A few days ago, we attended the Wind Energy fair in Hamburg to show the great potential of Asturias in the value chain associated with the development of wind energy. A sector that will be key to the transformation of the productive model of our region.
Its geostrategic location for the settlement of companies linked to this sector or the power and capabilities of industry and advanced services associated with wind energy production activities are among the strengths and competitive advantages of Asturias.
Eleven Asturian companies attended Wind Energy as expert suppliers of equipment and components in this area, nine at the stand of the Trade Promotion Agency of the Principality of Asturias (ASTUREX):
Asturfeito, Duro Felguera, IDONIAL Centro Tecnológico, IDESA, Isastur, KLK Electromateriales, Mecainsa, Mecanizados CAS and Oxiplant.
As part of Asturian delegation, Gondán Shipbuilders and Windar Renewables had their own exhibition spaces.
Asturias explores offshore wind collaborations with Brandenburg and Scotland
During the Wind Energy fair we met Hendrik Fischer, State Secretary for Energy of the Brandenburg Ministry of Economy, Labour and Energy.
We talked mainly about the needs of this German federal state that could be met by companies from Asturias. Brandenburg has had the fastest development of wind energy in Germany, with 4,000 wind turbines currently installed, totalling 7,700 MW.
Enrique Fernández, Regional Minister of Industry, Employment, and Economic Promotion, undertook to deepen the contact established between the two territories to promote the supply of products and services of Asturian companies, as well as to attract new projects to Asturias.
We also held a meeting with Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism, and Enterprise of the Scottish Government. With Minister McKee, we shared our views on green hydrogen and onshore and offshore wind energy, which are key for both territories.
Our agenda also included meetings with relevant companies in the sector, such as the Canadian company Northland Power, the Danish company Vestas, the German companies Liebherr and Enercon and the Spanish-German company Siemens Gamesa.
We also met with Mario Buisán García and Pilar Muñoz, from the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office in Berlin, and with the Association of Metal Industries and Associated Technologies of Galicia (Asime).
Asturias’ attractiveness for wind energy investment
At the Wind Energy fair in Hamburg we showed why Asturias is an attractive place for investment in activities related to the wind energy sector. Among the strengths of our territory are:
- Geostrategic location.
- Power and capabilities of the industry and advanced services associated with wind energy production activities: manufacture of support vessels for offshore wind farms, manufacture of structures and components for wind farms, engineering companies with the capacity to design and develop on and offshore wind farms and offer technological solutions in structural integrity. The Asturian companies participating in the Fair are a good example of these strengths.
- Attractive industrial environment for potential investors.
- Technology centres supporting R&D activities.
- Port infrastructures for the transport of wind turbine structures (very bulky and heavy).
- Extensive network of industrial areas in which to set up.
- Industrial culture that distinguishes Asturian workers.
All these factors represent a great competitive advantage for Asturias compared to other European regions in terms of attracting investment in activities linked to wind energy production.
Six reasons to promote offshore wind energy in Asturias
The Regional Minister lists six reasons for the installation of offshore wind farms in Asturias:
- To contribute to achieving the objectives set in the energy transition process.
- To maintain the security and quality of supply and compensate for the closures of thermal power stations.
- Without coal, the only abundant energy resource in Asturias is wind.
- For the expected increase in economic activity, considering not only the energy sector.
- Because of the net generation of employment, in order to compensate for the workforce lost due to the dismantling of the regional coal chain.
- Because it offers Asturian companies an opportunity to access or consolidate their position in a market with enormous potential for development in the coming years.
A commitment to sustainable offshore wind projects that coexist with fishing in Asturias
The Government of Asturias bets on the development of sustainable offshore wind projects that coexist with current uses, such as fishing activity.
The Regional Government has already submitted a limited zoning proposal for offshore wind energy to the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition.
The objective of the regional authorities is to have 0.7 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power installed in Asturias in the coming years, with offshore wind turbines and in two limited areas: off Gijón and on the West coast.
Regional minister Enrique Fernández considers that offshore wind farms represent an “opportunity for the future” for companies and will help to create more sustainable value chains.
A thousand jobs in Asturias depend on offshore wind energy
One thousand jobs in Asturias depend on offshore wind and 50% more are expected. Another 2,000 are also linked to the sector, in addition to ArcelorMittal, that supplies sheet metal for the manufacture of wind power plants.
The land for the expansion of the Port of Gijón El Musel and the Logistics and Industrial Activities Zone (ZALIA), with a direct train connection to the port, are two of Asturias’ great assets in the energy wind sector.