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EWEA 2011: From scrap metal to wind turbines – the 2011 Poul la Cour Prize

The 2011 Poul la Cour Prize for pioneering wind energy work, was presented at EWEA 2011 to Henrik Stiesdal, Chief Officer at Siemens Wind Power, who built his first wind turbine from scrap metal in the late 1970s.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

Christian Kjaer, the Chief Executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said: “I am extremely pleased to be awarding the Poul la Cour Prize to Henrik, whose commitment to and vision for the wind energy industry have been absolute ever since he built his first turbine out of scrap metal in the 1970s.

“From there, he became one of the founding fathers of the largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world – Vestas – and today continues to guide wind energy technology in his role at Siemens Wind Power.”

Stiesdal built his first 15 kW prototype wind turbine with late partner Karl Erik Jørgensen in 1978, and went into series production in 1979 under the name Vestas. Between 1983 and 1986, Stiesdal helped design the first pitch-regulated wind turbine for Vestas, before moving on to Bonus Energy, which was later acquired by Siemens.

Stiesdal said: “Wind energy has always been my passion and I like to think I have played a part in the evolution of the technology from the very beginnings of the industry. I certainly think the technology will develop still further in the years to come, and I’m excited at the prospect!

He added: “In 1978 none of us though that Denmark would have 20% energy from wind!”

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