Home' Technology Review : May June 2008 Contents S5
WWW. TECHNOLOGYREVIEW. COM/SPAIN/WIND
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Says Elorza, "Wind power is exceeding every expectation. You
plan for a growth of 15 percent and the market grows at 30 percent.
And Gamesa is growing even more quickly than the market itself,
so we are in a very good position."
The engineering company MTorres, which specializes in aero-
nautics, has turned its sights to wind turbines as well. In an attempt
to reduce the weight of larger machines, the company has devel-
oped a new model that operates without a gearbox. "This will
improve the endurance of the wind turbine and ease maintenance,"
says Emilio Martin, sales director of the MTorres wind division.
This technology is also designed to adapt to di erent grid codes,
so the turbines could be used in di erent countries.
In addition, MTorres is capitalizing on its experience with com-
posite materials, which are often used to reduce weight in planes;
turbine blades made from these composites could be much lighter.
Finally, the company is exploring whether a small o shore wind
turbine could be coupled with a desalination plant to provide fresh
water to coastal communities.
The autonomous region of Navarra, home to some of the major
Spanish international wind companies, is also at the forefront of
renewable-energy implementation and research. The region can
at times meet up to 70 percent of its inhabitants' electricity needs
with renewable energy, the largest portion of it coming from wind.
Wind turbines dot the low mountains that extend throughout the
region, a skyline of gracefully rotating white blades.
Navarra is also home to the Center for Renewable Energy
Research (CENER), which opened in 2002 to conduct research
and provide testing and services for client companies. (Though it
focuses on wind power, CENER also investigates biomass, solar
thermal, and photovoltaic power.) Services might include test-
ing blades to assess their field performance, or mapping wind
resources and forecasting. Thirty percent of the funding comes
from national and local government grants; the rest is raised from
services and testing for business clients.
Says CENER director Juan Ormazabal, "We wanted to pro-
vide companies the services that they required. And sometimes
we moved ahead faster than they themselves did, because if we
didn't put ourselves ahead of their needs, we wouldn't be able to
o er value as a research center."
In the spirit of anticipating client needs, in early 2008 CENER
opened the doors to its new wind research center, the largest facil-
ity of its kind in the world. It is equipped to test the performance
of machines up to eight megawatts, which are currently on the
The massive facilities, located about 30 miles outside the Pam-
plona headquarters, allow researchers to test blade fatigue, gear-
box functions, and grid connections. They can simulate conditions
to age the machines the equivalent of 20 years in only six months.
The site also includes outdoor space where companies can test
full turbine assemblies.
At this facility, Gamesa and Ecotécnia partner in the proj-
ect Windlider 2015, which aims to analyze blade performance
and a variety of components for cutting-edge larger machines.
Their goals include cutting the development time for new tur-
bines nearly in half and reducing the energy required to produce
them by 30 percent. By 2009 the companies plan to be testing
Companies don't have on-site facilities to perform this type of
testing or assembly, says CENER business manager Jerónimo
Camacho. "So they have to go to the wind farms, and that can
cause several problems," he says. "The wind farms are very far, and
they're usually not in a very friendly environment. And you need
to set up many components, and you have to wait for the wind.
So the tests can take a lot of time." To help address that problem,
• Total jobs in wind industry at the end of 2007
45,000 • Total companies in wind industry in 2007
• Total capacity by end of 2007
• A record new capacity installed in 2007
• Growth rate 2006--2007
• Total capacity target for 2010
• Contribution to national power supply in 2007
• Peak contribution to Spanish electricity supply
• Equivalent number of households supplied
• Total generation at the end of 2007
Economic Growth - Employment
WIND POWER IN SPAIN
Links Archive March April 2008 July August 2008 Navigation Previous Page Next Page