Wind Energy Costs could be reduced by 50% by 2030, study suggests.

Report released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) suggests that with science driving wind-technology innovations, the unsubsidized cost of wind energy could drop to 50% of current levels, equivalent to $23 per megawatt-hour, by 2030.

The report, “Enabling the SMART Wind Power Plant of the Future Through Science-Based Innovation,” describes:

  • The scientific challenges facing wind today and how DOE’s applied research program, Atmosphere to Electrons, is working with industry to take an integrated approach to addressing these challenges
  • How government-led advances in addressing these scientific challenges will enable future technological innovation by the wind industry
  • How the resulting innovations enabled by advances in science will impact the levelized cost of energy (defined as the total cost of installing and operating a project per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by the project over its life)

“Our research indicates that, if the United States continues to invest in wind research and development, wind energy can achieve costs competitive with the fuel-only cost of natural gas-fired electricity generation in less than 15 years,” said NREL engineer Katherine Dykes, lead author of the report.

“NREL’s research underscores how fundamental scientific advances, fostered by DOE and its national laboratories, are needed to drive broad-based wind power competitiveness and support a new era of abundant, low-cost energy,” said NREL Associate Lab Director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences Johney Green.

The full report can be found here:  “Enabling the SMART Wind Power Plant of the Future Through Science-Based Innovation”.


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