Experts predict wind costs will tumble

Survey of 140 industry figures finds technology and commercial advancements will push prices lower

Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey.

The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of 140 global wind power experts found cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050 are on the cards.

The falls will be driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements, the research concluded.

Costs for all three types of wind energy are half what experts predicted in a similar Berkeley Lab study in 2015. 

The study also uncovered insights on the possible magnitude of and drivers for cost reductions, anticipated technology trends, and grid-system value-enhancement measures.

“Wind has experienced accelerated cost reductions in recent years, both onshore and offshore, making previous cost forecasts obsolete. The energy sector needs a current assessment,” said Ryan Wiser, senior scientist at Berkeley Lab. 

“Our ‘expert elicitation’ survey complements other methods for evaluating cost-reduction potential by shedding light on how cost reductions might be realized and by clarifying the important uncertainties in these estimates.”

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