New offshore wind research to help reach Net Zero energy goals

Offshore Wind Farm - Germany

The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), a collaboration between nine offshore wind developers, is launching 16 new research and development (R&D) projects this year. These span five key areas of logistics and operations and maintenance, cables, electrical systems, foundations, yield and performance. 

As a range of countries plan to accelerate their Net Zero or low carbon energy transitions, offshore wind will play a key role. This month the UK Government released its new Energy Security Strategy which aims to boost low carbon energy generation from 60% of electricity production to 95% by 2030. This followed Germany’s announcement in March to spend €200bn on its ‘Energiewende’ energy transition and Easter Package commitments to reach 70GW of offshore generation by 2045. 

The 16 planned projects will optimise and scale renewable energy, critical to meeting these targets. Tenders for each will be available to apply for this month through the Carbon Trust’s website.

One upcoming project will conduct research looking at the impact of climate change on offshore wind resource. Research has already been conducted into the impact of climate change on global wind patterns, but this new project will enable windfarm owners to have a better understanding of the future impacts on local wind resource.

Another will look at ways of reducing the emissions associated with installation and operations of offshore wind farms. While the turbines produce renewable energy, many of the vessels servicing the offshore farms are powered by fossil fuels.

Hybrid electric vessels, and even full emission-free vessels, are becoming more common, but the charging infrastructure is not widely available for offshore farms. The OWA is developing a new industry standard for charging vessels offshore and will extend this work to accelerate deployment of charging infrastructure within ports.

Jan Matthiesen, the Carbon Trust’s Director for Offshore Wind said:

“This new round of 16 projects announced by the OWA will conduct critical research, which aims to generate knowledge to increase the pace and scale of industrialisation of the offshore wind sector globally. These findings are needed now more than ever to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which will be key to achieving Net Zero targets and increasing energy security.

“In recent years, offshore wind has proven its maturity with drastic cost reductions and a rapid pace of deployment. The sector now faces a new challenge to scale up to meet the increased ambitions across global markets. This will require new innovations and methods to support this unprecedented level of industrialisation and collaboration will be key to achieving success.”

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Notes to editors

These two tenders, and 14 further projects, will become available to apply for this month via the Carbon Trust’s website. Any companies working in these areas are encouraged to keep an eye on our website this April as the projects go live. Interested parties can register here to learn about future tenders.

For further information please contact: The Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0)20 7170 7050 or

About the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA)

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is the Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative research, development and deployment programme. The joint initiative was set up between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers in 2008, with the aim to reduce the cost of offshore wind to be competitive with conventional energy generation.

The current phase involves participation and funding from nine international energy companies: EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TotalEnergies and Vattenfall.

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. We have been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments, and organisations. Drawing on a network of over 300 experts internationally, the Carbon Trust guides organisations through their journey to Net Zero. From strategic planning and target setting to delivery, activation, and communication - we provide smarter ways to turn intent into impact.