Johanna Lehner stands on top of a wind turbine in Austria
Part two of a new series of “wind energy stories” from around the world, in association with Global Wind Day. Today, Gerhard Scholz from the Austrian Wind Energy Association, speaks to Johanna Lehner, a service technician at Windkraft Simonsfeld in Austria.
What exactly does a wind turbine service technician do?
Essentially, we go on a wind turbine patrol. The main task is the regular visual inspection of the condition of all our sites – from the tower to the nacelle. The aim is to guarantee the highest possible availability of all our wind turbines.
What maintenance activities do you do?
We oil components, exchange filters if necessary, measure the performance of the turbine, test and replace electrical components if necessary and test the hydraulic system.
How did you end up in wind energy and what training did you do? continue reading »
It’s not easy to measure wind turbine noise as background noise from rainfall to traffic interferes with the results, says the latest Wind Directions based on a recent EWEA workshop. In fact, that background noise – including the wind itself – is usually louder than the sound of the turbines.
At least 17 peer-reviewed studies have found that there is no adverse effect on human health linked to turbine noise.
However, people’s concerns about wind turbine noise must be taken seriously. “Developers must also show respect by answering questions and listening to fears,” said Jeremy Bass, Senior Technical Manager at RES.
Read the full article in Wind Directions now.
By Kara Perconti
Are you creative with your camera and have a passion for wind energy? Then you might be keen to enter EWEA’s 2013 photo competition for Global Wind Day, giving yourself the chance to win a €1,000 Amazon voucher!
Following the success of last year’s hugely popular Global Wind Day photo competition, this year we are launching a photo competition with a twist: we are looking for entrants to submit a photo accompanied by a short story about wind energy describing to us what wind energy means to you.
Do you have a story to tell about wind energy? Whether you simply think wind turbines are attractive, or you think wind energy is the future, or, you work in the sector and want to tell us your story, supplement a photo submission with a short text. Tell us of a time when wind energy inspired you or sparked your attention, we want to know!
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Fatih Birol and Pat Rabbitte at the EWEA 2013 press conference
With the highest-level movers and shakers of the wind energy world, and greatly influential politicians and analysts including International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol, EWEA’s 2013 Annual Event hit the renewable energy headlines this year.
It was the event at which Birol called fossil fuel subsidies “public enemy number one”, while Christian Kjaer EWEA’s CEO drew attention to the €470 billion the EU paid for fossil fuel imports last year, and the time when industry CEOs were honest about the impact of the financial and economic crisis on their company’s fortunes.
Speaking from Vienna, Pat Rabbitte, Irish Energy Minister, called for a fresh EU renewable energy target to replace the current one which expires in 2020 of 45% by 2030 – and so did Anni Podimata, Vice President of the European Parliament. Austrian Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich said that his country aims to be 100% energy self-sufficient by 2050, while Hasan Murat Mercan, Turkey’s Deputy Energy Minister, spoke of high wind energy ambitions and a rapidly growing sector.
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Anni Podimata, VP of European Parliament
Unemployment is plaguing Europe, and just this week Anni Podimata, Vice President of the European Parliament told delegates attending EWEA’s 2013 Annual Event in Vienna that youth unemployment has reached “unprecedented levels.”
But despite the jobs crisis, one sector – wind power – said yesterday that it still needs to hire more than 5,000 workers per year in order to fill a considerable skills shortage in the industry.
“By 2030 there could be a skills gap of 15,000 workers if current hiring levels continue,” Andrew Garrard, Chairman of renewable energy consultancy GL Garrard Hassan, told journalists attending a press conference in Vienna. “We are going to 400 GW [of wind power capacity] by 2030 – and that takes a lot of people,” Henning Kruse from Siemens and Chairman of TPWind, added.
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