The Grand Challenges in the Science of Wind Energy

This program features an international panel of wind energy science and technology leaders as they review the challenges, opportunities, and interdisciplinary collaboration necessary to drive the innovation needed for wind to become one of the world’s primary sources of low-cost electricity generation. Modern wind turbines already represent a tightly optimized confluence of materials science and aerodynamic engineering. The growing scale and deployment of clean energy expansion will, however, push the technology into areas of both scientific and engineering uncertainty. A group of researchers and scientists from around the world documented the grand challenges in wind energy research that must be addressed to enable wind energy to supply one-third to one-half, or even more, of the world’s electricity needs. The challenges highlight the need to better understand atmospheric physics in the regions where taller turbines will operate as well as the materials and manufacturing constraints associated with the scale-up. The mutual interaction of wind plants with one another and with the evolving features of the overall electricity grid will furthermore necessitate a systems approach to future development.  For more information, this study appeared in a journal article published in Science.


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05/13/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
05/13/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
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Paul Veers

Chief Engineer, NREL's National Wind Technology Center

Paul Veers is the Chief Engineer at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center. He has worked in the area of Wind Energy Technology since 1980, conducting research on wind energy systems including atmospheric turbulence simulation, fatigue analysis, reliability, structural dynamics, aeroelastic tailoring of blades, and the evaluation of design requirements. Prior to his role at NREL, he was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. Paul has authored over 70 articles, papers, book chapters and reports and for twelve years was the Chief Editor for Wind Energy, an international journal for progress and applications in wind power.

Charlie Smith

Executive Director, Energy Systems Integration Group

Executive Director Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group Mr. Smith is a Senior Member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, and member of CIGRE, the International Council on Large Electric Systems. He is a guest editor for the IEEE Power and Energy magazine, and an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He received his BSME and MS degrees from MIT in 1970. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG). Previously, he served as President of Electrotek Concepts, a power engineering consulting firm. He has over 40 years of experience in the electric power industry.

Danielle Merfeld

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Renewable Energy

Julie Lundquist

Associate Professor, Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC), University of Colorado

Robert Marlay

Director, DOE WETO

Henrik Stiesdal,

Stiesdal A/S