Siemens Gamesa has begun installing a new generation of machines for onshore wind power in Brazil, Felipe Ferres, the company's general director in the country told Reuters on Monday.
Brazil will be the first country in the world to operate Siemens Gamesa wind turbines with 6.2 megawatts (MW) of power and a 170-meter (558-ft) rotor, the largest available in the world, in onshore wind generation.
The model grabbed the attention from large wind power investors - since it optimizes wind farms by making them more powerful with fewer machines - and, in the future, could even be applied to "small" offshore developments, Ferres said.
The first machines, produced in Bahia state, are being installed in the Tucano wind complex, owned by AES Brasil.
Siemens Gamesa, which until a few years ago manufactured 3.5 MW wind turbines, has seen interest in the market for the new model and has already signed supply deals with Essentia and Engie Brasil, according to the executive.
Ferres said he still has no doubts that the offshore wind market will develop in Brazil, but he understands that the speed of this process is directly linked to the development of green hydrogen production.
Siemens Gamesa, which dominates the global market for offshore wind turbines, has said wind power could make it possible to produce hydrogen without emitting greenhouse gases as cheaply as is currently feasible with fossil fuel energy by 2030.
"Thinking only about the expansion of wind power just to serve the electric energy market, we are in a 'plateau' of 4 GW installed per year for the entire industry, there is not much prospect of change... Now, when we start producing green hydrogen to meet global energy demand, the scale multiplies, and you need to go to sea...".
Despite the demand for new orders, Ferres said that Siemens Gamesa and other manufacturers have suffered from the breakdown of production chains around the world, due to pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs with raw materials.
In Brazil, the main impact has been on costs, he said, since the Brazilian wind industry is not very dependent on imports.
He reckons that prices for raw materials such as steel are unlikely to cool down anytime soon, as the war in Ukraine and its aftermath are likely to continue putting pressure on commodities for some time to come.