April 16, 2021 Read More →

Industry experts see offshore wind power costs falling sharply by 2035

Renew Economy:

The cost of wind power could drop by half or more over the next 30 years, allowing wind to play a bigger role in future electricity networks around the world than previously thought, a new paper published in the journal Nature Energy finds.

Offshore wind, which is more expensive and therefore much less common than onshore wind, will see the most dramatic price falls. Much bigger turbines will increase the capacity threefold, creating economies of scale that will drive the cost energy per megawatt hour down.

Floating offshore wind – currently the rarest and most expensive form of wind power – is predicted to become much cheaper and could make up a quarter of all offshore developments by 2035.

These improving costs could significantly expand the potential sites for economically viable offshore wind farms, as they won’t be so constrained to areas where both the wind is suitable and the water is shallow enough to fix them to the ocean floor.

The paper, led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US with input from a range of other academic institutions, surveyed 140 wind energy experts, a process known as “expert elicitation”. It found a mixture of factors, in particular turbine size, would drive down the cost of wind by between 37 and 49 per cent by 2050.

The experts predicted cost reductions across all three forms of wind power: onshore, fixed bottom offshore, and floating offshore. By 2035, costs across all three categories are likely to fall between 38 per cent and 53 per cent.

[James Fernyhough]

More: Giant offshore turbines set to drive plummeting cost of wind power

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