According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), offshore wind could meet the world’s electricity demands by a factor of more than 18 times over. A new Norwegian wind research center, called NorthWind aims to advance research into areas where Norwegian industry could specifically supply technology and services to the international market. These would include structures and integrity, marine operations and logistics, electrical infrastructure and system integration, and asset management.
NorthWind brings together over 50 worldwide partners from research institutions and industry. It is led by the research institute SINTEF (Norwegian: Stiftelsen for industriell og teknisk forskning), with partners NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), NINA (The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute), and UiO (University of Oslo). NorthWind is co-financed by its partners and by the Norwegian government through the Norwegian Research Council’s Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research program.
The center aims to make wind energy cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable and one of its main areas of focus is offshore wind research. Center leader and chief scientist at SINTEF, John Olav Tande, says that large cost reductions are within reach for both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind energy, but that these cost reductions won’t come automatically. “The road to success in offshore wind depends on three factors: development, research, and innovation. All three have to be present,” he said.
NorthWind will address sustainable wind development, to ensure a balanced approach towards wind energy development, on land and offshore, developing knowledge and solutions to minimize negative environmental impact and improve public engagement.
Kevin Clemens is a Senior Editor with Battery Technology.