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Design limits for scaling up to 10 - 20 MW wind turbines

The main purpose of the European wind industry's research and development strategy for the next decade is to become the most competitive source of energy on land (2020) and at sea (2030), not counting external costs.

The industry is moving on to two parallel paths for cost savings:

  • Incremental innovation: cost savings through economies of scale resulting from increased market volumes of 'mainstream' products, with a continuous effort to improve production and installation methods and products.
  • Breakthrough innovation: creation of innovative products, including highly scaled up specialised (offshore) turbines, which should be seen as new products.

The UPWIND project has investigated innovative processes and determined which crucial information was lacking to reduce the energy costs of connections to the grid, foundations and wind farm interactions.

Wide scope and reduction of energy costs

UPWIND is one of the few integrated projects carried out under FP6. Integrated projects were designed to cover the whole research spectrum and bring them together in a single work package, integrating the results of all the activities. All this led to a matrix structure as shown in the figure below. This structure deals with scientific and engineering disciplines in horizontal work packages (WPs) and integrates them through vertical activities.
Because UPWIND had a broad project scope and the project formed the basis for important future energy cost reduction strategies, it has made a significant contribution to the recommendations of the European Wind Energy Platform and the launch of the European Wind Initative.

The vertical activities are grouped in work packages for scientific and technological work respectively. The integrated work of the WP1 has led to various scientific and technological integration activities. The scaling up or 'lighthouse' approach was coordinated by TNO and reported in WP1B.4 Upscaling. The results of the UPWIND project can be requested via https://windeurope.org/policy/eu-funded-projects/upwind/.

The results of the UPWIND project can be requested at


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Bernard Bulder, MSc

  • Wind Energy Technology
  • integral wind farm design
  • optimisation and cost modelling


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