"Delivering Clean Energy to All Europeans"

Luca Bragoli, Head of Institutional Affairs, chaired the panel discussion "Repowering and Lifetime Extension", with panel session participants Antonio Lopez-Nicolas, Deputy Head of Unit - Renewables and CCS - DG ENER, European Commission; Jeppe Lundbæk, Chief Advisor, Danish Energy Agency; Luca Di Carlo, Scientific Secretary, ANEV; Preben Skatvedt, Global Development Manager, Vestas Wind Systems A/S; Uli Suedhoff, Europe Business Development Manager, GE Renewable Energy; and Heikki Willstedt, Director of Energy Policies & Climate Change, AEE (Asociación Empresarial Eólica).

As part of the goals for development abroad envisaged in our Strategic Plan, Bragoli is now working hard on public affairs with national and local institutions in European countries, particularly the UK, France and Germany where ERG has planned on making large investments in the coming years.

The underlying premise of the discussion on Repowering and Lifetime Extension was that a significant share of Europe's wind turbine fleet will come to the end of their projected lifetime within the next 10 to 15 years.

In order to meet Europe's long-term decarbonisation target for 2030 - which involves increasing the share of wind power in the energy mix - these turbines will have to be replaced with new, more technically advanced models that can guarantee better performance and services to support the electric power grid.

The conclusion of the panel discussion was that Repowering is one of the most sustainable solutions to drive the production of green energy because it meets all three of the core dimensions of the sustainability trilemma: social because it usually enjoys better local support than greenfield projects; environmental because it allows the reuse of various components and minimizes land use; and affordability because of its cost efficiency and the significant increase in renewable production.

Despite this, there are technical and regulatory complications concerning Repowering projects: new environmental restrictions have been introduced and the authorisation procedures are long and complex.

For this reason, EU member states are looking for possible solutions and best practices to avoid a contraction in wind power capacity that would put Europe's energy transition at risk. In the light of these obstacles, it was also pointed out that operators must focus increasingly on the involvement and participation of local communities and stakeholders directly in the projects: a task that ERG is vigorously and resolutely pursuing as part of its development projects.
The decarbonisation process in Europe is a major challenge encompassing the entire global energy market and the development of wind energy is the "backbone" of a necessary energy transition. By repowering existing wind farms at the end of their lifetime Italy – like other European countries – has the opportunity to increase wind power, and at the same time limit the use of additional land.

This was one of the key points made by Costantino Deperu, Chief Engineering Development Officer during the panel discussion called "From vision to reality: the road to a wind-based energy system" that was held on 2 April at the WindEurope Conference & Exhibition in Bilbao.

The session was chaired by Mary Quaney, CFO, Mainstream Renewable Power and other panel discussion participants included Rafael Mateo, CEO, Acciona Energía; Julio Castro González, CEO, Iberdrola Renewables Spain; Duarte Bello, COO Europe & Brazil, EDPR; Pål Eitrheim, Executive Vice-President, New Energy Solutions, Equinor; Javier Rodríguez Domínguez, Regulatory Affairs, Endesa. During the discussion, Deperu addressed the theme of opportunities for and obstacles to the development of renewable energy sources, wind in particular.

Infrastructure and markets need to undergo a profound and rapid overhaul to pave the way for a wind-based energy system. Permitting procedures also need to be sped up a lot and regulations need to be simplified to lay the foundations for this fundamental development to achieve the EU 2030 targets for renewable energy sources.

ERG is Italy's leading wind power operator and one of the leaders in Europe. It has decided to adopt a business model based on sustainable development and on the decarbonisation targets, in line with the transition process that the energy system is undergoing across the world. Wind energy has an important part to play as a source of clean energy but also as technology that can create value that spread through the whole system.
Another important discussion table at Wind Europe was attended by a speaker from ERG, Mark Evans, Head of Business Development United Kingdom, who took part in the session entitled "Brexit: what's next?".

Matt Hinde FleishmanHillard, Director and Senior Vice President of Energy moderated the debate which was attended by Hazel Gulliver, Director of Policy and Regulation of Scottish Power Renewables, Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa UK Energy, Luke Clark, Head of External Affairs of RenewableUK and Karl John, Specialist Renewable Energy UK of Department for International Trade (DIT).

Mark Evans, who has been with ERG for about one year, is currently involved in the development of wind projects in Scotland and Northern Ireland as part of the development objectives abroad set out in our Strategic Plan.

During the debate, he explained how the United Kingdom is a crucial market for ERG and for the development of wind energy in general. At this point in history, we must take stock of the situation on Brexit and discuss the next steps, starting from the three most likely alternative scenarios: the possibility that no agreement is reached on Brexit, the extension or revision of the current conditions, or the deal.

In particular, leaving the market and the European standards could make the country energy market lose efficiency and, from a macroeconomic point of view, decrease growth, and have a potential impact on new investments including those in renewables, and on the price of electricity. On the contrary, remaining in Europe would ensure a stable regulatory framework in line with the current one, an efficient way of managing energy flows and also advantages in terms of sustainability.

The UK has always been in favour of an ambitious environmental policy and, by sticking to the EU's RES targets, would confirm this policy in the long term, providing clarity and stability for investors. ERG's projects in Northern Ireland and Scotland contribute to the UK's country targets for renewable energy production.

Luca Bragoli Chair della tavola rotonda "Repowering and Lifetime Extension"

Luca Bragoli Chair della tavola rotonda
Luca Bragoli, Head of Institutional Affairs, chaired the panel discussion "Repowering and Lifetime Extension", with panel session participants Antonio Lopez-Nicolas, Deputy Head of Unit - Renewables and CCS - DG ENER, European Commission; Jeppe Lundbæk, Chief Advisor, Danish Energy Agency; Luca Di Carlo, Scientific Secretary, ANEV; Preben Skatvedt, Global Development Manager, Vestas Wind Systems A/S; Uli Suedhoff, Europe Business Development Manager, GE Renewable Energy; and Heikki Willstedt, Director of Energy Policies & Climate Change, AEE (Asociación Empresarial Eólica).

As part of the goals for development abroad envisaged in our Strategic Plan, Bragoli is now working hard on public affairs with national and local institutions in European countries, particularly the UK, France and Germany where ERG has planned on making large investments in the coming years.

The underlying premise of the discussion on Repowering and Lifetime Extension was that a significant share of Europe's wind turbine fleet will come to the end of their projected lifetime within the next 10 to 15 years.

In order to meet Europe's long-term decarbonisation target for 2030 - which involves increasing the share of wind power in the energy mix - these turbines will have to be replaced with new, more technically advanced models that can guarantee better performance and services to support the electric power grid.

The conclusion of the panel discussion was that Repowering is one of the most sustainable solutions to drive the production of green energy because it meets all three of the core dimensions of the sustainability trilemma: social because it usually enjoys better local support than greenfield projects; environmental because it allows the reuse of various components and minimizes land use; and affordability because of its cost efficiency and the significant increase in renewable production.

Despite this, there are technical and regulatory complications concerning Repowering projects: new environmental restrictions have been introduced and the authorisation procedures are long and complex.

For this reason, EU member states are looking for possible solutions and best practices to avoid a contraction in wind power capacity that would put Europe's energy transition at risk. In the light of these obstacles, it was also pointed out that operators must focus increasingly on the involvement and participation of local communities and stakeholders directly in the projects: a task that ERG is vigorously and resolutely pursuing as part of its development projects.