Energy need unchanged by financial crunch: Vestas

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The world still needs to develop new forms of energy despite the global financial crisis and wind power firms are unlikely to merge in reaction to the crunch, Vestas Wind Systems chief executive Ditlev Engel said.


“At least we have not seen anything at present. It seems that

everybody have their own plans and ambitions so there is nothing that

indicates that we are heading that way,” he said.

Vestas itself aims for organic growth, Engel said, adding that the

company might be interested in acquisitions in the areas of research

and development and other such areas should interesting subjects emerge.

“But a horizontal consolidation, that is companies doing the same as

us, that’s not the way we’re going and I don’t see the sector going

that way either,” says Engel.


The Vestas’ head said he believes that growth within the wind energy sector will be marked in the coming 12 years.

“When using the IEA (International Energy Agency) forecasts then we

believe that in 2020 wind energy will cover around 10 percent of the

world’s energy consumption – and that is in a strongly growing,

consuming market,” he said.

Regardless of whether oil prices are rising or falling there will be

an increasing need for energy in coming years, Engel said, driven in

particular by the so-called BRIC-countries — Brazil, Russia, India and

China – as the world’s population continues to grow.

“So the underlying need for energy is there,” says Engel.

And with climate challenges increasing the need for more renewable

energy solutions, wind power may well be one of the winners.

is the world’s number one wind turbine maker and Engel told the Reuters

Environment Summit that now is the time to keep a cool head — things

may look very different in a few months.

The fundamental need for energy has not changed and the

environmental challenges facing the world are the same and requires a

solution regardless of a financial crisis, he said.

“There are still challenges within the areas of climate and energy

and there is still the question of energy independence,” said Engel.

“That’s why I believe it is important to remember what the Chinese have

said, that one should not look at the waves but the currents. And the

underlying currents with regards to energy challenges have not

changed,” he added.

He pointed out that Vestas, despite its shares having dived in

recent weeks, has kept its guidance for 2008 and said he believes it is

important to wait and see what the next couple of months bring before

drawing any conclusions.

“We are happy to see that many of the large energy corporations, the

companies which are our customers, are still doing very well,” says



Share prices come down around the world in recent weeks, including

those of wind turbine producers, but Engel said he does not expect this

to lead to a consolidation in the sector.

According to Engel wind energy has already been around for many years and is by now well-documented as an energy source.

Not just in Denmark, where wind energy accounts for almost 20

percent of domestic power supply, but also in bigger countries such as

Germany and Spain where the share of wind energy is now quite

significant, he says.

“But I still think it is important to stress that we do not see

ourselves as being the opposition to other renewables such as solar

energy, geo-thermal,” he said.

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