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NOWITECH: Results from 8 years of research on offshore wind (final report: download available)

The bold vision for NOWITECH was to contribute to large scale deployment of deep sea offshore wind turbines, and to be an internationally leading research community on offshore wind technology, enabling industry partners to be in the forefront. NOWITECH has delivered results according to this vision, and realised its objective to provide pre-competitive research laying a foundation for industrial value creation and cost-effective offshore wind farms.


We created 40 innovations

The Centre has carried out multidisciplinary research at a high international standard with a joint aim to provide new knowledge, education and innovations for reducing the cost of energy from offshore wind farms. Emphasis has been on “deep-sea” technology (+30 m), including bottom-fixed and floating wind turbines with attention towards development of knowledge and technology that can be applied in the international market. NOWITECH has been successful in this.

NOWITECH Innovation award winners and illustration of innovations
NOWITECH Innovation award winners and illustration of innovations (from left) 2015 (HVDC generator), 2016 (hybrid test) and 2017 (long AC transmission).

In total 40 innovations have been brought forward for further development and application in more commercial-oriented projects.

The research partners have become recognized as internationally leading within specific areas and are engaged in close to all European research projects within offshore wind technology. They are also represented in key European fora such as being in the Steering Committee of the European Technology and Innovation Platform on wind energy (ETIPwind) and heading the offshore wind activity within the European Energy Research Alliance Joint Programme on wind energy (EERA JPwind).

Increasing the offshore wind knowledge

NOWITECH has contributed strongly to education, bringing forward attractive candidates for employment in industry. The Centre has funded a total of 25 PhD students and 6 post-docs, and the large majority of these are now engaged in Norwegian industry working within the offshore wind market.

Publications from the Centre includes more than 230 peer-reviewed articles, together with numerous reports, popular media articles, presentations and monographs, counting in total about 900.

The text-book ”Offshore Wind Energy Technology” published by Wiley, April 2018, is based on research material developed in NOWITECH and comprises a comprehensive reference to the most recent advancements in offshore wind technology. Written for students and professionals in the field, it gives value for the future.

Added value in spin-off projects

Very significant spin-off activities have been achieved. Since the start, more than 60 new projects with an accumulated budget in excess of NOK 1500 million of which about NOK 300 million was for one or more of the research partners in NOWITECH. These projects are with separate contracts external to NOWITECH, but carried out in alignment with NOWITECH, providing added value.

An important goal for NOWITECH has been to get promising results transferred to industry for further development and commercialization. Several results are already in this phase, e.g. SIMA, 3DFloat, Seram Coatings, NOWIcob, Remote Presence and more are on the way.

This gives value creation and cost reduction for offshore wind power. The value has been assessed by the independent consultancy company Impello Management AS. In their assessment they considered a subset of the innovations by NOWITECH, and calculated the net present value of these to yield excess of EUR 5 billion, i.e. more than hundred times the total expenditures of NOWITECH. Also, the report verifies an already achieved value creation of EUR 35 million, being equal to the total budget of NOWITECH. The report prepared is published in full at the NOWITECH web.

FME has been a successful scheme

It has been a great pleasure to work as centre director among highly skilled researchers and students, knowledge-seeking user partners and interested third parties. I am also greatly thankful to the Research Council of Norway and all user partners for the financial support, which has given us a long-term perspective to produce high-quality results and applicable solutions for the offshore wind energy sector.

NOWITECH has proven a very effective spearhead for research, providing international visibility and impact. A set of separate projects could not have achieved this, and an ideal continuation would be to again have an FME or similar on offshore wind. I am eager to see the continued journey.

We will continue our work

NOWITECH will continue as a research network, and research on offshore wind technology will continue amongst the partners through a strong portfolio of projects. This also includes arrangement of the annual EERA Deepwind conference that will be held 16-18 January 2019 in Trondheim. It will be a great place to meet. Please note the deadline for abstracts is 15 October 2018.

Although the offshore wind technology has gone through an astonishing development during the last few years, it still has continued need for strong R&I and great potential for further development into a main contributor in the future sustainable energy mix. This is confirmed by the Norwegian research strategy Energi21 and the European SET-plan, both prioritizing research on offshore wind technology.

I hope you enjoy the NOWITECH final report, and please take contact should you have any questions. NOWTECH Final Report (and appendix) – Happy reading.

John Olav Tande, NOWITECH Centre Director

NOWITECH – Norwegian Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology – was an international precompetitive NOK 320 million (2009-2017) research cooperation on offshore wind technology co-financed by the Research Council of Norway, industry and research partners.

NOWITECH was part of the FME-scheme, i.e. Norwegian Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (in Norwegian: FME = Forskningssenter for miljøvennlig energi). These are time-limited research centres which conduct concentrated, focused and long-term research of high international quality to solve specific challenges in the field of renewable energy and the environment.

The final report summarizes the achievements of NOWITECH (2009-2017) and marks the completion of NOWITECH in the form of an FME.


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