friday, 26 September, will focus on job and career opportunities in the wind industry.