UpWind, the largest ever long-term wind energy research project to receive funding from the EU, has been launched in a bid to establish design limits for very large wind turbines with a capacity of up to 20 MW.

UpWind aims to help wind technologies reach cost parity with the most cost effective energy sources, using new and more efficient turbine design methods for units to be built after 2010.

The study, involving some forty manufacturers, service providers, universities, research organisations and other professional organisations, has a budget of more than E22 million of which the EC contributes over E14 million.

The five year study is an ‘Integrated Project’ – a type of financing instrument introduced under the Sixth Framework Programme for R&D (FP6) – and results from a two year proposal process. The findings of the project will be published on a soon to be launched website.