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WindPowerOnline.com - International Wind Energy Marketplace, International Portal for the Wind Energy Industry
"With this project we're proving that the use of wind power is also an economically and ecologically sensible investment in other countries," says Gotthard Sonneborn, head of the responsible planning department at Energiekontor, about the Bremers' first wind power fund outside Germany.
The significance of the project was explained by Gotthard G. Sonneborn, manager of the department responsible for the countries outside Germany and director of planning and realisation, who said that, "This represents a breakthrough for wind power in Portugal".
...Read also the following interview with Gotthard G. Sonneborn, the manager of the department dealing with countries outside Germany and director of planning and realisation about the activities of Energiekontor AG.
Projects outside Germany The background conditions have to be right Mr Sonneborn
, how long have the subsidiaries of Energiekontor been working in European countries outside Germany?Gotthard G. Sonneborn
: We were the pioneers in the industry and we set up our first subsidiaries in Greece and Portugal as long ago as 1995.Then we set up subsidiaries in Great Britain and Spain in 2000.France is being set up at the moment.Other countries are at the planning stage.
Why are these subsidiaries so important for getting wind farms up and running in European countries outside Germany? Gotthard G. Sonneborn
: Because you have to be a specialist with a thorough knowledge of the market in which you are working, the licensing procedures, the legal regulations and not least, you have to be familiar with the mentality of the country to be able to produce the best possible results on site.That is why we rely on staff from the country concerned as well, people who don't have to undergo lengthy induction courses.Success proves that we have been right.Since May 2001 the Zarax I wind farm on the Greek island of Evia has been connected to the grid - here too we are the trailblazers in this line of business.
How should you envisage work on site Gotthard G. Sonneborn
: Our subsidiaries started out as relatively small units with highly motivated staff working together with local associate companies.
...Gotthard G. Sonneborn
: Here in the company headquarters in Bremen we have a head of section responsible for each country.He
is in contact with the staff on site on a day-to-day basis.In addition to this we have developed common project management tools for comparing objectives on an ongoing basis.This remote control is an extremely important precondition for ensuring that the projects are successful.
And how do you protect yourselves from projects becoming bogged down in the licensing procedure? Gotthard G. Sonneborn
: We do this by reviewing all the background data extremely carefully.