Irina Lucke has been at the helm of WAB since December 2016. WAB is the network of the wind energy industry, and has 350 member companies from across the entire value chain. It is the most important German association of the wind energy sector.
Lucke, whose main job is managing director of EWE Offshore Service & Solutions GmbH, is a pioneer of offshore wind power and was involved in the construction of Germany's first offshore wind farm, alpha ventus. As one of the few female managing directors in the wind energy industry, she has made a name for herself as the person responsible for the construction of Borkum-Riffgat, the first commercial offshore wind farm in the North Sea. We talked about her role in the trade association and the challenges that an ever-changing business and regulatory environment poses for the wind energy industry.
Ms Lucke, you have been chairperson for eight months now – what made you take on this role after four years on the board?
I have been working in the offshore sector for eleven years, and joined WAB in 2005. Over the years, the association has opened many doors and created many opportunities for me and for many other members. I joined the board in 2013 to give something back to an association that has had such a positive influence on me, and am now continuing this work as chairperson. I can bring even more of my ideas to the table and work closely with managing director Andreas Wellbrock.
What are your goals?
During the first few months, my primary challenge was to find out the best way of applying my expertise to WAB. My background is in projects, so working for a service provider is very different. Now my goal is to raise WAB's public profile, to introduce new ideas and to manage all the highs and lows that the sector faces.
What will your WAB strategy be over the next few years?
We want to pave the way for the switch to renewable energy sources. This is a complex area, and I think we are yet to present it in a way that captures the public's imagination. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of raising public awareness and making our goals clear. The shift in German energy policy needs a master plan – only by working together can we make clean energy possible. To achieve this goal, we are working closely with our partners, including the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, to produce information material and run events on current topics such as expanding the power grid, energy feed-ins, energy saving and the concept of integrated energy. We are also active in political committees and networks throughout Germany. We have the experience and expertise that decision-makers need, and they can rely on the advice that we provide.