To keep our global leadership in wind energy technology, Europe needs to invest in the right research and innovation (R&I) priorities. The European Commission sees wind being half of Europe’s electricity by 2050. And fulfilling this objective requires our industry to remain competitive and on the cutting edge of technology.
The European Union is committed to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Wind energy is central to decarbonising Europe’s economy and reaching this ambitious goal. Today wind already provides 16% of Europe’s electricity and has become one of the biggest European industrial success stories. It employs 300,000 people in Europe and brings many economic benefits to both local community and societies.
But how did this happen? Thanks to the European Research & Innovation community – industry, research institutes and academia. All together have been working to highlight which areas are best suited to received public support and bring the most value and impact for funding. Since 2016 the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Wind Energy (ETIPWind) has played a key role providing a public platform to wind energy stakeholders to identify common R&I priorities and to foster breakthrough innovation in the sector at European and national level.
The past Horizon 2020 public funding programme has greatly contributed to research and development of new technologies in various areas of wind energy. And its successor funding programme Horizon Europe will have an even greater role to play in supporting the R&I priorities that will spearhead Europe’s energy transition towards net zero with wind energy:
- incremental improvements in mature technologies like onshore wind;
- grid integration and optimisation including interoperable HVDC infrastructure;
- bottom-fixed offshore wind balance of plant and floating offshore wind design;
- sustainable materials towards fully recycle wind turbines;
- grants for fundamental research and mobility schemes for early-stage researchers.
The first calls for proposals are now available and will open on 24 June 2021. Find more information here.