R&D priorities include increasing the accuracy of forecasting power performance, reducing uncertainties related to engineering integrity, improvement, and validation of standards, reducing the cost of new storage options, expanding the cost effective use of existing storage such as hydropower dams, enabling large-scale use and minimizing environmental effects (see Box 5.2). R&D is also focused on new design features, such as tall towers made of lightweight materials and advanced
Box 5.2 Priority research and development areas for wind energy
Improved site assessment and identifying new locations, especially offshore Better models for aerodynamics and aeroelasticity New intelligent structures/materials and recycling More efficient generators and converters
Increasing value and reducing uncertainties
Forecasting power performance Engineering integrity, improvement of standards Storage techniques
Box 5.2 (continued)
Enabling large-scale use
Electric load flow control and adaptive loads Better power quality
Minimizing environmental impacts
Finding suitable locations in terms of wind potential Compatible use of land and aesthetic integration Noise studies
Careful consideration of interaction between wind turbines and wildlife aerofoils and on further advances in power electronics. The feasibility of floating wind turbines, individually and in multi-unit formations, has also been the focus of several studies.
Offshore wind development and the role of wind energy within hydrogen-based energy systems are R&D priority areas for the long term. Technology and environmental issues raised by offshore wind energy development is the subject of much research and are likely to form an important part of future activities. In addition to using wind energy for electricity production, the technology could be applied to other energy applications in the long term, particularly hydrogen generation.
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