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Policy News, BB200607

The European Technology Platform for Wind Energy prepares to launch

29.01.2007

A single voice for wind energy research, loud enough to be heard. The European Technology Platform for Wind Energy prepares for launch in the autumn.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has just received the good news that the association will receive 100% funding from the Commission for a three year period in order to get the first European Technology Platform for Wind Power fully operational.

It is vital that wind energy has a dedicated technology platform. The work can not be done by existing platforms. There is a lot of unsubstantiated nonsense bandied about regarding wind power and if the wind energy sector does not speak with one voice, it will not be heard above the roar of misinformation.

Other technology platforms are addressing issues such as grid integration that are of paramount importance to wind energy interests; the wind sector must also be heard regarding such issues.

The platform will be a single, unified voice for all research and development needs of the wind energy sector. It will represent manufacturers of turbines and components, end users, developers, environmental organisations, research organisations, laboratories, universities, financiers, representatives of the wider energy sector, EU Institutions, and national government representatives through the Member States Mirror group (see organigram).

The wind platform will establish strong links with other technology platforms, such as Smart Grids (the grid integration platform), and ACARE (aeronautics), among others, as well as technology platforms for wind energy emerging at the national level, such as those in Spain and the Netherlands. It will also act as a ‘docking station’ to encourage interface among project stakeholders throughout the EU, and to identify areas for further work and ‘pilot projects.’

EWEA will manage the European Technology Platform:

The EWEA secretariat will support all activities of the platform itself, in particular the operations of the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee will be the primary decision making body of the platform, and will be made up of high level individuals from throughout the sector. Its primary task will be to assess the tasks facing the sector in terms of policy and technology development, following in-depth analysis by a number of working groups (see organagram below). Following this assessment the committee will propose key actions, taking into account available funding at EU and national levels, as well as funds accessible through such routes as the European Investment Bank and European Commission’s ‘Risk Sharing Finance Facility’, structural funds, and, last but not least, through private industry.

The figure below represents in draft the structure of the platform. Both DG TREN and DG Research will have a fundamental role throughout the lifetime of the platform, but other Directorates General and areas of policy development will also be involved, to ensure that the platform interfaces to the maximum degree with related sectors.

 



Call for Membership of the Steering Committee to be launched this summer


In the next weeks, EWEA in cooperation with the European Commission will launch a ‘Call for Expressions of Interest’ in membership of the Steering Committee of the Wind Energy Technology Platform.The call will be disseminated to the widest possible cross section of the wind energy sector, and is targeted at individuals, not only the organisations they represent. Vital in the successful operation of the platform is the need for dedicated individuals and long term thinking.

The call will be open to all professional stakeholders. Anyone wishing to receive further information should contact [email protected].

Following the completion of the call, the technology platform is scheduled for launch in Brussels in the Autumn.

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