[Horizon H2020] – Wavestone partner in UPWARDS EU project, modelling & simulation tools for sustainable energy

Summary

  • The global CO2 budget will be exceeded within the next 15 years unless paradigm shifting technology is developed;
  • Wind turbine (WT) capacity must more than double within this time to meet the projected energy demands, this represents an unprecedented growth rate;
  • UPWARDS aims to reach this ambitious target by developing advanced & integrated modelling & simulation tools that will contribute to the rapid development of the next generation of WTs. https://www.upwards-wind.eu/

What is the major challenge that the economies of the world must surmount?

Over 35GT of CO2 was produced in 2017. Emissions have had a 2% average yearly growth rate for the past 25 years. At this rate the world’s CO2 budget will be exceeded in under 15 years… and the growth rate is expected to increase. Exceeding the budget will mean climate heating above the 1.5oC tipping point threshold identified by the IPCC.

SINTEF is leading the project together with a consortium made up of a team of passionate experts from research centers, universities and companies. SINTEF’s contribution will be executed by their Department of Materials and Nanotechnology. The department is specialized in development, characterization, testing and modelling of materials.

UPWARD EU team

What does the mean for the future of energy production & consumption?

Global energy demand growth nonetheless represents an enormous market opportunity. One which can be met while reducing the world’s CO2 output through the development of renewable energy sources such as wind energy.  

A 2018 IRENA study sees wind energy providing approximately a third of the installed renewables capacity needed by 2050, equating to over 5,500GW of installed capacity (IC). An order of magnitude larger than current global IC (540GW in 2017). This represents a monumental challenge to meet with current wind turbines ranging from 2-5MW for on-shore and 5-8MW for off-shore.

…How do we accomplish this goal in the face of the afore mentioned challenge?

The UPWARDS project will prove to be a paradigm shifting initiative in reaching an installed capacity in the TW range in the timeline needed. The advanced simulation capabilities that will be developed in the UPWARDS project will not only make it possible to build wind turbines in the 15MW range, but will also significantly increase the efficiency of the wind turbine design process by enabling much cheaper and much faster testing of wind turbine materials and designs

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