The key bit to the energy transition is the data and the value of data increases when it is shared, said Tim Naylor, Head of Envision Energy’s Digital business, Mid October at InnoEnergy’s TBB (The Business Booster) conference in Copenhagen.


“Data is the new oil. The main difference is that the value of data increases when you share and collaborate. Data kept to yourself is a waste,” said Naylor, who thinks that Europe can lead in this respect by forming a wind data record.

Jorge Martinez, Vice President of Market Development at Sentient Science, agreed. “If you just keep data to yourself you are not being efficient,” he said, noting that there are ways of sharing the data without sharing an IP address.

“The amount of data we have on our computers is amazing,” said Kasper Roed Jensen, Vice President Ideation and Partnering at Vestas. He mentioned that the top companies in the U.S. are digital companies, whilst in Denmark they are very old companies. According to Jensen, digital transformation is crucial not only to maintain Vestas’ position on the market, but also for renewables to penetrate event more on the market.

“In the wind industry, the most interesting areas are data security, predictive analytics and predictive maintenance,” said Ulrich Seitz, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures GmbH, a corporate venture capital firm focusing on digital energy solutions, storage and e-mobility.




Photo: Alenka Žumbar

Importance of digitalisation for wind

Digitalisation does two important things for wind. One is that it helps solve the challenge of system integration and “gives us data about the likely imminent performance of every wind turbine and its parts”, said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope.

The second way in which digitalisation helps the wind industry is by enabling it to reduce the costs (of operation and maintenance – as the industry can move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance, it can also take better informed decisions about lifetime extensions) and increase the revenues (overdesign can be minimalised, and supply chain can be made even leaner), said Dickson.

As two big challenges in the wind industry Dickson mentioned cyber security and the issue of “who owns all this data” (the people who manufactured the equipment or wind park operators).