Committees and their functions


Committees and their functions

Wind Energy Systems steering committee
The steering committee for wind energy plants of VDMA Power Systems defines the strategy, the work program and the positions of the manufacturers of wind energy systems. Specific issues are discussed in the working groups and in ad-hoc committees.

Offshore Wind Energy steering committee
Manufacturers of offshore wind energy plants, foundation and grid technology are active in the Offshore Wind Energy steering committee. The steering committee is focused on representing the interests of the manufacturers regarding the further development of framework conditions for offshore wind energy tenders, cost reduction and the speeding up of offshore grid connections, the assertion of options for testing offshore wind energy systems, foundation and grid technology and the exchange with plant operators.

The VDMA coordinates the interests of the offshore wind industry in the preparation and implementation of National Maritime Conferences. The VDMA also coordinates the manufacturers regarding statements and consultations on topics such as the Offshore Grid Development Plan (O-GDP) or the BSH Standard Design. The VDMA continues to support the Foundation Offshore Wind Energy (SOW) through active participation on the board of trustees, in committees, projects and joint studies, such as the analysis of cost reduction and the speeding up of offshore wind energy grid connections by Fichtner. Regarding positioning for tenders, the steering committee takes on an intermediary role between heterogeneous operators in the Offshore Wind Energy working group.

Energy Policies working group
Currently, contributing to shaping energy policies in Germany and Europe is the core issue for the manufacturers of wind energy plants. The focus is placed on the change of systems from fixed price tariffs to a competitive tender process laid out in the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) 2014 and implemented in the EEG 2016 as well as on the opening of tenders for onshore and offshore wind energy plants for companies from European partner countries. The VDMA Power Systems' Energy Policies working group of wind energy plant manufacturers supports the work of its EEG tenders project group in technology-specific issues, contrasting them with the positions of major customers in conference calls and discussions with operators of onshore and offshore wind energy plants. The positions of wind energy plant manufacturers are incorporated in VDMA Power Systems' statements and are represented in political discussions with the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), state governments and members of parliament.

Grids working group
The Grids working group deals with issues of integrating wind energy into the grid infrastructure with a focus on grid connection conditions in Germany and Europe. The aim is to harmonize technological requirements for wind energy plants and detection methods in a fair participation process with appropriate transitional periods and in close coordination with manufacturers of wind energy plants. The Grids working group supports studies on grid connection, grid optimization and grid expansion and intensifies the dialog with grid operators and the representatives of their interests on grid connection and grid integration of wind energy plants. The Grids working group of the manufacturers of wind energy plants will be continued as part of the cross-technology Grids working group for technology-related issues. Information on the working group can be found on the association's page on grids.

The Innovation working group was formed in 2015 and is the committee responsible for all issues regarding research and innovation for wind energy plants in the association. Responsible decision-makers from the technological departments of the respective companies represent the manufacturers of wind energy plants in this committee. Apart from developing and expanding the working group, the activities are also focused on defining and discussing the sector's research priorities as well as their communication to the relevant authority for research funding at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Furthermore the working group is involved in the Forschungsnetzwerk Erneuerbare Energien (research network for renewable energies) in the BMWi and has had high-ranking representatives there since its foundation at the beginning of April, 2016. Since early 2016, specific project topics have been developed consistently in the Innovation working group for implementation as research projects eligible for financial support and which comply with the defined priorities and provide significant benefit to the sector.

International Affairs working group
The International Affairs working group focuses on coordinating the interests of wind energy plant manufacturers in the European wind energy association Wind Europe. The VDMA actively supported the European Wind Energy Association EWEA's restructuring from a non-government organization to the Wind Europe industrial association and pushed through the broad representation of wind energy plant manufacturers. On the 25-person board, three organizations represent the numerous national associations. Together with the Danish association DWI and the Polish association PWEA, VDMA Power Systems concentrates on actively including the manufacturers' interests in the Wind Europe working groups Stable Framework Conditions and Offshore Wind Industry as well as in the national associations. The Manufacturers' Technical Network, implemented by the VDMA, was integrated into the task force of the national associations, and the Trade task force, which was co-initiated by the VDMA, was constituted as part of the Stable Framework working group. Organizations active in Europe, which address safety issues, such as the VDMA Wind Industry Safety Culture working group, are coordinated in the Wind Europe Health & Safety working group.

Furthermore, VDMA Power Systems coordinates the interests of manufacturers of wind energy plants and core components in flanking export measures as part of the export initiative for energy and various bilateral energy partnerships of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs with Turkey or India or as part of the cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ) and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) on wind energy in developing and emerging countries. In addition, VDMA Power Systems is involved in the board of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) together with the VDMA Wind Industry working group. Based on the results of a member survey on export flanking and the resulting new export strategy of VDMA Power Systems, the International Affairs working group of manufacturers of wind energy plants will be repositioned and reoriented.

Market Monitoring working group                                                                                                                                              Twice a year, global market trends are analyzed and discussed by the Market Monitoring working group of wind energy plant manufacturers. Manufacturers of wind energy plants and core components are polled on market development and trends in the wind industry in internal surveys. Subsequent meetings focus on the developments in countries surrounding Europe as well as on Asian and Latin American markets. The exchange is continued in an extended circle which includes further suppliers of large components.

Safety Culture working group
The English-speaking Wind Industry Safety Culture working group meets every two to three months and was extended to include further manufacturers of wind energy plants. Practitioners of installation and service for wind energy plants are brought together with safety experts in order to secure an ongoing exchange and establish a joint safety culture on construction sites and for maintenance. Contractors are invited to every other meeting. The working group closely collaborates with the Global Wind Organisation and the newly established Health and Safety working group of Wind Europe on topics such as electric safety, safe civil works, working at two levels and safety leadership.

Public relations
The semi-annual presentation of figures on market development in Germany differentiates between onshore and offshore wind energy. Since 2015, an annual press conference on offshore wind energy is held together with the BWE, Foundation Offshore Wind Energy (SOW) and the Offshore Wind Industrie Allianz (OWIA) at the start of the new year in addition to the semi-annual press conference with the BWE on wind energy in Germany. The VDMA's positions on the transition to alternative energies are also introduced during press conferences, such as those accompanying the WindEnergy Hamburg and the Hannover Messe trade fairs. In addition to that, targeted articles and interviews on the subject are published in the trade and business press.

Trade fairs
VDMA Power Systems supports trade fair advisors in Germany and Europe. The trade fair concept is being further optimized together with manufacturers and suppliers of wind energy plants. A cooperation with the trade fair associations in Hamburg and Husum exists for organizing the world's leading exposition WindEnergy together with the Wind Europe summit in even years and the regional leading exposition Husum Wind in odd years.