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 the 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 and perhaps beyond.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbereaau2027
Number of pages9
Issue number6464
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-70493


  • atmospheric flow
  • electricity grid
  • engineering
  • innovation
  • optimization
  • wind energy
  • wind plants


Dive into the research topics of 'Grand Challenges in the Science of Wind Energy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this