ETIPWind report draws attention to the role of research and innovations in the wind energy sector
30.10.2018

The European Union continues negotiations on the content of the Horizon Europe, a new programme for research and innovations in the area of wind energy. This €97 bn programme should set key objectives of research financing and innovation adoption in European wind energy in 2021-2027. In the new ETIPWind report "Strategy Research and Innovation Agenda" provides recommendations on the programme content.

Commenting on the report, Chair of the ETIPWind Steering Committee Aidan Cronin emphasized the fact that solar and wind power are no longer niche markets, though they still need support and long-term planning. According to Cronin, the key objectives of the European energy sector is decarbonisation of the most productive industries and the transport sector, and their electrification with RES. Moreover, it is applicable in the spheres of heating and cooling. Climate change also makes us think about a total revision of the principles of energy consumption, generation and consumption. As Cronin writes, China already actively experiments in this area, and the speed with which Asian governments are adopting innovations poses a challenge to EU global leadership in wind power. Europe's share in the global energy mix has been dropping since 2011 and, as analysts say, further decline puts 262,000 jobs in Europe at risk. At the same time, with proper capacity development, the wind energy contribution to the overall EU GDP may double by 2030.

In order to secure Europe's leadership, ETIPWind recommends providing more active and ample funding for research and innovation adoption in that area. To this end, projects contributing the highest volumes of energy to the power grid must be funded in the first place. The EU should also drive energy prices down by supporting operation and maintenance of existing wind farms. ETIPWind calls on the European Union to pay attention to new technology development – in the sphere of offshore wind energy, in particular. According to analysts, offshore wind energy is key for the sector's future development, which mostly concerns the segment of floating wind power plants.
The report defines five top priorities for research and innovations in the sector:

·         power grid and system integration,

·         existing infrastructure operation and maintenance,

·         new technology development,

·         development in offshore plants and grids, as well as

·         expansion of floating power plants.
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Analysts define the following key factors for achieving power grid and system integration. They include adoption of new principles making the energy system with ancillary services more flexible; strategic planning; and power grid expansion; as well as improved solutions for energy storage, including seasonal storage. Finally, analysts view development of hybrid systems (wind solar and storage) as one more solution to the problem.

In the field of operation and maintenance, ETIPWind prioritizes enhancement of wind farm management by developing new applications and improving data collection technologies. 

As regards offshore plant and grid development, experts specify system and grid design efficiency improvement, offshore balance plant improvement, as well as a better consideration of the natural conditions at the turbine installation sites. These are the key factors for driving down offshore wind energy costs even further.

Finally, for expanding floating offshore wind turbines, in addition to substructure design, analysts suggest investing in development of efficient interaction between suppliers of substructures and components, and in development of stable production chains.

Please follow the link below to learn more about the report:

STRATEGIC RESEARCH AND INNOVATION AGENDA 2018

Code in external DB source: 1250

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