POWERED by wind
In our fight to develop cleaner, greener and cheaper energy, we are turning more and more ‘into the wind’, and some of the world’s best wind resources are located off-shore.
Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.
Off-shore wind energy, together with natural gas, is the fastest-growing energy generation technology across the European Union (EU). The POWERED project aims to define a set of strategies and shared methodologies for the rapid development of off-shore wind energy farms around the Adriatic Sea area.
Compared to land-based wind energy, production units at sea are larger, winds tend to be stronger and more reliable and arguably off-shore wind farms cause less physical and visual impact.
The lack of space across Europe, particularly surrounding its high-density population areas, is also limiting the availability of land for wind farm installations. In countries in which off-shore wind technologies have been steadily developing, regional and national governments have been keen to acquire shared knowledge, to understand and estimate the amount of off-shore wind resources available.
The project does not set out to build wind farms, but to define a strategy for their development and realisation across the Adriatic. It will draft guidelines compatible with the planning and conservation policies of the project partners, outlining common actions and ultimately leading to the fast growth of off-shore wind farms. The project will also look at the development of the sea basin for a submarine electronic connection network, to help the exchange of energy power between countries.
In order to conduct a scientific analysis of the existing weather conditions, a network of anemometers will be positioned along the coastline and wave meters at sea, providing data for a marine meteorological map of the region. The data will be collected and analysed in order to monitor the evolution of the region’s climate, and determine where the conditions are best suited for investing in off-shore wind in the Adriatic. At the end of the project, this meteorological network will continue to provide support to the region’s weather forecast services.
Cooperation across the Adriatic
The common efforts of the project partners will make it possible to spot areas which will be suitable for hosting wind farms, without affecting existing everyday activities, such as the region’s fishing industries.
The overall benefits that the project will bring include the creation of an interactive detailed wind map reporting the wind energy availability in any area of the Adriatic basin. The project will also help develop a solid trans-regional and trans-national cooperation structure, based around a common energy challenge. Finally, the end goal will be to set up off-shore wind farms across the Adriatic.