Wind energy of the future will cost 50% less than expected
Experts predict that the cost of wind power will shatter expectations in the decades to come and become a more affordable source of power in a shorter time frame.
A survey was conducted in 2016 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), asking specialists for their forecasts and cost trends. In those five years, technological advancements and cost cutting have shattered those predictions, and wind power is shaping up to be one of the most affordable sources of electricity.
The new future prices published in the latest LBNL study are only half of what experts predicted five years ago, which heralds a bright future for this renewable energy source.
The LNBL covers land, fixed-bottom offshore and floating offshore technologies. The metric used for costs is called the discounted cost of energy (LCOE). The latest survey estimates that the LCOE will decline further to 35% by 2035 and 49% by 2050.
Experts interviewed said these could drop even more if there were unanticipated new technological advances.
How Technology Reduces Wind Power Generation Costs
The main reason wind power has become so affordable is the extra grunt built into turbines.
Onshore turbines were 2.5 MW on average in 2019, and they are expected to be 5.5 MW in 2035. When you talk about offshore turbines, they are expected to reach 17 MW in 2035, up from 6 MW. Floating turbine technology is still in its infancy, but this energy flow will also increase in the decades to come.
It’s not just the price of turbines that is improving. The industry sees many more benefits, including:
- Improvements in energy production
- Durability and service life of turbines
- Improvements in operating expenses
In Australia, 7% of our total electricity needs are met by onshore wind generation. This number is expected to increase in the coming years, more and more land farms will come online as it becomes more convenient to build them. In addition, offshore farms are fast becoming a reality with Victoria being the top taxi rank.
Australia set to exploit offshore operations
The federal government opened a $ 108 million funding pool for renewable projects in December 2020, which is likely to inspire a range of projects across the country.
The Victorian government was the first to announce plans to tap into the fund, with Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio saying the state planned to be the first to install offshore generation.
The Star of the South project appears to be the first offshore project in Victoria and Australia, with development director Erin Coldham recently announcing that he hopes to be operational by 2028. This project will be built off Gippsland.
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