WindEnergy Hamburg Opens To Great Fanfare

On Monday evening at Hamburg City Hall, the organizers of WindEnergy Hamburg officially opened the doors to their expo, marking the first time that the wind show, formerly knows as Husum Wind, will take place in the city of Hamburg.

German dignitaries including the Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, and the Prime Minister of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, Torsten Albig, both spoke at the event along with the President and CEO of the Hamburg Messe, Bernd Auferheide, and Congress and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice-Chancellor of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel.

Husum Wind had been the premier wind energy event since the early days of wind power in Germany but its fate was called into question when Hamburg announced that it would begin hosting a wind power show beginning in 2014. Last year the two organizations reached an agreement whereby Hamburg would host a bi-annual international wind energy trade fair in even years and Husum would host a biannual wind energy event focused on the German wind energy market on the odd years.

Since Monday kicked off the first Hamburg event, there was much fanfare surrounding it. During the opening event at the Senate reception, many of the speakers talked about the recent reforms to the EEG, Germany’s renewable energy law, which set a course for how renewables will continue to grow in Germany.  The reforms set limits around the amount of onshore wind and biomass capacity that could qualify for subsidies and lowered the targets for solar and offshore wind. While the German government is proud of the achievements it has made in advancing renewable energy in the country, it acknowledges that the sector must be kept in check. Gabriel praised the progress of the energiwende but emphasized the importance of installing renewable energy capacity at competitive prices and ensuring a consistent supply of power.

Hamburg is an important city for the wind industry in Germany. According to Hamburg Marketing, which hosted a press tour that included RenewableEnergyWorld.com, more than 25,000 people are employed in the renewable energy industry in the region around Hamburg.  In addition, wind industry jobs in that region are growing fast — between 2008 to 2012 the number of jobs in renewable industry rose by 56 percent. The most important contribution to this development within the Hamburg metropolitan region was made by wind energy.

The city of Hamburg is also home to the headquarters of some very large wind companies including DONG Energy, Nordex, Senvion and Siemens.

The Hamburg Metropolitan Region, with Europe’s second largest container port in Hamburg and a strong maritime economy, also offers an excellent setting for the offshore wind industry. WindEnergy Hamburg attracts companies that have solutions targeted at the offshore wind industry, including exhibitors from the ship building industry.

Vice Chancellor Gabriel said that WindEnergy Hamburg’s focus on being an international show is an important one.  “We want to find international imitators,” said Gabriel.  He wants other countries to set forth their own Energiewende. “It will only be a success if we can find imitators,” he said.

WindEnergy Hamburg runs until September 26, 2014. 

Lead image: (Left) Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Vice-Chancellor of Germany walks with (Right) Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress. Credit: Michael Zapf.

Below: Nordex’s 64.4-meter blade in front of the exhibition site. The blade is from an N131/3000 onshore turbine and it was transported to Hamburg and through its streets during the night, and installed on a special adaptor. This adaptor is designed to raise the gigantic rotor blade to an inclination angle of up to 70°, for better maneuvering when passing through urban areas or difficult terrain. The N131/3000 turbine has a rated capacity of 3 MW, a 25 percent increase over Nordex’s previous model, and boasts a 131-meter swept area.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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