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February 25th, 2013
In Denmark and around the world, Henrick Stiesdal is revered as a father of the wind industry, an industry so young that the 55-year-old Siemens CTO can easily recall the breakthroughs that enabled him to build the company's first 30kW offshore wind turbine in 1991. After 20 years of innovation, Siemens has just installed its newest turbine off the coast of England. Stiesdal, who has 85 patents to his name, has changed Siemens Wind Energy from a regional – almost artisanal – turbine builder into a global powerhouse, with research and manufacturing centers in major markets as far away as China and the United States. And nothing shows this corporate transformation better then Siemens' new high tech production techniques modeled after the auto industry: the turbine's sculpted B75 blade is built in one, long mold as a unified piece – with no joints – making it 20 percent lighter than blades produced using traditional methods. Stiesdal notes, "We can reduce production and logistics costs by standardizing and modularizing components. This is a major step towards making wind power independent from subsidizing."