Joachim Payr

Joachim Payr

23 years ago, he erected a small wind turbine in his garden with one kilowatt power capacity and a three meter rotor diameter.  The electricity generated was fed into the grid without official permission. Today Joachim Payr is the managing director of the EWS Consulting GmbH. What was once his dream has now become his profession.

Interview

What originally motivated you to deal with wind energy?

It started with building of the nuclear processing plant in Wackersdorf, Bavaria, against which we anti-nuclear activists protested very strongly. Personally, however, it was not enough for me to just be against it. I respect all people who express their displeasure with fossil fuels and nuclear madness, but I myself wanted to do something to support the progress of alternative energy. Wind energy fascinated me the most which I then made my life task.

And how did it become a serious profession?

Originally I became a technical drawer in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. When I and a few others began to get interested in wind energy, we looked to see what was going on in Germany and got information and training. Soon afterwards, we founded a company which I and my colleagues have increased to the size it is now over the years.

Sounds easy, but it certainly was a stony path?

I am really proud of what we wind power people in Austria have accomplished. At the beginning we were laughed at, especially by the energy suppliers. And if 20 years ago someone would have said that 9% of the Austrian electricity consumption would come from wind power in 2016, I would have said: You are crazy.

Have you achieved all of your goals?

It was my goal that our company would plan and implement so many wind power projects as would have been the capacity of AKW Zwentendorf. We achieved these 700 megawatts already a few years ago. I now have set a new goal for myself – that the wind turbines we implement will generate all the electricity needed for the change from fossil fuel cars to electric mobility. We have already planned 1,400 megawatts, but now we would have to double that amount.

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