South Korea Tapping Into Dutch Offshore Wind Know-How

Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and DUWIND/TU Delft have designed a long-term training programme for future South Korean experts who will work on developing offshore wind potential off the Jeju Island.

Over a five-year period, academic-level Koreans will receive training in basic theory, applied knowledge and practical knowledge, ECN said.

”Starting in summer 2017, 10 Koreans will come to the Netherlands every year,” Aart van der Pal, Director of ECN Wind Energy.

”In five years’ time, the island will therefore be home to 50 trained operators, engineers and managers. It is a major initial step towards the successful introduction of offshore wind farms. Korean lecturers will also travel to the Netherlands to learn first-hand how to effectively impart knowledge on wind energy. ‘Another major advantage is that Dutch students will also have the opportunity to graduate or take their PhD in Korea. The exchange of knowledge truly works both ways.”

In five years’ time, the South Korean Jeju Island will have gained dozens of experts in the field of offshore wind energy, according to ECN. This is not a luxury but a necessity, as the country is investing heavily in wind farms.

The South Korean island of Jeju has secured UNESCO World Heritage status. As part of efforts to preserve this magnificent nature, the local government is investing in CO2-neutral energy facilities using geothermal, solar and offshore wind energy. Their ambition is to become energy neutral by 2030.

ECN and DUWIND/TU Delft designed the programme following a request from Jeju National University.

”The climate of Jeju Island is particularly suitable for wind energy. There is great potential, but local knowledge of offshore wind still needs development, particularly in the area of operations and maintenance, which are crucial for the generation of 24/7 wind energy,” said van der Pal.

This international collaboration also opens doors for Dutch companies, ECN said, as it will be easier for them to offer products and services on the Korean market.

”In addition to transferring expertise, ECN also fulfils a portal function. We are in the position to form a direct link between Jeju operators, engineers and managers with specific questions and the expertise available at Dutch companies,” van der Pal said.

The collaboration with Korea dovetails with the Partner in Business Wind Energy Programme for Korea and Japan, as well as with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Jeju National University, DUWIND/TU Delft and ECN in Korea in September 2016, according to ECN.

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