Included in the 10 themes of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and technological development, renewable energy has been widely recognised as a growth area. It is wind energy that is firmly in the spotlight because this is the only feasible source of renewables to be used economically in large quantities. Given sufficient support, wind energy could provide up to 34 % of the EU’s electricity by 2030. However, one crucial issue lies in the wind turbine generator technology and its development. The EU-funded EDWTGT (Evaluation and development of wind turbine generator technologies) project set up a collaborative scheme of research exchanges and networking. The initiative brought together leading scientists and engineers in China, Italy and the United Kingdom, supported by funding bodies and industrial partners. The consortium comprised five member organisations with complementary research experiences and strengths in wind turbine generation technologies. The initiative was launched to develop wind turbine generation topologies, numerical models, control and optimisation algorithms, experimental tools and condition monitoring techniques. A European wind energy technology platform (ETPWind) has been established to support collaborative research between EU Member States via the European Wind Initiative (EWI). EDWTGT put together a five-member consortium including Queen’s University, University of Sheffield, University of Cassino, Zhejiang University and the Shenyang University of Technology. The work targeted five research focus areas covering induction, permanent magnet, reluctance, superconducting generator technologies and an overall evaluation of the differing technology options. The initiative conducted exchanges to allow for reciprocal transfer of knowledge and technology between the members of the consortium. EDWTGT conducted activities such as periodic meetings, workshops and seminars, individual visits, training and public lectures. The outcomes of this initiative have been shared in high-quality journals and major international conferences, and capitalised on through patents and grant applications. Turbine manufacturers, standards-making bodies and policymakers have also found good use of the outcomes of the consortium’s work.
Wind energy, wind turbine technology, innovation, renewable energy, EDWTGT, European Wind Initiative