Powering the future: KAEFER in Spain serves wind energy market

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“Energía Eólica” – that’s Spanish for ‘wind energy’. Spain, the world’s fifth-largest wind energy market, derived 45% of its electricity from renewables in 2022. With nearly 30 GW of installed capacity, wind power is its largest renewable energy source, comprising 1,300 wind farms and over 22,000 turbines, mostly onshore.

Despite its steep coastline, Spain is currently looking to expand its offshore capacity using floating structures. In early 2023, the government approved an Offshore Wind Roadmap, and wind capacity is expected to grow rapidly, with a target of more than 50 gigawatts by 2030, almost doubling current capacity.

As a result, KAEFER in Spain is seeing increased activity from many wind farm project developers and wind turbine manufacturers. Established and well-known KAEFER customers are also active and plan to further expand this business potential. This fits in perfectly with KAEFER’s global strategy of supporting our focus customers in new market segments with our know-how and expertise.

As existing wind farms begin to show their age, corrosion is a common problem caused by UV light, salty air and dynamic loads on components.
It occurs mainly in the joints and transitions between components (welds, bolted joints, flanges) and can cause significant damage and static problems, which in the worst case can affect the life of the turbine.

This damage is difficult to detect from the ground. KAEFER, with its expertise in access and corrosion protection, offers condition audits of wind turbine towers, categorising defects and recommending necessary action.

In collaboration with Corporate Innovation & Technical Excellence and Corporate Operations Excellence – Surface Protection, the Spanish team carried out successful drone tests in 2022.

Advanced drone cameras capture high-resolution close-up images, reducing the need for costly and risky access for inspection.

Wind energy is a new sector for KAEFER in Spain and a challenge for our commercial department. Building a reputation and credibility in this market is essential, although our references are still limited.

Fortunately, we have a strong track record in surface protection projects in other industries, and we can leverage this expertise with knowledge transfer from our Norwegian KAEFER Energy colleagues, who specialise in offshore surface protection projects, among others. This growing market is an exciting opportunity to diversify our business, support sustainability efforts and expand our activities and customer base in Spain.

And we are beginning to see the fruits of our hard work: we have achieved certification on the procurement platforms of numerous operators. And RWE RENEWABLES IBERIA SAU has entrusted us with the surface protection of the towers at six wind farms.

We’re taking small steps at the moment, but our determination is driving us to make substantial progress. We eagerly anticipate the rewards of our efforts in the years ahead.

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