A group of people attending a presentation.
A group of people attending a presentation.
A group of people attending a presentation.

Annual Innovation Forum 2023

Representatives of the NorthWind consortium gathered in Trondheim over the past two days for the Centre’s third Annual Innovation Forum. On the agenda were a list of keynote addresses outlining the current state of offshore wind, as well as presentations of selected NorthWind results and a series of workshops on various research topics.

The first day started with a presentation by Birgit Hernes, from the Research Council of Norway, who gave an overview of the Council’s work in the field of energy, and in wind power. Next were speeches by Elling Rishoff (DNV), who is NorthWind’s Chairperson of the Board, and by John Olav Tande (SINTEF Energy Research), who is NorthWind’s director. Both addresses highlighted the need to reduce the costs of offshore wind, a necessity made even more crucial by the current inflationary pressure affecting many industrial supply chains.

Then, Klaus Udesen (Norwegian Energy Partners – NORWEP) gave an outline of the state of offshore wind in the North Sea area. Carl Erik Hillesund (Statnett) gave a presentation in which he mentioned that Norway’s transmission system operator is already building the North Sea grid. Statnett’s goal is to prepare the power system to connect 15 GW by 2040 and 30 GW by 2050. Oskar Gärdeman, from Enova, talked about support mechanisms in place to encourage offshore wind development.

Progress report from the Centre

The afternoon was dedicated to updates on the Centre’s progress. First up was Magnus Eriksson, from SINTEF, telling us about material failures in offshore wind. Then, Sparsha Nagula (Ph.D.) talked about the work of NorthWind partner NGI in establishing a database for North Sea sands. Henning Braaten and Martin Gutsch outlined their work on challenging vessel operations in floating wind farms – keeping a vessel stationary relative to a wind turbine is namely easier said than done.

Other presenters were Andrzej Hołdyk (SINTEF) and Jalal khodaparast (Mainstream Renewable Power), about 132 kV inter-array cable networks, Adil Rasheed (NTNU) about Digital twin technology, and Rita V. d’Oliveira Bouman (NTNU), about societal challenges of offshore wind in the North Sea.

Centre management also provided updates: Inger Marie Malvik from the Technology Transfer Committee outlined the Committee’s work on assessing the Centre’s innovations. Trond Kvamsdal gave an overview of the Scientific Committee’s work, and Ana Page presented the Centre Management Group’s work on assessing research needs in collaboration with project partners.

A General assembly was then held, followed by a scientific poster session.

Day two

The second day of the Annual Innovation Forum was dedicated to examining a variety of research questions, through a series of concurrent workshops. Discussions were held about using aluminium as a material in offshore wind in a workshop led by work packages 1, 2 and 3. A primary objective of the workshops is to find potential user cases. User cases are a good way for Centre partners to contribute to research progress while working on a particular issue that is important to them. Also discussed during this first batch of workshops: sustainable development goals interlinkages with offshore wind and market integration of offshore wind.

The second batch of workshops looked at subsea technology, sustainability and optimised wind farm design. Meanwhile, the NorthWind board also held one of its regular meetings. The day concluded with a lunch at 13:00.