More than 175 people are attending today a new edition of the benchmark technical event for the sector, the Wind Farm Operational Analysis conference, which the Wind Energy Business Association (AEE) is holding in Madrid.
The program is divided into 6 technical sessions, in addition to 3 Keynotes, with the main experts and professionals in the wind sector, and analyzing the next solutions for technical improvement, maintenance of wind farms, their operability and efficiency: the extension of useful life; the limits of digitization; cybersecurity; the necessary environmental respect for wind energy; the improvement of the operation in a scenario of substitution of synchronous generation; anticipate a massive repowering from the point of view of disassembly; repowering and circularity; the importance of assembly and subsequent inspections, among other topics. A unique program that reflects the innovation and good health of the wind sector in Spain.
The inauguration of the conference was attended by Juan Diego Díaz Vega, president of AEE, who highlighted that “this situation that we have had to live in conditions, as it cannot be otherwise, the pace of the necessary transition”. We have a PNIEC that sets targets for renewables that, on the one hand, already seem unambitious, and on the other, are a real challenge to be able to meet them. At AEE we have analyzed a new scenario, based on the PNIEC in force and in order to meet the European and national objectives, the wind sector must increase the objective by an additional 13 GW, going from 50.3 GW to 63 GW in 2030. This increase of wind power is necessary if we want to comply with the roadmaps approved by the Government, with the installation of 3 new GW of offshore wind power, 9.5 GW of onshore wind power dedicated to producing green hydrogen, in addition to the 15 GW that will be necessary repower
In his opening speech, Díaz Vega added that the sector is prepared with the necessary tools, already adding more than 30,000 jobs, with a solid and competitive value chain in Spain, which covers 100% of the activity, with more than 250 industrial centers prepared for this workload. But this great opportunity is not exempt from major challenges in order to maintain the existing industrial capacity in our country – and within Europe – within the current situation of extremely high prices for raw materials, logistics, together with aggressive commercial strategies and protectionists from third countries.
“For all these reasons, we need to accelerate the rates so that each year the increase in wind energy is gradual, orderly and we can reach 2030 with the desired energy mix. There are factors that do not depend on us. The Administration at a national and regional level must align itself with the objectives to accelerate the integration of renewable energies, streamline the review and approval of projects, ensuring compliance with all technical and environmental requirements, but reducing project management times as much as possible. possible, improving processes, systems and preparing human teams, under an emergency approach such as the current priority of accelerating the start-up of renewables in our mix”, highlighted the president of AEE.
Priorities and challenges in the sector
This conference will serve to analyze and summarize the challenges facing the wind sector on its growth path:
Prioritization of permits: a critical issue for our energy, economic and industrial resilience. The ability to manage new projects in two years and repowered projects in one must be found, adopting innovative approaches, coordinating powers between the Autonomous Communities and the central government and implementing systems based on the availability of information, transparency and single data.
New auctions: they must be oriented to value and not to price, the access and connection contests – under criteria of efficiency in the use of the networks, and maturity of the projects. We already have a date on the horizon being November 22, 2022 with a minimum wind quota of 1,500 MW. Regarding future design, we hope that it will be focused on the value provided to the final consumer and not on pure price, following the recommendations made by the European Commission. On the other hand, it is necessary to maintain quotas by technology, which are adapted both to the industrial capacity of each technology in the country and to maximizing the efficiency of network use.
More challenges: continue advancing in the development of hybrid farms, the materialization of real renewable H2 projects, the development of the regulation for floating offshore wind power and the calling of the first auction, and, for all of this, the necessary consensus and support society in the territories. From the point of view of access and connection, we have taken adequate steps, but we need to focus and launch a strategy for access contests. We need access contests with a clear and objective methodology, which establishes technological criteria from the point of view of load factor and efficiency of network use.
Repowering is a key issue that is being analyzed at this conference. Of the wind turbines that are installed in Spain, 36% (about 7,500) were installed before 2005 and, therefore, are 15 years old or more. This means that more than 20,000 blades could have to be uninstalled in the coming years. It is important to highlight the upcoming calls for aid for the repowering of wind farms, blade recycling and the circular economy linked to the PERTE for Renewable Energies, Hydrogen and Storage, which constitute a great opportunity to boost the repowering market, as well as for our country to can be a pioneer in the industry of dismantling and recycling of the different components of wind farms.
Floating offshore wind power will also be one of the star topics on this day, but its most complete analysis will take place soon at the I Offshore Wind Congress in Bilbao, on November 22 and 23. Spain has an optimal base to lead the development of floating offshore wind given its current industrial wind energy capacities, its strategic geographical position, its competitiveness, and its research centers.
AEE counts on this day with the support of REOLTEC, the Technological Platform of the Wind Sector, for the identification of program contents. The conference is sponsored by EDP Renewables, Endesa, Greenalia, Hitachi Energy, Iberdrola, Naturgy, Repsol, Siemens Gamesa and Vestas. As collaborators we have Green Eagle Solutions and Schaeffler.