Renewable Energy: Wind Energy

With a current feed-in of 3 to 10 Eurocent per kilowatt hour, wind energy is able to produce competitive power Europe-wide. Accordingly to the real occurring production costs, wind energy doesn’t need to be afraid of the comparison with the other renewable energies and fossil fuels.

For the ecologically conscious investor, wind energy is offering attractive and economic potential returns and the awareness to support the changeover to the renewable energies.

Wind energy is offering owners of agricultural areas a cost-effective opportunity to cover their energy needs on smallest areas. But also the purchasing of a wind turbine or respectively shares without a property of one’s own can be an attractive investment.

Over many years, the Nordum Akademie GmbH & Co. KG is active in the area of wind energy and gained a lot of experience in project planning and operative management of wind turbines in the megawatt range.

Project Analysing

A well planned investment in the area of wind energy is a safe capital expenditure including calculable risks. In the project analysis the focus is on the examination of all project relevant data and the final assessment of the feasibility of the project.
The commodity, necessary to produce electric power, is gratuitous and, in different intensity, almost everywhere available. Because of the metrological surveys world-wide, based on long-term captured weather data, it is possible to give already a rough assessment for a lot of locations.
Given that not every location is appropriate for the utilization of wind energy it is inevitable to evaluate the potentials of already existing projects or pinpoint new locations. For that reason it is required to execute diligent considerations.

Independent of the aim to take over an existing wind farm or to build a new one, the project analysis lays the foundation for the future work. All necessary project-specific surveys are conducted from us in a close association with experts of the field of wind energy.
Within the framework of an analysis of all data the resilience of the project will be determined. Key points of the screening are inter alia:

  • Analysis and survey of all necessary assessments
    • Wind expertise
    • Revenue expertise
    • Expertise on environmental matters
  • Investment appraisal
  • Financial plan
  • Assessment of the location and country study

However, a revenue expertise sufficient for the investor is not always satisfying the financier. Therefore it is important to already consider all aspects of such a project.

Besides the economic efficiency, which is significantly characterized by the compensation and the expected costs, there are a lot of permissions necessary to put the project into operation. A location with the best wind data, which would never have the chance to feed into the grid or even less, being built at all, would, by no later than now, be out of the picture.

The transaction of all processes is occupying time and payment in kind even if a rapid treatment is ensured. The alternative to new constructed wind turbines would be the acquisition of an already planned wind farm or even one already being in operation by now.

According to your needs, we and our partners will find a suitable project for you all over the world. The Nordum Akademie is able to look back on over 10 years of self-made experiences in the area of wind energy, and would be pleased to advise you with all your questions.

Permit-related aspects

The choice of the location is already incorporating many factors. Unattached to the regional conditions, several technical and legal standards have to be fulfilled. In a multiplicity of European countries, wind turbines can only be built on specific declared areas or the project has to pass an expertise on environmental matters.

Within the scope of this and further approval procedures, it will be determined if the wind farm is standing in contrast to the preservation of nature and landscape conservation. Furthermore it will be measured if the wind turbines have an impact on the subject of protection in the surrounding area.

Components of such an analysis are amongst others:

  • Shadow impact, the influence of the tower and the turbine on its surroundings
  • Acoustic noise, the noise generation of the wind turbine and its perception in the adjoining areas
  • Threat to flora and fauna posed by the operating respectively the installation of the wind turbine
  • Influence of or on technical facilities (roads, radar station, air traffic)

The result of the approval procedure shows if it is possible to build the wind farm in the planned manner or if compensatory measures are necessary.

The Nordum Akademie has in this area more than 20 years of experience. Our know-how in the evaluation of environmental aspects has its foundation in operating an environmental laboratory for 18 years and the successful accomplishment of several environmental impact assessments.

Project Planning

The right choice of wind turbines and layout is the main task in the planning of wind farms.
Over 50 competing manufacturers world-wide are presenting almost the same amount of concepts to gain the affirmation of the project managers. This is complemented by a diversified offer of wind turbines and towers. The current focus is on turbines in the megawatt range with varying levels of efficiency.

Albert Betz calculated already the maximum level of efficiency of 59.3% for wind turbines in 1919. Up-to-date models are achieving 80% of the calculated value from Betz. With that the level of efficiency of wind turbines is many times higher than of solar power plants.

Beside the level of efficiency, essential factors for the revenue of the wind farm are the tower height and rotor diameter. A tower height of approximately 100m in strong wind regions is already ensuring an attractive income. On low wind locations the wind revenues can be optimized with the right choice of wing design.
After choosing the wind turbine you will be also confronted with the question if you are willing to enter a long-term service agreement that is revenue dependent to minimize your own risks or if you prefer other solutions.

  • Optimal wind turbines for inland, coastal and mountain landscapes
  • Concept of the wind farm layout
  • Wind turbines with or without transmission
  • Pitch or stall controlled wind turbines
  • Maintenance agreement or full service contract
  • ...

The planning of a wind farm is also embedding an analysis concerning the foundation of the site. It has to be examined if the requirements for wind turbines on the site and access route are being fulfilled. If improvements are necessary it has to be arranged contemporary.

Another important point is representing the connection with the grid. Depending on the proposed feed-in quantities and the local conditions it can be close-by or further afar, which constitutes a substantial expense factor in the planning.

The decision if the area for the wind turbines, the transfer station and the cable route are going to be purchased or rented is also incorporating in the financial planning.

Accounted by our long-time business connections to turbine manufacturers and energy providers we are able to create optimal framework conditions to design your wind farm.

Financial Planning

To assess the economic efficiency the choice of the form of financing is also determining. Financing with the owner’s equity as well as the use of external funds is always implying an extensive financial planning.
Regardless if the financing will be realized by banks, funds or private investors, the consideration of various factors is inevitable. Focal point of the planning is the assessment of the economic development in the next 15 to 20 years. Thereby essential decisions about the solvency, repayments, allowances and payouts are being made. The decision if an investment will be financed, is depending on diverse factors.

Important factors are amongst others:

  • Equity ratio
  • Return on equity
  • Debt service coverage ratio
  • Subsidies

Via the equity ratio you have the opportunity to stipulate how many partners you’ll get on board to realize the project. With a personal contribution of 10-20% you put yourself in the position to negotiate with most of the financial service providers.

The return on equity is an important parameter for the financiers and investors. At the end of the project an income return higher than the conventional money market issues has to yield. But the magical threshold for attractive investments is though very different from investor to investor. However, the acquisition of institutional investors will be very hard if the yields are beneath the current money market issues.

Another important parameter is the dept service coverage ratio (abbr.: DSCR). This quota displays, by the relation of the cash flow to the debt service, the ability of a company to pay its debts.
An achieved value of 1 corresponds to a coverage rate of 100% of the debt service. This parameter is representing an essential decision criterion for the allocation of credits.

A result, satisfying the investor, is the foundation of a project to be pursued and realized. Thereby, national as well as international subsidies are enabling the chance to increase the attraction of such a project. International, there are multiple subsidies with investment supplements, extended feed-in compensations and even privileged agreements to take belonging to it.

We would like to support you with the preparation of your financing plan or your application of subsidies. The Nordum Akademie has already acquired various grant applications in different fields of environment and possesses the necessary know-how for a successful application.


To ensure the optimal operational availability and thereby the production of energy over the next 20 years, periodic inspections of all mechanical and electrical components will be necessary. In compliance with this task, a works manager will usually be hired from the operator to monitor the technical aspects of operating.

His tasks contain the analysis of the operating data, such as wind velocity, wind direction, engine speed, engine power and several temperatures. In interaction with the error statistics and trend analysis he is able to receive information about the efficiency of the wind turbines and indices of operating problems of the single components. His occupation starts with the putting into operation of the wind farm and is, as they case may be, ending with the renaturation, respectively with the repowering of the wind turbines.

The risks of the operating and the associated costs of potential repairs are completely passing over on the operator, when the stipulated warranty period is over. By what, especially the costs for maintenance and repair can generate a significant part of the operating costs besides the economically costs. An alternative to this concept is a full service contract with the manufacturers, which can minimize the risks. The costs for such contracts are usually depending on the produced power of the wind farms. To guarantee the availability and therewith the stability of yield, it is especially important to maintain particularly parts like the anti-friction bearing and the main gear unit.

Another focal point of the operating, besides the maintenance, is the insurance. The standard insurance is consisting of liability insurance, exterior insurance, e.g. lightning, and an insurance against machinery breakdown during the operating. Beyond that it is recommended to take out business interruption insurance to compensate downtime caused by repair.

Also belonging to the area of responsibility of the operator is the management of further tasks like for instance in Germany the §§ 6, 16 and 66 of the Renewable Energy Law or the System Service Ordinance.

The Nordum Akademie is able look back on over one decade of experience in the management of wind turbines in the megawatt range and would be glad to consult you about the optimization of the operating phase of your wind farm project.

Wind farms Hohen Schwarfs: management and maintenance of the wind farms

For more than eleven years, Prof. Dr. habil. Jupp Kreutzmann is managing wind farms with an installed capacity of several megawatts. In addition to a wind farm with wind turbines from Enercon and an installed capacity of three megawatts, he is also a managing partner of a wind farm with three wind turbines of the brand Vestas.

Both of the wind farms were developed under his intense participation in planning, financing and conception.

The task of the NORDUM Akademie is to support the immaculate operation and management of the wind farms.

Beside the questions of an optimal operation, it is very important to ponder on current topics like System Service Ordinance (SDLWindV) or load management (§ 6 of the Renewable Energy Law [EEG]).