Danfoss' Madsen discusses roles of U.S., China in global wind market

How important is the U.S. market to the global wind industry? What role will China play as it expands its use of wind power? During today's OnPoint, Per Friis Madsen, global senior director at Danfoss, discusses Danfoss' work in the wind turbine industry. He also explains how the U.S. and China will affect the development of technology in the global market.


Monica Trauzzi: Welcome to the show. I'm Monica Trauzzi. Joining me today is Per Friis Madsen, global senior director at Danfoss. Per, thanks for coming on the show.

Per Friis Madsen: Thank you very much.

Monica Trauzzi: Danfoss is known for its work in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, but you're also starting to stake a claim in the wind power industry. What role is your company playing in terms of wind power and wind turbines?

Per Friis Madsen: Yes, that's right, it is. We are very much involved in the refrigeration business, but we are also very much involved in other businesses too. So we are indeed very much involved in the wind turbine industry. All this started off many years ago in Germany and Denmark when this business started up many years ago. We came from the marine industry and some of the components from the marine industry was also used within the wind turbine sector, so it was natural for Danfoss to still be in the wind turbine industry when this industry started to introduce wind turbines in the bigger scheme.

Monica Trauzzi: And Germany has always been seen as a world leader in wind power, but the U.S. has been emerging as a leader as well in recent years. What role is the U.S. playing within the industry and how important is the U.S. market?

Per Friis Madsen: The U.S. market is for sure very, very important. The U.S. market and the Chinese market, the two markets are expected to be the fastest-growing markets in the world and for sure the U.S.-based manufacturers they have established a quite strong position on the world markets. And we will find a number of the foreign wind turbine manufacturers being established in the U.S. because the production will take place in the U.S. very close to the market, very close to the customers.

Monica Trauzzi: You mentioned China as being another emerging leader in this industry. How do they play sort of on the global scale in terms of what other countries may be reaching to them for down the line when more renewables are needed?

Per Friis Madsen: China will for sure play a very important role. The high demand for wind turbines and for sure for energy in China is increasing because of the infrastructure, because of the high growth that we have in China and there's a big need for energy and especially in the northern part of China they have strong winds. So they want to use the strong wind in the northern part of the country to produce energy. And we have also seen that we do have local manufacturers in Japan.

Monica Trauzzi: OK, what are some of the biggest challenges your company faces on a day-to-day basis as you try to expand your reach?

Per Friis Madsen: There are several. There are several. First of all, the support, the financial support from the governments which are needed right now to be able to support the wind turbine industry. Another part of the hurdles that we have is also very much about how we calculate the environmental impact by producing energy. We do have the renewable energies. We have wind power and compare this up against the other energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Monica Trauzzi: Final question here. Funding for wind power projects has been a major focus recently because of the economic downturn. How are things now, how are things looking in the short term in terms of funding?

Per Friis Madsen: This is very much an external factor. This is a political issue. This is going to be very much up to the negotiations which take place in Copenhagen these days and also to the climate conference which will take place in Copenhagen in December. So this is very much about the market prices, how we are working on the market prices is about the profitability for the wind farm owners when it comes back to risk and how the financial sector will look like and will begin to secure the funding of windmill parks and wind turbine parks.

Monica Trauzzi: OK, we'll end it there. Thank you for coming on the show.

Per Friis Madsen: Thank you very much.

Monica Trauzzi: And thanks for watching. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

[End of Audio]



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