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Research and innovation

Why the EU supports wind energy research and innovation

Wind energy is the technology expected to provide the largest contribution to the EU renewable energy targets for 2020 and beyond.

The EU currently has the largest floating wind energy capacity in the world - about 70% of the total.

By end 2020, the total installed wind energy capacity could reach 210GW, equivalent to supplying 14% of electricity demand. By 2030 it could reach 350GW, supplying up to 24% of electricity demand.

Challenges and opportunities

Wind power is already competitive with other sources of electricity in a number of countries.

Offshore wind represents a significant future opportunity: resources are stable, abundant and public acceptance is higher. 

Europe is the global leader in offshore wind. This position must be maintained in a context where global players such as the USA, China, Korea and Japan have increased their support to boost their offshore industry.

However, knowledge about potential impacts of wind energy turbines on the environment and health need to be improved, given the widespread use of the technology.

Another important challenge will be to increase the circularity of wind energy technology, taking into account the end of life of turbines and the materials dependency.

What the EU is doing

EU research and innovation aims to lower costs and increase the performance and reliability of offshore wind energy technology.

The EU is also supporting floating substructures or integrated floating wind energy systems for deeper waters and use in other climate conditions. This will increase deployment possibilities and improve the European position in the global market.

Offshore wind power in Europe is currently focused in the North Sea, which has relatively shallow water. However, more attention has been paid recently in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Coast, as floating technologies become more mature.

Research and Innovation to boost the development of offshore renewable energy (Factsheet)

Funding opportunities

Calls for proposal on energy related themes in Horizon Europe and information on the work programme.

Funding for innovative low-carbon technology research with focus on environmentally safe Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy technologies

The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

Projects and results

Latest news, interviews and features about thought-provoking science and innovative research projects funded by the EU.

Platform where framework programme participants present their results for you to search, contact their owners, and form partnerships.

Access to real-time programme data with the ability to filter by country, region, theme and more

Collaboration and jobs

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Scientific energy research publications published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes

You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE