ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | June 2020

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Harvesting energy from wind

Challenges as wind turbine producers aim to meet demand for more powerful generators

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In late 2019, the European Union unveiled its ‘Green Deal’ – a roadmap of actions which will help to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean and circular economy. Increasing the availability of renewable energy – and wind in particular – is a cornerstone of the Green Deal and will see wind energy account for at least half of Europe’s electricity needs by 2050. Meeting this demand will require Europe to install over twice as much new wind energy each year as it managed in 2019. Achieving that target will require significant efforts from electrical steel producers, and manufacturers of wind power generators such as ArcelorMittal customer, Indar Wind Energy.

Europe needs to dramatically increase wind power capacity to meet rising demand

One of the key challenges for Indar is the rapid development of new technologies and specifications for wind turbines. “Just five years ago, the design for a wind energy generator would have been used for 8 to 10 years,” explains Xabier Irure, global commercial director for Indar. “Today, three to five years is the life expectancy of a design. Within that time, an improved design will be launched. That implies more product validations, shorter time-to-market, and more complexity.”

Electrical steels are the core component in wind turbine generators. “That means electrical steel manufacturers such as ArcelorMittal are subject to the same market demands in terms of growth and competition as the rest of the supply chain,” notes Xabier Irure. “Electrical steel suppliers need to meet these challenges if they are to help the wind energy industry to stay ahead in the game.”

“Development of the electrical steels we need requires an R&D team with a high level of technical skill and an organisation which can produce them,” notes Xabier Irure. “These are some of ArcelorMittal’s main strengths. That’s why ArcelorMittal has been on Indar’s supplier panel for many years as one of our main sources of NGO steels.”

Indar Wind Energy generators can be used in both onshore and offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbine towers are increasing in height to harvest more energy from the wind

Xabier Irure,
global commercial director for Indar
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