Research community joins forces to identify top priorities in wind energy R&I


On 20-24 September 2021 the EERA JP Wind and SETWIND hosted their Annual Event. During the week stakeholders from all over Europe including policymakers, researchers, and industry representatives discussed the future of Research & Innovation (R&I) priorities and technology development. The event was the eighth edition and was organised in collaboration with ETIPWind.

 The European Commission’s recent Fit-for-55 package was at the center of the discussion. Mr Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, opened the event. In his keynote he stressed the pivotal role of wind energy to deliver climate neutrality. And how strengthening EU funding programmes for R&I will boost Europe’s climate ambitions and the competitiveness of its industry.

Throughout the event experts from the academic community, industry and WindEurope presented the latest state-of-the-art in wind technology and identified the upcoming research priorities. Three topics stood out: system integration, floating offshore wind, and blade recycling.

On system integration of large volumes of wind power the participants highlighted the importance of continued R&I support to further develop wind farm’s capabilities to provide ancillary services. And to improve the interoperability of grid solutions.

On floating offshore wind the industry stressed that the technology is ready for large-scale commercialisation. Nevertheless, all participants agreed significant challenges remain and there is still a lot of room for innovation to fully mature floating offshore wind technology.

Sector experts also echoed the importance of innovation to achieve full circularity. With a specific focus on wind turbine blades. They called for increased investments in R&I to boost material recovery, develop and scale up recycling technologies, and ultimately design new, easier to recycle materials.

At the event ETIPWind and WindEurope highlighted that targeted R&I and EU investment is essential to reach the EU’s renewable targets by 2050. And to retain Europe’s competitive edge in wind technologies. In addition, the entire research community – industry, research institutes and academia – needs a forum to continue working together and highlight which areas are best suited to receive public support and bring the most value and impact from public funding.