ECOWindS (European Clusters for Offshore Wind Servicing) project has published the first iteration of its Joint Action Plan outlining key research and innovation activities for the cost effective progression of the offshore wind servicing industry.
ECOWindS is a collaborative project involving partners from Denmark, Germany, Norway and the UK that will contribute to cost reduction of offshore wind servicing through encouraging research and innovation.
The Joint Action Plan; a roadmap for research and development activities, presents 8 recommended actions designed to further the development of the offshore wind industry and contribute to the overall objective of cost reduction through innovation and strengthening the innovative capacities of European maritime regions.
The ECOWindS project and the proposed actions in the Joint Action Plan focus on Offshore Wind Servicing (OWS), a sub-sector of the Offshore Wind value chain consisting of Assembly and Installation (including onshore logistics) through to wind farm Operations and Maintenance activities. Innovations in this area represent significant opportunities for cost reduction with Operation and Maintenance costs alone accounting for up to 25% of the Levelised Cost of Energy from an offshore wind asset.
The Joint Action Plan elaborates on recommendations including establishing international OWS-specific standards, establishing experimental sites and research infrastructures for improving OWS and developing OWS-specific skills and training programs across Europe to ensure supply of relevant skills and competences. It has been developed via ongoing consultation with key stakeholders representing industry, government bodies and education and research institutes. The full plan can be downloaded from the ECOWindS website (www.ecowinds.eu).
In order to continue stakeholder involvement in the Joint Action Plan, ECOWindS partners are currently inviting interested parties to peer review and comment on the Joint Actions Plan actions.
The feedback received will be used to update and refine the actions in preparation for a revised version of the document to be published later in 2015.
Johnathan Reynolds, ECOWindS project director and Business Development Manager at the UK partner organisation OrbisEnergy commented: “stakeholder engagement is vital to the project to ensure that the ECOWindS Joint Action Plan proposals meet the demands of the sector and are in touch with the required innovation needs of offshore wind servicing”.