Wind Energy Update: Round Up and Key Insight from the European Wind O&M Forum, Hamburg

The 6th Annual O&M Forum in Hamburg was attended by major operators of wind farms including AKUO Energy, Axpo Power, DONG Energy, EDP Renewables, EnBW, Energie, E.ON, ESP, GDF Suez, juwi, Mainstream Renewable Power, RWE Innogy, Scottish Power Renewables, Scottish & Southern Energy, Statkraft, and Vattenfall, who weighed in on critical discussions regarding cost reduction and increasing asset lifetime amongst others.

There were a number of key themes that emerged from the meeting including the need for more effective data management, the attitude towards remote monitoring, consolidation and optimisation of the industry, creating a local supply chain and bridging the gap between operations and investors.

Axpo Power, one of the first speakers to take the stage, stated that effective asset management is critical. Pooling information and resources, user groups working together, getting developers to strengthen their O&M strategy and making information flow are all aspects that need to be improved to drive the industry forwards. The wind industry has a fragmented nature, and it is clear that wind farms need to pool together in order to insource capabilities and services to reduce costs. If there are fewer vendors per wind farm then there are less technologies to maintain, making spare parts easier to source and allocate and making data more consistent across one farm.

Creating a local service market with capabilities for major component supply, engineering repairs and technical expertise, which can all be sourced locally, will spread the risk and cost associated with O&M. It also instils a level of confidence that will transpire throughout the supply chain and add to more efficient asset management and asset lifetime reliability. Evidently supply chain management is a theme that runs deep in the wind industry