Offshore wind expertise blows over to South Korean Jeju Island
In five years’ time, the South Korean Jeju Island will have gained dozens of experts in the field of offshore wind energy. This is not a luxury but a necessity, as the country is investing heavily in wind farms. ECN is collaborating with DUWIND/TU Delft to ensure that first-rate wind expertise blows over from the Netherlands.
Ever heard of Jeju Island? Boasting unparalleled natural beauty, this South Korean island has secured UNESCO World Heritage status. As part of efforts to preserve this magnificent nature, the local government is investing in CO2-neutral energy facilities using geothermal, solar and offshore wind energy. Their ambition is to become energy neutral by 2030. ‘The climate of Jeju Island is particularly suitable for wind energy. There is great potential, but local knowledge of offshore wind still needs development, particularly in the area of operations and maintenance, which are crucial for the generation of 24/7 wind energy’, explains Aart van der Pal, Director of ECN Wind Energy.
Knowledge exchange for the greater good
ECN is a world leader in the field of wind energy. More than 80% of all offshore wind farms in the North Sea have been designed based our expertise in operations & maintenance. Aart van der Pal: ‘That is naturally something that we are proud of, but we don’t want to keep this expertise all to ourselves. And sustainability can be accelerated by exchanging information internationally’. That is why, following a request from Jeju National University, ECN and DUWIND/TU Delft have designed a long-term training programme.
50 Korean wind experts in five years
Over a five-year period, academic-level Koreans will receive training in basic theory, applied knowledge and practical knowledge. Aart van der Pal: ‘Starting in summer 2017, 10 Koreans will come to the Netherlands every year. In five years’ time, the island will therefore be home to 50 trained operators, engineers and managers. It is a major initial step towards the successful introduction of offshore wind farms’.
Korean lecturers will also travel to the Netherlands to learn first-hand how to effectively impart knowledge on wind energy. ‘Another major advantage is that Dutch students will also have the opportunity to graduate or take their PhD in Korea. The exchange of knowledge truly works both ways’.
Opportunity for the Dutch business sector
International collaboration also opens doors for Dutch companies, as it will be easier for them to offer products and services on the Korean market. Aart: ‘In addition to transferring expertise, ECN also fulfils a portal function. We are in the position to form a direct link between Jeju operators, engineers and managers with specific questions and the expertise available at Dutch companies’.
If you would like more information about offshore wind and international knowledge exchange with Korea, please contact Aart van der Pal by completing our contact form. He will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
The collaboration with Korea dovetails with the Partner in Business Wind Energy Programme for Korea and Japan, as well as with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Jeju National University, DUWIND/TU Delft and ECN in Korea in September 2016.