A visit to Germany’s leading wind turbine manufacturer was on the agenda for Germany’s federal minister for economic affairs, Robert Habeck, at the end of August. The company in question, Flender, equips one-third of the world’s turbines with its drive components, contributing significantly to the global transition to green energy. The visit was a response to an invitation extended to Habeck at the Hannover Messe trade fair and brought him to the town of Voerde to see the manufacturing process for himself.
On average, three or four turbine gearboxes leave the plant every day bound for both onshore and offshore wind farms. In the case of the offshore giants, the gearboxes made in Voerde currently reach power classes of up to ten megawatts, are several meters high and weigh up to 100 tonnes. “I’m learning a lot here. These technologies are pivotal to reaching our energy transition targets and they are a masterpiece of engineering,” Habeck says.
The focus during the Flender visit was on wind energy, but CEO Andreas Evertz felt it was important to give the minister and his team an additional message to take with them – without industrial production and raw material extraction, there will be no transition to clean energy. Wind turbines need cement, steel and composite materials, which in turn need to be provided by traditional industries.