AWESOME, financed in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, gathers some of Europe’s most prominent research centres, universities and businesses in the field of wind power with a view to enhancing knowledge on wind farm management and maintenance.
The aim of the project is to cater for the growing demand of knowledge and the lack of qualified workers in this sector, which is likely to create up to 50,000 jobs by 2030.
AWESOME project – Advanced Wind Energy System Operation and Maintenance Expertise – is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 programme and has been allocated 2.8 million euros in order to tackle the current obstacles hindering smooth wind turbine operation and maintenance.
Europe’s wind power facilities are ageing, and with more and more farms being set up offshore, it is increasingly important to operate and maintain these facilities correctly in order to ensure their optimal performance.
AWESOME will help to build on existing techniques and know-how to improve these tasks. According to reports by the European Technology Platform for Wind Energy, the sector could create up to 50,000 employment opportunities by 2030.
As it progresses, the project will develop new default planning and prevention strategies and will give rise to new know-how and experiences by training specialised professionals. To do so, AWESOME will select 11 researchers and guide them through their doctoral theses on topics linked to wind farm operation and maintenance.
Thanks to its broad training programme and by disseminating its results, AWESOME will be contributing to research into wind turbine performance. It will also be laying the foundations of a knowledge network to promote research and training in the field and thus combat the shortage of specialised professionals.
The researchers selected will be supervised by distinguished players in the European wind power sector. This includes the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE), the project coordinator. The full consortium comprises a total of 9 European universities, companies and associations from Spain, Germany, the UK, Norway and Denmark, which are supported by other key agents from the European wind energy sector. Additionally, the project is backed by the European Academy of Wind Energy (EAWE) and works in line with the EU’s education and training roadmap (SET Plan Education Roadmap).
Launching the project
The project began on 21 January with a launch meeting that was held at CIRCE’s main building on the University of Zaragoza’s Rio Ebro Campus. The event was attended by 15 professionals from the consortium with the aim of defining the first guidelines and discussing details on how to proceed. Together, the consortium members will be working shoulder-to-shoulder for the next four years as the project unfolds. In addition to the goals set within the project itself, this collaboration is expected to encourage an exchange of know-how and pave the way for further projects.