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Issue 20, November 2011
bulletWind Energy - Powering Germany's Future
bulletBavarian Village Produces Energy in Surplus of 221%
bulletInnovation: BreezeBreaker - Micro Wind Turbines for Private Homes
bulletFrom the Industry for the Industry: BZEE Closes the Skills Gap in Wind Energy Training
bulletCompetence Center for Rotor Blade Testing at Fraunhofer IWES
bulletInterview: Herrmann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association
article1Wind Energy - Powering Germany's Future
Wind farms, both onshore and offshore, are shaping Germany's landscape. By mid-2011, 21,983 onshore wind turbines had already been installed, and over 60 offshore wind park projects are currently in development. Wind energy is a key driver in Germany's future off-grid energy mix and is projected to contribute 25% of Germany's domestic electricity production by 2025.
With a total installed wind energy capacity of 27,215 MW in 2010, Germany serves as Europe's primary wind market, representing around 32% of total installed capacity in Europe and 14% of global installed capacity, according to Germany Trade & Invest. On a global scale, Germany ranks third in wind energy development behind China and the U.S.
As an industry that employs 100,000 people and powers 6.2% of Germany's renewable energy consumption, wind energy is a growing field with a lot of untapped research and development potential. ForWind, the joint Center for Wind Energy Research of the Universities of Oldenburg, Hannover and Bremen, for example, conducts fundamental research in wind energy, providing independent scientific cooperation in industry-oriented projects and organizing the education, and further education, of future experts. The BZEE Education Center for Renewable Energies, as another example, is a leader in vocational training for the wind energy sector. Headquartered in wind-heavy Schleswig-Holstein, BZEE trains wind turbine technicians in Canada, France, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S.

article2Bavarian Village Produces Energy in Surplus of 221%
Wildpoldsried, a Bavarian village near Kempten, produces 221% more energy than its 2,500 residents need. By selling that excess energy to the national grid, the village generates EUR 4 million in additional revenue annually, which it uses to maintain its energy production system.
This is a remarkable accomplishment for a small farming community that established and maintains its renewable energy infrastructure primarily with the help of local entrepreneurs and pioneers. The first two windmills were installed in 2000, three additional windmills were added by 2008, and two more will follow next year.
Wildpoldsried, which is located in the Bavarian Oberallgäu region, transformed into a green community in 1999. Since then, the small community has received numerous awards for its climate protection initiatives. Today, the village prides itself on its 190 private households and nine new community buildings equipped with solar panels, a district heating network, three small hydro power plants, and a natural wastewater system. Of these alternative energy sources, wind power contributes to more than 50% of the energy output.
This year, Wildpoldsried extended its pioneering role in the implementation of sustainable energy practices by participating in the smart grid testing scenario IRENE (Integration of Renewable Energies and Electric Mobility). For more information (in German only), click here.

article3Innovation: BreezeBreaker - Micro Wind Turbines for Private Homes
It is now possible to reduce your electricity bill by installing a micro wind turbine onto your roof. In August 2011, FuSystems, a German wind turbine producer, launched  the BreezeBreaker, which enables individuals to generate their own energy. One of the first micro wind turbines to launch in the German market, BreezeBreaker 800 is 90% stainless steel and the kit includes an 800 Watt-sized power plant as well as a 12,9 kg-generator that is protected against water, dust, sand, and UV rays. The two-bladed rotor is made from a light sheet of aluminum which provides the same functionality as a glass fiber reinforced plastic / carbon fiber reinforced plastic blade due to a patented "knicking technique" that allows FuSystems to knick the wing profile from a single sheet of metal. To prevent reflection from the sun and the "disco effect," the wind turbine rotor has also been coated with a special kind of enamel. The turbine is designed in Germany and built in the U.S. by the Windstream Corporation in North Ferrisburg, Vermont, and in Germany by Kierey Metal Structures in Hannover, Lower Saxony. The BreezeBreaker has been tested at various German sites for more than two years and is expected to work for 25 years without any technical service. The estimated return on investment is eight to fourteen years, depending on the region where the turbine was installed. For more information, click here.

article4From the Industry for the Industry: BZEE Closes the Skills Gap in Wind Energy Training
As a leader in vocational training for the wind energy sector, the BZEE Education Center for Renewable Energies (BZEE - Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien) has developed and implemented customized qualification programs for the service, maintenance, and repair of wind turbines. Over the past 10 years, more than 1,400 wind turbine technicians have received BZEE training in Germany and abroad. On an international level, BZEE-certified training courses are offered at technical colleges in Canada, France, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S.
Many of the BZEE-certified training courses have become the industry standard and exceed legal requirements to ensure the highest levels of occupational safety for its trained technicians. In addition to compulsory safety and rescue training conducted on real wind turbines, BZEE also provides a range of qualification courses tailored to wind turbine technology, including areas such as electrical engineering, mechanics, hydraulics, rotor blade repair, fire protection, driver safety training, environmental protection, and hazardous substances.
The BZEE was founded in 2000 by the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Flensburg, and numerous wind energy companies. Its members include many of the world's leading wind energy organizations and companies, such as Vestas, Siemens, Nordex, GE, Repower, and Gamesa. One of BZEE's current areas of focus is offshore wind energy. For more information, click here.

Fraunhofer IWES
article5Competence Center for Rotor Blade Testing at Fraunhofer IWES
The rotor blades of wind turbines are large, complex, and highly stressed structures with diameters of up to 90 meters. As wind turbines increase in size, so will the rotor blades, which are projected to reach 180 diameters in the near future.
A unique testing facility for rotor blades with 90-meter-diameters has been in operation at the Fraunhofer IWES (Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy System and Energy System Technology) in Bremerhaven, Germany, since June 2011. At this large-scale testing laboratory, the Rotor Blades Competence Center, researchers predict full-scale performance efficiency for the rotor blades' 20-year-lifespan. One fast and energy-efficient testing method, the fatigue test, involves cyclic loading at an eigenfrequency of the rotor blade, which provides an ideal load distribution along the blade. Within a few months, through measurement and frequency analyses, the rotor blade eigenfrequencies can be determined. To assess real-life stress factors and environmental effects, Fraunhofer IWES also conducts rotor blade testing in a climate chamber, where temperature changes, humidity and UV light levels, as well as salt content can be simulated. For more information, please click here.

Herrmann Albers
article6Interview: Herrmann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association
The German Wind Energy Association (BWE - Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.) is one of the largest renewable energy associations in the world, with about 20,000 members. Its members include wind turbine manufacturers, operators and their shareholders, planning offices, financiers, scientists, engineers, technicians, and lawyers, making the BWE a premium discussion partner for politics, commerce, science, and the media.
Herrmann Albers has been the President of the BWE since 2007. He also serves as Vice President of the German Renewable Energy Association. Born in 1960 in Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, Albers already planned his first wind farm in 1989. Around the same time, he became an active member of one of the first German wind energy associations, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Windergie. When the BWE was founded in 1996, Albers first became a board member and then in 1998, Vice President. Albers, who helped found the BZEE Education Center for Renewable Energies (BZEE - Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien), also manages several community windfarms.
In this GCRI Interview, he explains why wind energy is considered Germany's most important source of clean energy and its potential in terms of export, innovation, and job creation. To read the interview, click here.