SP5: Skills, Acceptability and Coexistence

The success of wind energy research and innovation in achieving the 2050 energy goals heavily depends on the availability of a highly skilled and educated workforce,  societal engagement with wind power infrastructure development and co-existence with the environment. Key challenges include are addressed in the five sub-themes in this sub-progamme which will be organized along three main themes:

Having a highly skilled and educated workforce

5.1 Education

5.2 Skilling, re-skilling, upskilling activities

The accelerated implementation of wind energy requires the sector to attract the human resources needed to do the work. This requires improved education of a new generation of employees as well as transitioning experts from other fields, such as oil and gas to the wind sector. At present, the educational areas mainly concern engineering and technical aspects, but wind energy is not just a technical, engineering and onshore/offshore competence. It is a very broad spectrum, ranging from legal, environment, finance, purchasing, logistics, human resources, training, certification, preparation and development of documentation, tenders, approvals, stakeholder cooperation, etc.

Societal engagement and a fair energy transition

5.3 Increase public engagement of citizens

5.4 Fair transition, inclusiveness and stakeholder interests

The wind sector needs to address the socio-spatial consequences of expanding wind deployment, such as land-use issues, intensified site searches, and site-specific socio-economic impacts. The upscaling of wind farms brings increased visual impact and marginalization of small-scale investors due to the unavailability of smaller, urban-friendly turbine designs.  Additionally, understanding consumer behavior in smart grid concepts, ensuring price incentives, and managing privacy and security are critical, along with engaging prosumers and renewable energy communities. Addressing socio-technical research gaps involves ensuring energy justice and democracy in project planning, co-designing technology with societal stakeholders while considering local contexts, and planning for the entire lifecycle of wind turbines. 


5.5 Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary relations with coexistence

The expanding wind farms need to have a proper coexistence with nature and society. Understanding the effects of wind energy’s coexistence with other activities (e.g. ecosystem; agricultural use; fishery; industries; defense) will involve data-collection and models to simulate the interactions between these activities. To minimise the risk of both digital and physical sabotage of renewable energy infrastructure it is important to include the security aspects both digitally as physically.

At least impact to nature should be minimized and where possible positive impact to nature must be achieved. In many wind farms, technologies, methods, tools and models are applied to have a positive impact to nature. As soon as the effectiveness is demonstrated, it needs to be implemented on a large scale.

Collaboration with stakeholders should be developed and demonstrated at scale. Once ready, these can be prepared for widespread deployment in harmony with nature and communities.