Wind energy has realized accelerated cost reduction over the last five years—both land-based wind and offshore wind. Recent DOE-funded research gathered input from 140 global experts on technology advancement and cost-reduction opportunities. The work follows a similar expert survey conducted in 2015. The DOE-funded 2020 research shows that experts now expect land-based and offshore wind costs to decline ~35–50% by 2050, resulting in costs 50% lower than predicted in 2015. According to the findings, turbine scale is a key driver for cost reduction. Wind turbines are expected to be 2–3 times larger by 2035, with a median of 5.5 MW for land-based turbines and 17 MW for offshore turbines. As costs decline, industry focus will turn to enhancing the value of wind in energy markets, e.g., through hybridization with storage, and to overcoming deployment barriers. If realized, these expected advancements, cost reductions, and value-enhancement measures will enable wind to play a larger role in energy supply and power-sector decarbonization than previously anticipated.

Read the paper on Berkeley Lab’s website or in Nature Energy. Learn more on Berkeley Lab’s webinar, April 29 1pm eastern.