Offshore wind industry expands quickly

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013

Offshore wind industry expands quickly

“If you want to do wind on a big scale with power plants based on wind, you need to go offshore,” said Michael Hannibal, chief of offshore wind business at Siemens, the German wind giant.

The appeal for countries with such access is simple: The sea has the advantage of constant breezes, as well as much cheaper real estate, compared with onshore.

According to Siemens, about 3.3 gigawatts of offshore installations are connected to Europe’s power grid. The company expects the global market to grow during the next few years.

In order to meet the expected demand, Siemens — which offers long-term maintenance contracts — is training 2,500 workers annually to staff and maintain such farms.

Ralph Kn√∂dler, a Siemens trainer, noted that the wind industry is getting “bigger and bigger.”

“We have to keep hiring,” he said (Stanley Reed, New York Times, Aug. 21). — JE