Wind power Vestas sends employees into the future

Fifteen years from now the world, and Vestas, will operate under different conditions. Wealthy economies, market expansions, centralized and integrated energy supplies, energy storages and power grids will have changed.

Vestas sent some of their greatest minds on ‘Mission 2025’ to find out how the world and Vestas’ products will look fifteen years from now.

Guided by some of the leading futurologists, scientists and key thinkers from around the world, Vestas-time travellers have drawn up some scenarios of how Vestas may need to adapt to the changing energy business.

Microscopic devices producing energy using airflow. Or, wind turbines combined with other energy sources on floating ‘energy atolls’. These are just two potential future scenarios for how wind power may develop in years to come according to Vestas’ time travellers.

Setting the direction

“Guiding lights and beacons are essential for successful business. Even if some of the ideas from the Mission2025 don’t get implemented as such, they have already spawned inspiration for new innovations,” says René Balle, vice president of Global Technology Innovation.

“We are revising the current Vestas Research roadmap and adjusting it accordingly to address the new requirements. Additionally, an incubator program will be initiated to develop feasibility studies on some of the proposed technology solutions. No doubt, travelling into the future and getting insight on upcoming products helps us define a strong forward-thinking direction for R&D.”

The event was an important first step for Vestas to stay competitive in the long run, explains one of the time-travellers, Power Electronics Engineer Thomas Hjort from Vestas Technology R&D.

“I think it is a great initiative that shows Vestas’ willingness to be an innovative company. The event gave us an opportunity to start building a network, not only in Technology R&D, but across the company so we incorporate different approaches to innovation.”

Innovation creates customer value

A total of four scenarios were drawn up at the Mission2025, ranging from central power plants to local, smaller systems and from wind energy only solutions to power systems that incorporate a number of energy sources.

But why are we looking at solutions that are so different from Vestas’ technology today?

“One part of innovation is developing and optimizing the products we are already selling to customers. However, we also need to look at potential ‘game-changing’ innovation – completely new products to be sold to completely new customers,” says Senior Specialist Dag Hinrichs from Group Marketing and Customer Insight, another Mission2025 time-traveller.

“The event was a good start towards formalizing the way Vestas works with this game-changing innovation – incorporating both the commercial and technological view.”