Wind energy needs more research

Wind energy technology must have more longer-term research if it is to become competitive, according to a new report presented at the 2002 Global Windpower Conference in Paris.

The report reveals that although wind power costs have already fallen dramatically, if the technology is going to supply 10% of the world’s electricity needs by 2020, cost reductions of 30-50% are still necessary. Research and development could contribute up to 40% of these cost reductions, says the report.

“There is an urgent need for stronger publicly supported long-term research to complement the product development already carried out within the industry,” said Jorgen Lemming, Chairman of the Implementing Agreement for Co-operation in the Research and Development of Wind Turbine Systems (IEA R&D Wind), the organisation that published the report. “This basic research is essential for both industry and society.”

The study covered 17 countries, as well as the European Commission, and revealed that in the mid-term, the major areas for research and development include weather forecasting techniques, grid integration, public attitudes and visual impact.

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