A valuable renewable energy ecosystem
Synergies with other companies and research institutions in the region are very important for the company, notes Molenaar. He gives an example. “Traditionally, turbines were designed in parts – the monopile, the transition piece, the nacelle, the blades. We made an integral design of the entire turbine which uses a lot less steel. We could not have done this without collaboration with TU Delft and other research institutions and companies. As a result, we are now the only company in the world to deliver a certified ice load design. That’s the advantage of being in this region. Here is where it all comes together.”
“Wind energy is broader than just the turbine. What matters is the entire chain, including energy policies. That’s one of the reasons that The Hague is an ideal location for Siemens Gamesa, as well as the proximity to other colleagues from the Siemens group, who, for example, work on hydrogen.”
Molenaar says Dutch energy policy has worked out very well for the wind industry. “We managed to convince the government to make a Masterplan for the North Sea, to take into account future developments when granting permits. We now get permits that allow us to respond to new developments, as long as we meet general nature and environmental legislation.” Siemens Gamesa is very happy to be located in The Hague, say Molenaar and Kuilboer. “For us, this is a very good location. It has excellent public transport connections and is close to Schiphol airport. That’s been of great benefit to us.” Molenaar stresses that it is very important for the wind industry to have strong roots in the local and regional economy. “As a sector, we still have to fight established interests. The fact that we generate a lot of jobs creates public support”.