Wind Energy Costs Expected to Continue Decline

Nov. 3, 2016

Berkeley Lab study shows expected price declines up to 30% by 2030. 

Technological advancements have continued to drive down the price of wind energy. Wind power experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) estimate cost reductions of 24%–30% by 2030 and 35%–41% by 2050.

Berkeley Lab found five key components that impact––– the cost of wind projects, according to a study conducted by Ryan Wiser, a Senior Scientist at Berkeley Lab:

  1. Up-front capital cost
  2. Ongoing operating costs
  3. Cost of financing
  4. Performance
  5. Project design life

Recent years have seen significant decreases in up-front costs of wind energy as well as increases in wind project performance, as measured by the capacity of wind facilities. Experts foresee sustained improvements in these two overall cost drivers, with an additional factor—the overall size of wind turbines.

For onshore wind, growth is expected to increase in capacity factors—rotor diameters (135 meters by 2030) and hub heights (115 meters by 2030). Fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines are expected to grow even larger, to 11 MW on average in 2030, helping to reduce up-front installed costs.

“Onshore wind technology is fairly mature, but further advancements are on the horizon—and not only in reduced up-front costs,” says Wiser. “Experts anticipate a wide range of advancements that will increase project performance, extend project design lives, and lower operational expenses.”

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...