DOE funds research to reduce the cost of wind energy, enable the integration of substantial amounts of wind energy into the national energy system, and create siting solutions to reduce environmental impacts. In 2020, the federal research budget for wind energy research and development was 104 million USD (85.07 EUR)—an increase of 12 million USD (9.816 million EUR) over 2019.
DOE organized its 2020 wind energy research priorities into several categories:
Offshore wind: DOE support included 21 million USD (17.17 million EUR) for three projects on offshore wind technology demonstration and resource characterization. The National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium, a public-private partnership supported by DOE and focused on R&D activities to reduce offshore wind LCOE, selected 12 new research projects, bringing the consortium’s total to 20 awards and 17.3 million USD (14.15 million EUR) invested.
Land-based wind: DOE funded the Big Adaptive Rotor project to enable the next generation of land-based wind turbines with rotors that measure over 200 m in diameter. DOE awarded GE Renewables 5 million USD (4.09 million EUR) to design and demonstrate a 140-m wind turbine with a 10-m, 3D-printed concrete pedestal. DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and the American Clean Power Association, made significant improvements to the U.S. Wind Turbine Database, which contains data from nearly 68,000 wind turbines.
Distributed wind: DOE’s Tools Assessing Performance project aims to improve wind resource characterization, thereby reducing the uncertainty of project performance and financing costs, increasing consumer confidence, and lowering the levelized cost of distributed wind energy. The Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (MIRACL) project leverages research capabilities across four national laboratories and enables research, development, and industry validation of distributed energy resource design and planning tools, components, and hybrid energy systems.
Systems integration: DOE’s goal is to enable cost-effective, cybersecure, reliable, and resilient operation of the U.S. energy grid with increasing levels of wind. Projects include a wind cybersecurity road map and MIRACL.