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Wind sector launches Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda to boost Europe’s competitive edge

Date

06 Dec 2023

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
Transport
Competition

The European Technology & Innovation Platform on wind energy (ETIPWind) launched its new Strategic R&I Agenda for 2025-2027. It calls for €1.8bn of public investment in wind energy Research and Innovation to boost the development of a resilient, competitive and sustainable European wind supply chain.

On 4 December leading wind industry Chief Technology Officers, wind energy experts and policymakers met at the ZF Wind Power factory in Lommel, Belgium to present the new ETIPWind Strategic R&I Agenda (SRIA). The agenda builds on the work of 190 industry experts and the research community.

The European Union wants 420 GW of wind energy by 2030, up from 205 GW today. To deliver that the European Commission recently launched the Wind Power Package, setting out 15 actions to strengthen Europe’s wind energy industry.

To deliver the 2030 targets, the industry needs to expand its European manufacturing capacity, recruit and train an additional 200,000 workers, and continue to lead on sustainability and happy coexistence with society and nature.

Research & Innovation (R&I) can help to address many of these challenges. The ETIPWind Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda therefore defines 23 areas for EU funding for 2025-2027 which support 5 priorities:

  • Accelerate the industrialisation and restore the competitiveness of the supply chain;
  • Optimise and further digitalise the Operations & Maintenance of the assets;
  • Achieve a faster and wider wind energy system integration;
  • Develop a sustainable and circular wind energy supply chain;
  • Attract a skilled workforce and ensure a happy coexistence with society.

ETIPWind estimates that the total public investment (EU and national) needed to effectively address these priorities would amount to €1.8bn for the 2025-2027 period. This means that public investments in wind energy R&I needs to double compared to today.

The SRIA launch event comes as the EU prepares for the next calls for projects under Horizon Europe, its flagship research and innovation programme, and starts discussions on its successor framework programme.

Bernd Biervert, Head of Unit in DG Research & Innovation at European Commission, said: “The ETIPWind’s Strategic R&I Agenda is a very timely and valuable input for the European Commission in the co-creation process of the next Horizon Europe Work Programmes”.

Johan Hanssens, Secretary General for Economy, Science & Innovation at the Flemish Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy and Agriculture, added: “Transformative Innovation towards sustainability relies on close cooperation between policy makers, academia and industry. The proposed ETIPWind’s R&I Agenda will help to align the visions between the actors and to design better policies”.

The event took place at the Lommel factory of leading gearbox manufacturer ZF Wind Power. Participants visited the construction site of the new state-of-the-art ZF Test and Prototype Center. When completed ZF will be capable of validating complete powertrain systems for both onshore and offshore wind turbines.

With more than seven years of modular gearbox designs and 20 years of integrated powertrain design experience, ZF will be able to produce the next generation of wind turbine powertrains up to 30 MW and accelerate the speed at which the global energy system is being transformed. It demonstrates ZF’s commitment to wind and the strong belief in the future of this renewable energy source.

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