Experts Predict Wind Energy Costs to Drop Significantly in the Future

Technological and commercial advances are expected to continue to reduce the cost of wind energy, according to a study led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Institute), one of the world’s leading wind experts. Experts expect cost savings of 17% -35% by 2035 and 37% -49% by 2050 due to larger and more efficient turbines, lower cost of capital and operating costs, and other advances. I’m out.Findings can be found in journal articles Nature energy..

The study summarizes a global survey of 140 wind experts on three wind applications: onshore (onshore) wind, fixed-bottom offshore wind, and floating offshore wind. The expected future costs of all three types of wind energy are half those predicted by experts in a similar Berkeley Lab study in 2015. The study also provided insights into the scale and drivers of potential cost savings, expected technology trends, and the value of grid systems. -Strengthening measures.

“Wind power has experienced accelerated cost savings both onshore and offshore in recent years, making previous cost projections obsolete. The energy sector needs a current assessment,” says Berkeley Institute. Said Ryan Weiser, senior scientist at. “Our’expert withdrawal’survey reveals how cost savings can be achieved and the potential for cost savings by revealing the key uncertainties in these estimates. Complements other methods of evaluating. “

President Biden signed an executive order in January aimed at maximizing the potential of offshore wind, identifying wind as a key element of U.S.’s new efforts to combat climate change. .. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar play an important role in efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

An important opportunity to reduce costs, but with uncertainty

In the “best guess” (or median) scenario, experts compared the 2019 baseline values ​​to 17% to 35% of levelized cost of energy by 2035 across the three wind applications surveyed. It will be reduced and is projected to be reduced by 37% to 49% by 2050. Levelized cost of energy reflects the average energy cost per unit of power output over the life of a power plant and is useful in assessing technological progress. Compared to offshore wind, the cost of equalized cost of offshore wind is significantly reduced (and more uncertain), narrowing the gap between fixed bottom wind and floating offshore wind.

Wind turbine cost reduction

Experts expect significant cost savings for onshore, fixed-bottom offshore, and floating offshore wind, but there is considerable uncertainty about these future costs. Credit: Berkeley Lab

Despite the maturity of both onshore and offshore wind technologies, there is considerable room for continuous improvement and costs can be even lower. Experts predict that by 2035 there will be a 10% chance of a reduction of 38% to 53% and 54% to 64%. 2050. At the same time, these forecasts are uncertain, as evidenced by the scope of expert opinion and the relatively modest “high cost” scenarios of cost savings.

Wind turbine cost changes

Estimated changes in levelized cost of energy will vary in all three future cost scenarios. (The cost of floating offshore wind is compared to the fixed-bottom 2019 baseline.) Credit: Berkeley Lab

Multiple drivers for cost savings: larger turbines are imminent

There are five main factors that influence the levelized cost of energy. These are upfront cost of capital, ongoing operating costs, capacity factor, project design life, and funding costs. Experts expect continuous improvement in all aspects, as the relative contributions vary depending on the use of the wind. “Forecasts that only consider improving cost of capital will account for at most about 45% of cost-cutting opportunities,” said Joe Lando, another research co-author at Berkeley Labs.

According to experts, the main driving force for these improvements is the size of the turbine.For onshore wind, growth is expected (up to 5.5 MW) as well as generator ratings [MW] On average, in 2035, it increased from 2.5 MW in 2019), but there are also two other factors that increase capacity (rotor diameter and hub height). Offshore wind turbines are expected to grow even larger, averaging 17 MW in 2035, up from 6 MW in 2019. Floating offshore wind is expected to grow from its current pre-commercial state and gain market share of up to 25%. By 2035 of the new offshore wind project

Growth of onshore and offshore turbine sizes

Experts predict significant growth in onshore and offshore turbine sizes Credit: Berkeley Lab

The future impact of wind energy

Wind energy is growing rapidly, but its long-term contribution to energy supply depends in part on future costs and value. Cost reductions have accelerated in recent years, according to a new study. Most predictors are faster than previously predicted and faster than past declines. Experts surveyed predict future reductions and increased use of value-enhancing measures for both onshore and offshore wind.

“If everything else is the same, these trends allow wind power to play a greater role in the world’s energy supply than previously thought, while promoting decarbonization of the energy sector.” Concludes, Joachim Feel, also co-author of the Berkeley Institute. “Analysts, investors, planners, and policy makers need to avoid outdated assumptions and forecasts.” At the same time, uncertainty about the scale of future cost savings, as documented in the study. It is important and demonstrates the importance of incorporating uncertainty considerations into modeling and policy, planning, investment, and research decisions.

The study was led by the Berkeley Institute and included contributions from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US Department of Energy, the University of Massachusetts, and numerous other advisors. This survey was conducted with the support of the IEA Wind Technology Collaboration Program. Berkeley Labs’ contributions were funded by the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department.

Reference: “Expert Elicitation Studies predict that wind energy costs will decrease by 37% to 49% by 2050,” Ryan Wiser, Joseph Rand, Joachim Seel, Philipp Beiter, Erin Baker, Eric Lantz. , Patrick Gilman, April 15, 2021 Nature energy..
DOI: 10.1038 / s41560-021-00810-z

Experts Predict Wind Energy Costs to Drop Significantly in the Future Source link Experts Predict Wind Energy Costs to Drop Significantly in the Future

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