REH: Dear Mr Barth, we are delighted to welcome you as a speaker at the HOW 2022 – which area of activity are you responsible for at Siemens Energy?
Andreas Barth: "I head up the Offshore Grid Access division of Siemens Energy. Siemens Energy offers a range of products and services to support the offshore wind industry and, most importantly, to transport energy from the producer to the consumer. This includes, for example, grid solutions, monitoring as well as service and maintenance. My team and I have already managed to connect 8,700 MW of offshore wind to the grid, with more than 4,000 MW to follow. Many of these connections are implemented with alternating current. This is the best solution for wind farms located close to the coast, which typically have an output of several hundred up to 1,500 MW, being quite the norm in the North Sea."
REH: What topics will you be addressing at the HOW 2022?
Andreas Barth: "Our current projects are exposing us to greater risks than in the past. We also have to be faster with implementation while still maintaining our quality standards. One of the biggest questions we are facing is how we will build the new platforms, something that has yet to be clarified."
REH: Where do you think the greatest challenges of the energy transition currently lie?
Andreas Barth: "One of the main challenges facing the sector at present is the excessively complex and lengthy planning and approval cycles, which urgently needs to be resolved. Delays caused by politics are also hampering the energy transition.
REH: The entire German energy industry is on the move in light of the war in Ukraine – how do you assess the current developments? What will last? What is due to the current difficult circumstances?
Andreas Barth: "Siemens Energy strongly condemns the military aggression by Russia against the sovereignty of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The management and employees at Siemens Energy are appalled by the violation of international law and the attack on the people, an action that can never be condoned. We therefore express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people including our employees and their families who continue to suffer from this war, in the hope that the acts of war will end soon. It is our priority to support our employees and their families in the region. We are also supporting the relief efforts of the Red Cross. Siemens Energy supports the international coalition of governments which have imposed sanctions against Russia."