12 June 2013 – Rotor blade manufacturer, LM Wind Power says that its ambition is to lower the cost of energy generated by wind power below grid parity, through a research project to develop intelligent blades based on wireless sensor technology.
 
The sensors in the blades will be able to predict weather conditions and calculate when they can harvest the most energy from the wind while ensuring minimum loads on the wind turbine. The technology could be a real game changer, enabling developers to install more powerful turbines with increasingly longer blades without incurring the excessive additional cost it requires for strengthening the turbine structure.
 
LM Wind Power’s vice president business development and strategic alliances, Frank Nielsen says, “It is our ambition to lower the cost of wind power so that it becomes more compelling than fossil fuel. The incentive to change to renewable energy sources is much greater if there’s an economic benefit in addition to large environmental benefits. We see that the wind turbine manufacturers are spending significant resources on improving the efficiency of wind turbines so we believe the market is ready to embrace new technological solutions.”  
 
Wind power has moved significantly closer to grid parity over recent years. In fact, an onshore wind turbine can produce a kilowatt hour of energy at almost the same price as fossil fuels. However, if wind power is to attract new investment and expand its share of the global energy market, a further decrease in the cost of energy is required.
 
The US$11.5 million research project is supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation with US$5.8 million, and is being developed by the University of Aalborg in Denmark and companies PolyTech, kk-electronic and LM Wind Power.