Page 59 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation    59

                                                            WIND ENERGY

upscaling in the industry. Technological  Despite the steady progress there         COLLABORATING FOR IMPACT
improvements have been steady and         is still a long way to go. ECN plays a    ECN Wind Energy is a group of 50
largely incremental, with the most        special role in this process by bridging  experts focusing on offshore wind
visible technology trend being ever       academia with industry. Together          energy cost reduction and engaging
increasing turbine size. Today the new    with its partners, ECN brings new         in numerous collaborative research
turbine of choice is 8MW, while in 2000   technologies, processes and systems       programmes. The five-year Dutch
offshore turbines were in the 1MW         to the market for sector and industry     shared research programme FLOW
range.                                    growth.                                   (Far and Large Offshore Wind) had a
                                                                                    significant share in the realisation of
                                                                                    the large cost reduction since 2010. In
                                                                                    this programme, all aspects of offshore
                                                                                    wind power have been researched—
                                                                                    from foundation design, through to
                                                                                    installation, improved operation and
                                                                                    maintenance and arranging electrical
                                                                                    connections reliably and efficiently.
                                                                                    In 2016, the successor programme,
                                                                                    named GROW, has been defined with
                                                                                    the Dutch research institutes and 15
                                                                                    companies. These companies—from
                                                                                    wind turbine manufacturers, offshore
                                                                                    contractors through to ship builders—
                                                                                    have committed to invest close to
                                                                                    50 million euro in a 100 million euro
                                                                                    programme. Together with research
                                                                                    institutes and universities they will
                                                                                    realise a further cost reduction for
                                                                                    offshore wind, thus stimulating
                                                                                    the Dutch green economy and
                                                                                    strengthening the dominant position of
                                                                                    the Dutch offshore sector.

                                                                                    In the Netherlands, priorities for
                                                                                    energy research are set and organised
                                                                                    through the ’Top Sector Energy’ . Top
                                                                                    Sectors are the sectors in which the
                                                                                    Netherlands excels globally and which
                                                                                    receive high government priority.
                                                                                    The Top Sector Energy consists of
                                                                                    seven Top Consortia for Knowledge &
                                                                                    Innovation (TKIs) which provide a forum
                                                                                    for the business community, research
                                                                                    institutions and the government to
                                                                                    work together on sustainable growth.
                                                                                    The TKI Offshore Wind coordinates and
                                                                                    prioritises the research efforts to realise
                                                                                    cost reductions and stimulate economic
                                                                                    growth. Collaboration among the
                                                                                    European R&D institutes further
                                                                                    increases the impact and international
                                                                                    collaborative projects supported by EU
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