1. What do you do in Senvion? – describe your job.
I have been Managing Director of Senvion France since 2009 and leading Senvion South West Europe since 2013. My focus is first to make sure that the customer relationship is managed consistently across the whole value-chain from initial Sales engagement until after-sales services, secondly to develop our people and teams with a strong customer service orientation, lastly to regularly challenge and adjust our business development strategy.
Senvion South West Europe hub covers France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain with a total onshore fleet over 2,500 MW. Including the offshore wind farm of Thornton Bank installed in Belgium, the total installed capacity of Senvion in these countries represents over 2,800 MW.
2. What are the perspectives for Senvion South West Europe hub you are managing?
Our markets are highly dependent on the regulations which are stable for the moment. But experience shows that the regulation can be subject to very rapid changes.
Our approach is first to fulfil our existing clients’ expectations by improving their fleet performance. In this field, a catalogue listing the after-sales products proposed by Senvion is now available.
Second, it is to continue improving the performance of our existing portfolio of 2MW and 3MW products. As a matter of facts, the permitting process is slow in France (7 years) in comparison to other countries. It means that MM series turbines will still be envisaged in the permits to come. For Senvion, remaining focused on the performance improvements of our existing product portfolio, both MM and 3.XM series, will help our clients to further decrease LCoE of wind energy.
Furthermore, the market is also moving to more powerful (>3 MW) and taller wind turbines to produce competitive wind energy. In Belgium where the permit process is faster, Senvion 3.XM turbines already represent 18% of our installed fleet. And Senvion continues to innovate and propose new turbines such as our latest Senvion 3.4M140, a 3.4 rated power turbine with the biggest rotor diameter of the market.
Last but not least, Senvion remains focused on a customer-oriented approach proposing tailored solutions such as turnkey project or production guarantee based service contracts.
With this model, I believe Senvion South West Europe is on the path towards a sustainable development in France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain.
3. You recently became the president of France Energie Eolienne, the French wind energy association. What is your vision of the French wind market and which role the association plays in the market?
France is an attractive market. The current French Government is committed to the development of renewable energy in the French energy mix. The energy plan now under discussion is considering a range of 21 to 24 gigawatts of onshore wind energy installed by the end of 2023. In the offshore sector France Energie Eolienne has identified a total potential of 16 GW (fix and floating).
However, the wind industry is facing important challenges: improving wind energy acceptance and defending a fair introduction of wind into the electricity market mechanisms. For this, the association needs to interact with the government, local administrations, regions, communities and general public and some of the core levers are jobs creation, values for territories, wind energy competitiveness and energy independence.
Beyond improving the acceptance of wind energy in general, we have to reduce the constraints limiting the developments of wind energy such as delays in grid connection, blocked projects due to radars or the complexity of administration.
The presidential elections of 2017 is a crucial milestone for the development of wind energy in France and it is also a high priority of France Energie Eolienne.
4. What makes you proud about your work at Senvion?
I am particularly proud of Senvion’s strong position and footprint in the countries of the hub. In France, Senvion has about 20% of the total capacity, in Belgium we are number 1 for the 3rd year in a row and in Portugal, Senvion gained 1 point percentage of market share in 2015 (*). These are positive signals from our customers who appear satisfied with our customer approach, expertise and service base organisation. Client’s confidence, employees commitment and Senvion’s strong position are matters that make me proud. In the coming months, Senvion will cross in France the important milestone of 2 GW installation and 3 GW in the countries covered by Senvion South West Europe hub. These are good reasons to celebrate.
(*) Sources: Performance de l’éolien en 2015 et perspective d’avenir - 21.01.2015 – France Energie Eolienne, EDORA/ODE, Wind farms in Portugal, APREN.