Interim Webinar Series

The 2021 NAWEA/WindTech Conference is postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An Interim Webinar Series is offered in its place, with high-level, impactful presentations on a variety of topics, from offshore wind to partnership opportunities to achieve a carbon-free energy system. The weekly webinars will start with a kickoff “plenary” session and feature invited national and international expert speakers. All events are free of charge but registration is required.

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  • Kickoff “Plenary” Session –  Critical Partnerships for a Carbon-free Energy System

Thursday September 23, 2021, 10-11am EDT | Video recording

A panel of three renewable energy experts will examine research priorities and critical partnerships to achieve a carbon-free energy system. The research needs of wind energy are of a scale and complexity (considered “Grand Challenges“) that no single company, research institution, or even country can solve alone. The discussion will focus on providing the needed resources through international cooperation and multi-lateral partnerships.


Danielle Merfeld

VP and CTO at General Electric Renewable Energy

Alejandro Moreno

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power

Stephan Barth

Chairman IEA Wind TCP and Managing Director ForWind


Cristina Archer

Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Research in Wind (CReW), University of Delaware

Paul Veers

Senior Research Fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Wind Turbines and Wind Plants

Wednesday September 29, 10am-11:30pm EDT | Video recording

In the spirit of Track 4 (Wind turbine and wind plants), current topics of interest and existing problems will be discussed in this short session through talks by Dennice F. Gayme and Emmanuel Branlard.  This track is described as encompassing wind energy systems at multiple scales. At blade scale: loads, aeroelasticity, airfoils, aerodynamics. At wind turbine scale: new turbine concepts, turbine design, very large wind turbines, horizontal axis turbines, vertical axis turbines. At wind plant scale: wakes, wake-wake interactions, controls, steering, model development, layout optimization are of interest.


Dennice Gayme

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Carol Croft Linde Faculty Scholar, Johns Hopkins University

Emmanuel Branlard

Senior Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


Raúl Cal

Professor, Portland State University,

Luis ‘Tony’ Martínez Tossas

Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Trans-disciplinary approaches to accelerate the wind power transition

Thursday September 30, 2021, 11am-12:30pm EDT | Video recording

Deployment of wind turbines and associated grid infrastructures that are needed to transform the energy economies are grand challenges that require a systems perspective. Incorporating complex human and environmental considerations, such as trust and fairness in decision making and competing uses of land and ocean spaces, is becoming essential for realizing the full potential of wind energy. In this discussion, the panelists will present scientific approaches to transdisciplinary problem solving, provide strategic insights on regulatory challenges, and share progress in training a new generation of researchers.


Melissa Finucane

Senior social and behavioral scientist at RAND; Senior Fellow, East-West Center; Lead Principal Investigator and Director, Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities

Geraint Ellis

Professor in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Director of Sustainable Built Environment, Queen’s University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography, Western University

Robert Fischman

Distinguished Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University


Jeremy Firestone

Professor and Director of the Center for Research in Wind (CReW), University of Delaware

Bonnie Ram

Senior Researcher & Associate Director of the Center for Research in Wind (CReW), University of Delaware; Ram Power Consultancy

  • A conversation with DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Wednesday October 6, 2021, 10:30am-11am EDT |Video recording

Secretary Granholm leads the DOE as it plays a critical role to help achieve President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With advancement, innovation and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies, the U.S. can create millions of good-paying union clean energy jobs and build an equitable clean energy future. Secretary Granholm will discuss the role that wind energy will play in reaching that goal.

Jennifer M. Granholm
Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy


Cristina Archer

Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Research in Wind (CReW), University of Delaware

Jeremy Firestone

Professor and Director of the Center for Research in Wind (CReW), University of Delaware

  • Grand Challenges of Wind Energy Science – The Grid

Wednesday October 13, 2021, 10am-12pm EDT | Video recording

Wind and solar are changing the most fundamental nature of the planning and operating of electricity grids and these changes demand new characteristics of the wind and solar and all other technologies connected to the grid. This session presents the grand challenges for the science of wind energy from the grid point of view – what new features are possible from wind turbines and wind power plants including the hybrid power plant option. The challenges are not in isolation of the grid and they are system specific – to manage the grand challenge with the grid side options are also presented.


Hannele Holttinen

 Recognis and IEA Wind Task 25

Mark O’Malley

Chief Scientist, Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG)

Katherine Dykes

Head of Systems Engineering and Optimization, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Nicolaos Cutululis

Professor in GRID Integration and Energy Systems, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)


Hannele Holttinen

 Recognis and IEA Wind Task 25

  • Offshore Wind

Tuesday October 19, 2021, 10am-12pm EDT | Video recording

Offshore wind is fast becoming a significant component of the global energy portfolio. As we look to integrate larger amounts, we need to continue to address the challenges limiting growth – including optimizing designs, developing and improving logistics, met-ocean considerations, and modeling and design capabilities. In this webinar we’ll hear from global public funding institutions on their vision regarding what role they can play in supporting the advancement of the offshore wind industry.


John Olav Tande

 Chief Scientist, Research Manager, and Director of NorthWind at SINTEF Energi AS; Coordinator of EERA JP Wind

Adrian Timbus

Head of Portfolio, Hitachi ABB Power Grids; Chair of the ETIPWind Executive Committee

Nate McKenzie

Technology Manager for Offshore Wind R&D, US Department of Energy

Walt Musial

Offshore Wind Platform Lead, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


Jason Jonkman

Senior Researcher Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Amy Robertson

Senior Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

  • Recent Research Advances in Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences

Wednesday October 27, 2021, 10am-12pm EDT | Video recording

Atmospheric and ocean sciences play an important role in wind energy as they set the stage for the conditions under which land-based and offshore wind turbines operate. In this webinar you’ll hear about offshore wind energy research needs and outstanding key issues, recent and upcoming field campaigns targeted to move wind energy science forward, modeling across scales, climate projections for the wind energy industry, as well as the latest research topics in academia.


Sara Pryor

 Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University

Jeffrey Freedman

Research Associate of Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University of Albany

Will Shaw

Manager of Energy Systems Measurements & Data, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

Julie Lundquist

Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences and Fellow in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado Boulder


Caroline Draxl

Senior Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Yelena Pichugina

Senior Research Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Last modified: 20 October 2021