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Wind energy roundtable

PES is proud to present this, our inaugural wind energy roundtable interview, which will become a regular fixture in the magazine. To kick things off, we’re proud to introduce five of the sector’s biggest names, who have debated the issues of the day.


Dr Andrew Garrad, GL Garrad Hassan

Mr. Daniel Hope, Global Business Development Manager for Renewable Energy, SGS (Hamburg, Germany)

Kurt E. Thomsen, CEO, Advanced Offshore Solutions Aps

Bruce Hamilton, Director, Energy, Navigant Consulting, Inc., (US)

Bruce Douglas, COO, EWEA

PES: Can you discuss the outlook for the wind energy industry and how it will impact on your organisation in the future?
Dr Andrew Garrad: Within the last twenty years, wind energy has been transformed from an eccentric and emerging fuel source into a mature and booming global business. Modern wind turbines are now the world’s largest rotating machines and have dramatically improved in both efficiency and reliability even in the last ten years. The mantra of the industry has been “bigger and bigger” and now it is “better and better”. In recent years, partly due to the economic situation, we have seen a major shift towards utilities and away from private developers. The strong growth of the renewable energy sector demands a comprehensive range of services for manufacturers, operators, contractors, investors and insurers of wind energy projects.

GL Garrad Hassan is the world’s largest renewable energy consultancy. It offers independent technical and engineering services, products, and training courses to the onshore and offshore wind, wave, tidal and solar sectors. We are born of the integration of five separate specialist companies that, united under a single brand, form the renewable energy consulting division of the GL Group. The growth and maturing of the industry calls for an engineering consultancy with equivalent dimensions and aspirations and that is GL Garrad Hassan.

We have very clear expansion plans for all the renewables and we shall use the GL Group network of offices to achieve these plans. It is our policy to have an engineering presence in every country where there is significant renewable energy activity – 22 countries at present – and I expect to be in 26 by this time next year. In addition, GL Renewables Certification, the certification body which is also part of GL Group, is continuing to lead the certification community around the world. Their business is separated in terms of daily work and legal structure from the GL Garrad Hassan consulting business but we are all part of the same family and our base knowledge is vast.

Daniel Hope: The outlook for the wind industry globally is excellent. The large increase in manufacturers coming from the Far East and Asia is making the turbine market more competitive, while growing concern for climate change is spurring governments all over the globe to review their energy policies and begin considering renewable energy sources to achieve greater energy independence. Additionally, disasters such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are opening the eyes of the public to the risks of a fossil fuel-based economy and prompting governments to take action to promote renewables.
Notwithstanding these positive trends, the lack of experienced personnel available within the wind industry is proving to be a tremendous hindrance to the industry. With this in mind SGS has developed its renewable energy services with a focus on filling this void. Developing teams in the UK, Germany, Spain, India and China has allowed us to maintain our global presence and still deliver locally.


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