SolidWorks World: From Walking Art to Gliding Speed

By Aurelien

A recap of Day2 General Session from SolidWorks World 2014, held in San Diego, Jan 28th, 2014.

Marketing Wind Farms to Local Population in the age of Experience Economy

By Karun

Wind turbines farm on sunset in winterNowadays, offshore wind is grabbing most of the headlines especially in Europe. With several countries running out of land for wind turbines, they are looking towards the sea. However, 80% of the wind energy capacity is still from onshore or inland wind farms. There is still plenty of land in countries like the US and Brazil, which are still looking to develop their onshore wind capacity.

Onshore wind farms occupy a large area and have to frequently co-exist with agricultural land and tourist areas in the countryside. Probably the most complex challenge for these wind farms is to overcome any opposition from the local population. The question that most Wind farm developers have is – How to convince the local population of socio-environmental viability of the Wind farms?

In this era of the Experience economy, the solution is to provide a platform for all citizens to fully understand the impact on their day-to-day life. An immersive and interactive virtual 3D environment can be used to demonstrate the operation of wind farms in context of the local terrain including the details like access roads, local dwellings, roads and even power lines. Views from various vantage points can be analyzed to ensure that any visual impact from the wind turbines is acceptable. Advanced functions like noise and shadow flickers could be developed on this platform. By experiencing the operation of the wind farm under various operating conditions, citizens can be convinced about the project viability and convince them of the co-existence of wind farms in the existing land.

Such user interaction enables citizens and consumers to become part of the Wind farm development process promoting a sense of ownership. It allows the project developers to connect with the local population and ensure that their concerns have been adequately addressed. With the advent of social media, citizens have learnt to express themselves more freely. In several countries, citizens expect and even demand such a platform to view and collaborate on a social platform on such key topics that touch their lives.

Getting early buy-in from all stakeholders including the local population is mandatory during the project development process. This will ensure that there are no expensive delays to the project. Such delays significantly affect the margins and ROI and significantly alter the economics.

Such Experience platforms are frequently used in the other industries like Offshore Oil & gas for Operations and Maintenance and training. Can the Wind industry take advantage of this?

To learn more, go to Energy, Process & Utilities page and watch our video:

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Karun CHAKRAVARTHY is a member of the Energy, Process & Utilities (EPU) team

 

How new technologies can help assess impact of wind energy projects on the local population

By Karun

The Wind Energy industry is at an inflection point. There is a tremendous opportunity for renewable energy in general, and specifically Wind energy, as can be envisaged by the ambitious plans for countries like Germany, UK, China, India and several others.

The key to a Wind farm project success is to start on the right foot, by identifying the right site. Many companies identify the site based on technical factors (such as wind speed data, grid connectivity), economic factors (ROI, tax credits, feed-in tariff) and political factors (local regulations and political support) and even environment factors (e.g. bird migration paths) are assessed and validated during the siting phase. However, what is often underestimated or even overlooked is the social dimensionassessing the impact of the projects on the local population, who are both citizens impacted by the project and also potentially consumers of the power produced. These factors can add considerable risk to the project and needs to be included as part of the project development process in order to avoid expensive delays that can fundamentally affect the economics of the project.  There can be significant opposition to Wind energy among the communities where Wind farms will be located. Among the main concerns are noise, effects of health, visual impact and adverse effects to wildlife.

One of the innovative ways to achieve this is to use advanced analytics to capture and analyze the sentiments of the local population. Such innovative techniques are commonly used by consumer driven companies (like Consumer Good and Consumer Product Good industries) as a way to capture the voice of customer very early in the project. The analytics can assess the sentiments of the local population by analyzing what is being said from various sources – like media authored or followed by local media and local influences (such as blogs). Such analysis can identify regions where there could potentially be opposition to wind energy and also identify risks for the project stakeholders.

Several stakeholders from project developers, financers, owners / operators have considerable stake tied up in the projects and can least afford any expensive delays during the construction phase due to opposition from local population. Ideally, such issues should be identified and accounted in the site selection during project development.

To learn more, go to http://www.3ds.com/industries/energy-process-utilities/wind-power/

Watch our video:

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Karun CHAKRAVARTHY is a member of the Energy, Process & Utilities Industry team

 



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.