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Offshore wind basic science and balance of plant

Proposals are expected to address one or more of the following research areas for offshore wind which have been identified in the SET-Plan Implementation Plan[[]]:

  • Atmospheric multi-scale flow modelling (from meso-scale to wind farm flows);
  • Understanding and modelling key uncertainties and physical phenomena of offshore wind energy design and operation (e.g. fluid-structure, soil-structure and electro-mechanical interaction, large motion prediction, turbulence, wave modelling, mooring line behaviour);
  • High performance computing and digitalisation (e.g. data processing, machine learning and data analytics methods for implementation in data‑driven design, digital twins and control and monitoring for O&M);
  • Development and validation of models of structural damage and degradation for offshore wind turbines and/or for their components as functions of loads and environment;
  • Numerical and test methods for accurate assessment of system and component reliability when introducing new materials and technologies;
  • Other offshore balance of plant aspects related to the manufacturing, construction, installation and/or decommissioning of large-scale wind turbines.

While offshore wind must be the cornerstone of the proposal addressing any bullet point above, onshore wind may also be covered when synergies may be exploited from including both. This is just a possibility and not a requirement.

‘Materials science’, which is also mentioned in the SET-Plan Implementation Plan, is outside the scope of this topic, but is addressed under topic LC-NMBP-31-2020.

The proposals are expected to bring new technologies/models/methods to TRL 4-5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The contribution of offshore wind power to the energy mix is expected to increase significantly by 2030. Better knowledge of basic wind energy science and related areas contributes to the cost reductions required to achieve that goal.

Proposals should lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE); those addressing any of the first four bullet points above should also aim to increase the market value of wind power[[This recent concept becomes increasingly important as wind power is often exposed to merchant prices which can be very low. Formally, it represents the average revenue per energy unit of wind produced. See, for example, Riva (2016, p. 15). System value of wind power - an analysis of the effects of wind turbine design. Available at]]