Wind Industry Unveils Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda to Bolster Europe's Competitive Position

This initiative calls for a significant €1.8 billion in public investment in wind energy research and innovation to enhance the development of a resilient, competitive, and sustainable European wind supply chain.

Leaders in the wind industry, Chief Technology Officers, wind energy experts, and policymakers gathered at the ZF Wind Power factory in Lommel, Belgium on December 4 to present the new ETIPWind SRIA. The agenda, built upon the collaborative efforts of 190 industry experts and the research community, aims to address the growing demand for wind energy in Europe.

The European Union has set an ambitious target of achieving 420 GW of wind energy by 2030, a substantial increase from the current capacity of 205 GW. The European Commission recently introduced the Wind Power Package, outlining 15 actions to fortify Europe's wind energy industry.

To meet the 2030 targets, the industry must expand its manufacturing capacity, recruit and train an additional 200,000 workers, and maintain leadership in sustainability and harmonious coexistence with society and nature.

Research and Innovation (R&I) are identified as crucial components to tackle these challenges. The ETIPWind SRIA outlines 23 areas for EU funding from 2025-2027, supporting five key priorities:

  1. Accelerate the industrialization and restore the competitiveness of the supply chain.
  2. Optimize and further digitalize the Operations & Maintenance of assets.
  3. Achieve faster and wider wind energy system integration.
  4. Develop a sustainable and circular wind energy supply chain.
  5. Attract a skilled workforce and ensure harmonious coexistence with society.

ETIPWind estimates that an overall public investment of €1.8 billion (EU and national) is needed to effectively address these priorities during the 2025-2027 period, signaling a need to double current public investments in wind energy R&I.

The launch event aligns with the EU's preparations for the upcoming calls for projects under Horizon Europe, its flagship research and innovation program, and discussions on its successor framework program.

Bernd Biervert, Head of Unit in DG Research & Innovation at the European Commission, noted, "The ETIPWind’s Strategic R&I Agenda is a very timely and valuable input for the European Commission in the co-creation process of the next Horizon Europe Work Programmes."

Johan Hanssens, Secretary General for Economy, Science & Innovation at the Flemish Ministry, emphasized the importance of close cooperation between policymakers, academia, and industry in achieving transformative innovation toward sustainability. He noted that the proposed ETIPWind R&I Agenda will align visions and contribute to designing better policies.

The launch event took place at the ZF Wind Power factory in Lommel, where participants visited the construction site of the new state-of-the-art ZF Test and Prototype Center. Once completed, ZF will be capable of validating complete powertrain systems for both onshore and offshore wind turbines, showcasing the company's commitment to wind energy and the belief in the future of this renewable energy source.