More research & innovation funding needed to deliver climate-neutral Europe

On 27 February WindEurope attended a workshop organised by the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET Plan). At the workshop representatives of national governments and various energy technology sectors gathered to discuss how to improve the understanding of Europe’s investments in energy research & innovation.

The SET Plan is the research & innovation pillar of the Energy Union. It brings together representatives from national governments, science communities and industries to define a comprehensive EU wide research agenda. It has put forward a dedicated vision for each technology area and set ambitious targets to be reached. The overall goal is to retain Europe’s leadership in renewable and low-carbon energy technologies, and to set the path towards climate-neutrality by 2050. Each of the implementation plans for each technology area, including offshore wind, has been developed to ensure its targets will be met. All the implementation plans comprise a set of detailed research and innovation actions.

The aim of the workshop was to get a better understanding of how well the funding of public authorities (national, regional and European) is aligned with the actions defined in the implementation plans. To this end, the SET Plan secretariat published a report last year covering the progress made. The report shows that public authorities provided less than €100 million of funding to offshore wind energy. This level of investment is not sufficient to meet the EU’s ambitious offshore wind turbines target of 450 GW installed wind farm capacity by 2050.

To maximise the beneficial impact of offshore wind power and ensure Europe reaches climate-neutrality by 2050 investments in research & innovation need to increase significantly.

In addition, the research & innovation actions priorities for offshore wind according to the SET Plan need to be redefined to better reflect the ambitions and latest developments in the sector. The ETIPWind Roadmap provides an overview of the research priorities and technology solutions that will drive the development of offshore wind energy and help reduce costs across the supply chain. These include:

Serial production of substructures
Cabling and connections; and
Material durability and protection.

See all the wind sector’s research & innovation priorities in the 2019 ETIPWind Roadmap.