Research and Development Initative

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For wind energy to evolve into a cost-effective, high-penetration, sustainable national energy source that generates more than 20 percent of electricity production, new agendas are essential in wind energy research and development. The research agenda must bridge multiple disciplines and diverse organizations and foster national and international collaborations in order to address the science, engineering, economic, environmental, policy, and public acceptance issues that currently are impeding growth and acceptance of wind energy. Research areas the academy will address include the following:

  1. Wind energy system science and engineering to address the cost and reliability issues that are currently limiting wind energy’s use on land and off shore.
  2. Grid integration and management constraints that limit – and opportunities that enhance – the widespread use of variable generation sources in the North American electrical system.
  3. Atmospheric sciences uncertainties that limit our ability to model and predict wind plant operation, performance, reliability, and dynamic behavior.
  4. Environmental science unknowns concerning the impacts of wind plants on the environment, wildlife, and humans, as well as research on methods to mitigate any impacts.
  5. Market barriers and institutional barriers due to misconceptions, obsolete regulations, and outdated management paradigms.
  6. Social acceptance research to address and mitigate real and perceived issues with the widespread application of wind energy.
  7. Policy research to explore appropriate and balanced energy policies that treat all energy generation technologies equitably.
  8. Business and financial model research and development to improve wind plant development and planning.
  9. Interdisciplinary research to bridge the connections between the above disciplines and facilitate solutions that are not possible within one area alone
  10. New research on evolving issues and barriers as they emerge over time.

NAWEA will use the following means to facilitate research collaborations and partnerships:

  1. Research collaboration among the members. NAWEA will promote research collaboration among members via faculty and staff exchanges and sharing of experimental facilities. Faculty, research staff at government and private laboratories, and researchers in industry will be able to participate.
  2. Research Topic Working groups. NAWEA will facilitate the formation of working groups to explore and address emerging, evolving, or critical areas in wind energy research. The objective will be to establish ad hoc virtual topical external advisory working groups that develop topical white papers or other outcome. These mechanisms are essential components for establishing an effective and accurate flow of information, thus providing the academy with the agility it needs to ebb and flow with wind research needs and impact the research agenda.
  3. Outstanding Young Researcher Award. NAWEA will sponsor an annual “Outstanding Young Researcher Award” to encourage and recognize the importance of new researchers and the need for innovative research in the wind community. (similar to the EWEA outstanding young doctoral researcher award)
  4. Graduate student research exchanges. NAWEA will facilitate opportunities for graduate students to work at other NAWEA member universities and at the national laboratories to enhance their research. This will help promote collaboration among the members, and enrich the graduate student experience. International exchange opportunities with EAWE members will be established.