Wind of change

7 November 2019

On the occasion of the UN Global Climate Action Summit and the Global Climate Strikes, renewable energy became a hot discussion topic among government leaders as well as citizens of countries around the world.

Before I started working as a journalist, I was employed at a crowdfunding platform for renewable energy. At the time (2014) the market was characterised by high volatility and dependence on government policies.

Since then the sector has become less reliant on subsidies and has received considerable private investment. The increased efficiency has resulted in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of some renewable sources being competitive in many markets to conventional power generation sources such as coal and gas.

It is a market in transition; more auctioned capacity is coming online and more players are looking into the commercial benefits. The Global Wind Energy Council found that corporate sourcing and power purchase agreements have grown in volume in 2018, and, according to its chairman, this underlines the appetite of businesses to invest in wind energy.

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 report by the United Nations Environment Programme states that global investment in renewable energy capacity hit $272.9bn in 2018, the fifth successive year renewables capacity investment exceeded $250bn.

As investment was received by the sector, renewable energy technology manufacturers invested further in their product development. The evolution of such technologies can be seen by the new heights reached by wind turbines.

Apart from the change in cranage for wind turbine erection, this size increase has created new special transport requirements from the moment the turbine components leave the factory to the ‘last mile’ move towards the wind farm.

The special transport manufacturers are in close communication with the wind turbine manufacturers in order to develop new products to keep up with the new generations of turbines. As the wind turbine is delivered in parts, different types of equipment are needed to transport it. In this issue, you can find an in-depth analysis of the special transport market for this application.

Having the right equipment only solves part of the challenge of transporting the turbine to the wind farm. Transport service providers sometimes come across poor site infrastructure and planning. In the relevant section of this issue, ESTA president David Collett talks about solutions to these problems and the upcoming ESTA/VDMA Best Practice Guide.

Talking of change, this is my first Editor’s comment after being appointed to this position. At the same time, the team remains unaltered and continues to work hard to deliver news and features about the industry from around the world.

Since its launch in 1973, the magazine has had many talented editors who maintained the high quality of the content. This will be my task now and I hope I will be able to stand up to the expectations of the management. In the meantime, I want to be in touch with as many of you as possible, so feel free to communicate with me about any news concerning your business or feedback, which is always welcome.

Sotiris Kanaris, Editor