Report points to wind's smart future

EUROPE: Turbine capacity will continue to increase, but the main technology advances for wind power will be in digitalisation and automation, according to DNV GL.

DNV GL predicts smart technology will cut maintenance costs
DNV GL predicts smart technology will cut maintenance costs

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"Turbines rated up to 8MW and with [rotor] diameters greater than 170 metres are already installed, with designs reaching 12MW and 200 metres," DNV GL reported in its Technology Outlook 2025 report.

Digitalisation of the industry by 2025 will substantially improve the design, planning and operation of wind turbines, the report said.

"Digitalisation also enables automation, which will lead to new services that were earlier too tedious, costly or simply impossible.

"The costs for maintenance of wind turbines and wind farms will be lower, and demand response invitations, where customers can voluntarily reduce demand in peak moments, will be better-tuned to individual and changing consumer wishes."

The report authors said that hybrid grids (use of HVDC and AC) are expected to develop rapidly in the next ten years as the transmission network is transformed into a European "supergrid".

"In 2025, hybrid grids will emerge during the transition period that will be forged by increasing penetration of flexible AC and HVDC technology, allowing optimum control over power transmission systems," the report said.

"Hybrid grids hold considerable promise, but they also involve increasing levels of complexity."

The consultancy also predicts that commercialisation of floating platforms for offshore wind will allow full-scale deployment to begin by 2025.

DNV GL director Theo Bosma said: "The implementation of these new technologies will be a game changer in the next ten years, accelerating the energy transition."

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