“Turbine mechanics are not so different from cars, just bigger!”

» By | Published 25 Feb 2013 |
Johanna Lehner stands at Windkraft Simonsfeld in Austria

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 »

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Wind farms creating new communities in Holland

» By | Published 19 Feb 2013 |

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As part of a new series in association with Global Wind Day, the EWEA blog is publishing “wind energy stories” from around the world. Today, Robert van Waarden, photographer and wind energy enthusiast travels to Holland to meet a farmer active in community wind power.

“If I only grew potatoes and onions, then I wouldn’t talk with so many people,” says Jaap van der Beek. “You talk so often to these people because we all have the same interest. That interest is to build a big wind park.”

Jaap van der Beek has been harvesting the wind for over 16 years and his 850kw turbine powers hundreds of homes. He lives in North Holland; an area that centuries ago was dominated by wooden windmills. A pilot, farmer and a wind enthusiast, Jaap is a busy man.

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Innovative foundations installed at potential site of large offshore wind farm

» By | Published 19 Feb 2013 |

One of the world’s largest offshore wind farms came a step closer to reality in recent weeks as suction-installed foundations for the project left their Irish shipyard to begin their journey to the site of the Dogger Bank wind farm, 125 kilometres off the UK’s east coast.

The structures, known as bucket foundations, can reduce costs as there is no need for transition piece costs or additional grouting as would be the case for more traditional foundations.

They are literally gigantic steel buckets that will sink solidly into the sea floor using a suction method and jetting systems, as opposed to floating or more conventional monopole, jacket or tripod foundations which are generally tethered to the seabed. –

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Wind power still hiring despite jobs crisis

» By | Published 08 Feb 2013 |
Anni Podimata, VP of European Parliament

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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Welsh economy could receive 2.7 billion euro boost with onshore wind

» By | Published 31 Jan 2013 |

Around 2,000 jobs could be created every year up to 2050 in Wales, and €2.7 billion injected into the Welsh economy, if the Welsh government target for 2,000 MW of onshore wind capacity by 2025 is met, a new report by RenewableUK – an industry body – and the Welsh government claims.

However, if approval rates for onshore wind farms continue at the same pace as they have from 2001-2011, the total contribution to the Welsh economy would fall to €1 billion with only 1,000 jobs created per year.

“Without a significant shift in the consenting rate, and in the overall approach of planning policy in Wales to this sector, we will continue to be held hostage by rising fossil fuel prices and we will fail to meet our renewable energy ambitions with a corresponding missed opportunity to generate livelihoods for more than 2,000 people in Wales,” David Clubb, Director of RenewableUK Cymru, said.

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