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Grand challenges in the science of wind energy


Harvested by advanced technical systems honed over decades of research and development, wind energy has become a mainstream energy resource. However, continued innovation is needed to realize the potential of wind to serve global demand for clean energy. Here, we outline three interdependent, cross-disciplinary grand challenges underpinning this research endeavor. The first is the need for a deeper understanding of the physics of atmospheric flow in the critical zone of plant operation. The second involves science and engineering of the largest dynamic, rotating machines in the world. The third encompasses optimization and control of fleets of wind plants working synergistically within the electricity grid. Addressing these challenges could enable wind power to provide as much as half of our global electricity needs.

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