ECN to advise Korea about wind turbines
In October, ECN signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Register of Shipping. ECN agreed to assist this certification authority in testing new types of offshore wind turbines. Nine large Korean companies are currently developing their own wind turbines.
Korean companies such as Samsung Heavy Industries, Hyundai and Doosan anticipate a flourishing market for offshore wind energy. The Korean government aims to install a wind capacity of 2,500 Megawatts in Korean waters in the future. To start with, they will build a wind farm of 100 Megawatts, in which all available types of wind turbines will be tested. The companies that perform best will be allowed to build a second wind farm of 400 Megawatts. In doing so, the very best will make their mark: the wind turbines that can be deployed to realise the remaining 2,000 Megawatts of Korean wind capacity, which are also suitable for export.
In preparation of this race, the new wind turbine prototypes will need to be certified. The safety and performance tests will be conducted by the Korean Register of Shipping. ECN will support the Register with measurements, expertise and software. ECN will also collaborate with the Korean companies that are developing wind turbines. The support will mainly consist of services in the field of R&D, consultancy and trainings. For the time being, these activities will be started up at the ECN office in Beijing. Once the assignment volume grows, an ECN branch in Korea could become an option.
ECN had already built up a good relationship with Jeju National university, but the business contacts in Korea have assumed large proportions after a matchmaking mission, which was organised by NLAgency, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the Embassy in Seoul. “That mission was set up very well and therefore fruitful”, says Theo de Lange, manager of the unit Wind Energy at ECN. “It is very difficult to establish from the Netherlands which persons you should contact. The embassy did a perfect job arranging this for us. Once we found an entrance, there turned out to be a huge interest in our services. I would recommend any Dutch company with international ambitions to collaborate with our embassies.'
ECN is currently busy shaping a consortium with other knowledge institutes such as KEMA and Delft University of Technology to complement each other in answering the need for information among Korean businesses from the Netherlands.