The biannual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Research and Development (R&D) Newsletter provides recent news about the DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office's R&D projects, news, accomplishments, and recent publications.

Current Research & Development

Experts Predict 50% Lower Wind Costs Than They Did in 2015
Study shows expected cost declines of 37%–49% by 2050

Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Experts anticipate cost reductions of 17%–35% by 2035 and 37%–49% by 2050 under a median or best-guess scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient wind turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements. The findings are described in an article in Nature Energy, with further details on the Berkeley Lab website.

Following a similar effort in 2015, the study summarizes a global survey of 140 wind energy experts. It uncovers insights on the possible magnitude of and drivers for cost reductions, anticipated technology trends, and grid-system value-enhancement measures. It focuses on three wind applications: onshore (land-based), fixed-bottom offshore, and floating offshore.

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Wind Repowering Helps Set the Stage for Energy Transition
Research findings highlight motivations behind wind power’s second act

Wind energy is already a major contributor to the U.S. energy system (9.2% of all electricity in 2020) and is expected to become even more so in the future. Boosted by advancing technology, economies of scale, and plummeting costs, the U.S. industry had an exceptional year in 2020, with wind power capacity additions of 14.2 gigawatts (GW).

Although new wind power plant plans and installations dominate headlines, wind repowering—the combined activity of dismantling or refurbishing existing wind turbines and commissioning new ones—also plays an important role in the industry. By modernizing the existing wind fleet, repowering sets the stage for future wind industry investments and helps maximize wind energy use in the coming energy transition.

Recognizing this potential, several members from the International Energy Agency Wind (IEA Wind) Technology Collaboration Programme Task 26—led by NREL, with funding from WETO—published an article in Nature Energy that explores the drivers influencing onshore wind energy repowering decisions.

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Competitiveness Improvement Project Awardee Fills Critical Gap for Distributed Wind Industry
Using funding from DOE’s Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP), Intergrid LLC has introduced the first inverter developed specifically for small- and medium-scale wind turbines.
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Uniting the U.S. Power System
Interconnections Seam Study explores benefits and costs of enhanced transmission across U.S. electric grid.
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Developing the Right Technology for Right Whales
Innovative technology mitigates the negative impacts of offshore wind energy development on this endangered species.
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New Tool Protects Bats While Increasing Energy Production
Natural Power has developed the first-ever smart curtailment technology that simultaneously reduces bat fatalities and energy losses at wind farms.
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A Portal to Wind Energy Discovery
As part of DOE’s A2e initiative, wind energy scientists share data and provide information to wind power plant owners and consultants who need to make informed decisions on types of technologies to be deployed and where to locate wind turbines.
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Webinar Series Improves Understanding of Offshore Wind Turbine-Radar Interference
Offshore wind turbines can interfere with radar systems used for air traffic control, weather forecasting, and homeland security. To understand potential impacts, the Wind Turbine Radar-Interference Mitigation Working Group hosted a series of webinars.
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No Time To Waste: A Circular Economy Strategy for Wind Energy
Using, reusing, recycling, and remanufacturing wind turbine materials—combined with technology engineered to use fewer materials and resources—will produce components that can easily be broken down for use in other applications.
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Letter from the Wind Energy Technologies Office Director, Dr. Robert C. Marlay

Our spring newsletter is an opportunity to look both backward and forward—at wind energy research and development (R&D) accomplishments from the previous year and at the U.S. Department of Energy’s plans for advancing wind energy in the future. With new national plans to address climate change, build a 100% clean energy economy, and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050, wind is expected to play an increasingly important role in America’s energy future.

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DOE News

The following is a list of wind energy news from WETO and DOE national laboratories.

How We’re Moving to Net-Zero by 2050
We need to revolutionize how we generate and use electricity, by making renewable energy sources like wind and solar more abundant, more affordable, and more accessible to everyone. See what we're doing about it.
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Halfway to Zero: Progress towards a Carbon-Free Power Sector
A review of historical trends shows the progress the power sector has already made in reducing emissions.
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Energy Secretary Granholm Announces Ambitious New 30GW Offshore Wind Deployment Target by 2030
National offshore wind goal will support 77,000 jobs, power 10 million homes, and cut 78 million metric tons in carbon emissions.
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Berkeley Lab Study Shines Light on Wind Energy Taxes and Schools
Study indicates wind projects led to substantial increases in revenue and expenditures, boosting capital spending, improving or expanding education facilities and features that were beneficial to students, teachers, and communities.
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2021 Collegiate Wind Competition Teams Prepare to Go Virtual
This June, 13 teams of college students from across the United States will showcase their wind energy achievements at the 2021 CWC.
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DOE Announces Teams to Compete in the 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition
DOE announces 11 teams selected to compete in the 2022 Collegiate wind competition, where students will design, build, and test a model wind turbine.
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Distributed Wind Research Program Workshop Report
WETO organized the Distributed Wind Research Program Workshop to bring together laboratory and industry project stakeholders to achieve key objectives.
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WISDEM Update Improves User Experience, Takes Systems Engineering Approach to Wind Energy Project Design
WISDEM software creates a virtual, vertically integrated wind plant from components to operations.
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DOE Publishes 100-Meter Mid-Atlantic Wind Resource Maps and Tutorial
Maps provide easy-to-understand snapshots of wind resources.
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Multi-Year Program Plan for Wind Energy Research Released
The plan outlines WETO's research priorities and plans through the year 2025.
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Funding News

The following is a list of announcements related to DOE wind energy funding opportunities.

Join Acting Assistant Secretary Kelly Speakes-Backman for a Webinar on the EERE FY22 Budget Request
EERE’s Acting Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Assistant Secretaries for EERE’s three technology pillars—Energy Efficiency, Renewable Power, and Sustainable Transportation—and Operations will host a FY22 budget webinar on Thursday, June 3, at 2pm ET.
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Interior and Energy Departments Continue Efforts to Advance Offshore Safety and Environmental Sustainability
DOE and the Department of the Interior have entered into a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute.
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National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Announces Five New Awards
Five new research projects focus on Enabling Large-Scale Turbines.
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National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Announces Projects Totaling $8 Million
Fifteen new projects were selected to receive a total of $8 million for offshore wind support structure innovation, U.S.-based supply chain development, electrical systems innovation, and solutions for impacts on wildlife and radar.
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DOE Announces Additional Funding for High-Efficiency Lightweight Generator Demonstration
GE to receive $20.3 million to build and test a prototype of their high-efficiency, ultra-light, low-temperature SCG on a wind turbine.
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Energy Department and Federal Partners Announce up to $14.5 Million for Offshore Wind Environmental Research
Environmental research supports increasing understanding of offshore wind and evaluating impacts on wildlife in U.S. Atlantic waters.
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Energy Department Announces New Projects for Offshore Wind Energy Technology Demonstration and Resource Characterization
Innovative projects support improving the ability to forecast wind power; demonstrating energy production technologies to reduce cost of offshore wind
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Featured Publications

The following is a curated list of recent or high-profile publications from WETO and DOE national laboratories. Visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind Technology Resource Center for research reports, publications, data sets, and online tools developed by national laboratories and their facilities.

Explore previous editions of the Wind R&D Newsletter or browse articles by topic: