Boosting R&D for wind energy is key to Europe’s Green Deal – read the ETIPWind Roadmap

Targeted Research & Innovation is needed to accelerate the large-scale deployment of cost-competitive wind energy and support the existing European supply chains. This is according to a new report from the European Technology & Innovation Platform on Wind Energy (ETIPWind), released today at WindEurope’s Offshore 2019 event in Copenhagen.

Europe needs a rapid scale up of wind energy to help keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and deliver on it Paris Climate Agreement commitments. According to the European Commission’s Long Term Decarbonisation Strategy, Europe will need between 700 and 1,200 GW of wind capacity up from today’s 190 GW.

To deliver on its Climate and Energy objectives, Europe needs strong industrial policies and research programmes to further improve wind energy technology and continue to drive down costs. Targeted support in Research & Innovation will also strengthen supply chains, create local jobs and boost the global leadership of the European wind industry. By 2050, wind could supply 50% of Europe’s electricity and be the engine of the incoming European Commission’s Green Deal.

The ETIPWind Roadmap report provides technology solutions and research priorities that will drive the development of wind energy and help reduce costs across the supply chain. These include:

  • technologies to facilitate system integration (e.g. power electronics) and optimise operations and maintenance;
  • the development of better and more sustainable materials and;
  • new solutions to manufacture, transport and install the next generation of wind turbines.

Patrick Child, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation said: “European Technology and Innovation Platforms are important stakeholders and partners in setting research priorities to maximise the impact and success of the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. The ETIPWind Roadmap paints a clear picture on the research needs in the wind energy sector that will ensure the sector can play a pivotal role in the clean energy transition.”

Aidan Cronin, chair of the ETIPWind Executive Committee, said: “There has never been a greater need for a strong and forward-looking industrial Research & Innovation policy than today. At the same time we know public resources are limited. In ETIPWind, industry, research institutes and academia work closely together to highlight which areas are best suited to receive public support and bring the most value and impact for money. This roadmap sets out how we can target Research & Innovation to de-risk technology development and drive wind energy forward.”

Mike Anderson, ETIPWind Advisory Group member and former Chief Technology Officer at RES said: “Europe is the global leader in wind energy technology, but its position is increasingly under threat from competitors in emerging markets. In order to stay ahead and keep the local supply chains competitive, Europe needs a strong industrial policy that includes substantial Research & Innovation funding. The Horizon Europe research funding programme can play a big role in supporting European players. Public funding is important for the delivery of essential research into new turbine technologies. And to de-risk large scale demonstration of innovative solutions. If we get this right wind energy can be an engine for the European Green Deal.”