Wind power is big brother

The world’s most powerful wind turbine boss was in North Jutland to encourage the region to fight even harder for a position on the international wind turbine industry stage.

Claus+Peter(komp)

“Wind energy is and will remain the big brother of sustainable energy in the future”, was the resounding message from Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel.

He spoke at Nordkraft in Aalborg, where the law firm Hjulmand & Kaptain celebrated its 10-year anniversary on 1 October with the conference “North Jutland in a globalised world”.

Ditlev Engel argued persuasively that the wind turbines are now the most important brick in sustainable energy.

“The Climate Commission has just issued their report, and here wind energy’s position was etched in stone. We have high five in this area. Wind power is competitive. Other benefits are independence, predictability and speed. Wind power is quick and easy to install. Plus it is clean and entirely CO2-free”.

Ditlev Engel explained why Vestas has in recent years chosen to publish its financial statements in New York or London.

“By appearing in the U.S., I am able to reach nearly a half billion viewers. Today, the Vestas name is mentioned 58 times out of 100 when wind is discussed around the world”.

That global promotion, however, did not have a direct link to Northern Denmark. It was not a speech with promises of jobs and golden days for the wind turbine industry’s North Jutland subcontractors.

“We are not competing for the local championship, or the North Jutland or national championships, for that matter. We are on the global market. Over 99 % of our market is outside of Denmark. It is harder to be active abroad, of course, but it makes us sharp. Abroad, it all goes very fast. Take China, for example. We are no longer the only ones with the idea; we are now up against forces the likes of which we have never seen”.

Fight hard

Ditlev Engel mentioned Vestas’ cooperation with Aalborg University, but otherwise there wasn’t much said about the North Jutland wind turbine industry, apart from his encouragement to keep fighting.

“I know that Jutlanders are strong and tenacious – particularly here in North Jutland. There is a hard battle to be fought. Hard work, courage, tolerance, an open mind and a list of well-greased goals makes for plenty of opportunities”, was the message from Vestas’ CEO.

Claus Holstein, Managing Director of the Port of Aalborg and chair of the business network Hub North, had hoped for more specific information.

“If you look at everything globally, you end up in a world where you are nowhere. And it is easy to act locally. The battle is hard. We have seen this clearly now and we know it all too well. But it would have been nice if Ditlev Engel had seen what we have to offer up here. He did not see that he was somewhere that could be very unique for precisely his company. We focus globally and have research, industry, the right labour and plenty of subcontractors to the wind turbine industry”, says Claus Holstein.

Other prominent speakers followed the Vestas CEO at Hjulmand & Kaptain’s anniversary conference at Nordkraft. Foreign Minister Lene Espersen, Minister of Business and Economic Affairs Brian Mikkelsen and CEO Jan Vestergaard of Aalborg Industries were there to stress the theme “North Jutland in a globalised world”.