Onshore wind turbines generate power at low cost, especially if emissions are factored into conventional fuel prices. Offshore wind power in turn has great potential to significantly increase the contribution of wind power to the electricity mix of the future. However, this requires its costs to be further reduced. In order to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by wind power, both on- and offshore, power grids need to be upgraded to meet the increasing demands and cope with the greater diversity.
The aim of the Technological Collaboration Programme (TCP) "Wind" of the International Energy Agency (IEA) is to promote cooperation in research and development in the field of wind power and to provide important information, analyses and tools for its members.
The members of the IEA Wind TCP pursue four strategic objectives:
- Increasing the value of wind power in the energy system and energy markets.
- Further reducing the cost of onshore and offshore wind power.
- Promoting collaborative research and enabling the exchange of best practice examples and data.
- Increasing the social acceptance of wind power and further improving the environmental compatibility of the technology.
Energy system of the future as a research focus
In order to achieve the above objectives, the members have defined five research priorities for the period 2019-2024:
Resource and location characteristics: The accuracy of location determination, aerodynamic output and energy forecasts is to be improved.
Cutting-edge technology: The costs for plant design, installation and operational management are to be reduced. In addition, production is to be increased and the market for new locations expanded.
Energy system of the future: The energy system of the 21st century should be designed in a way that enables it to receive and transmit large volumes of wind power.
Social, environmental and economic impacts: Solutions for social, environmental and economic impacts along the lifecycle of wind turbines are to be identified and developed. This is intended to increase the social acceptance and environmental compatibility of wind energy projects.
Communication, knowledge transfer and commitment: IEA Wind TCP is to be established as the ultimate source for sharing experience from research and development, presenting best practices and providing data on wind power.
These five focal areas are addressed by the member states in various project groups, the so-called Tasks. Each member participates in at least one Task. Germany is active in 16 of the currently 17 ongoing Tasks of IEA Wind TCP. Two of these Tasks are managed by the German side as Operating Agents: Task 32 "LIDAR" and Task 43 "Digitisation".
Year of foundation: 1977
Members: 21 member states plus European Commission: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom
Sponsors: WindEurope and Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA)
Task 49: Floating Wind Arrays (IDEA)