Image: NREL

Image: NREL

The cost of electricity generated by wind should plunge between 24 and 30 percent by 2030, and even further by the middle of the century, according to a survey of 163 wind energy experts completed by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The continuing decline in prices is due to several key factors. For one, new wind projects are getting bigger; taller means they can access stronger winds, and bigger-diameter rotors means generating more electricity from each turbine. Experts expect that by 2030, the average onshore wind turbine will have the capacity to continually generate 3.25 megawatts (or million watts) of electricity, and the average offshore turbine will be able to generate more than three times as much: 11 megawatts. Material improvements are another reason for decreasing costs. Even though wind turbines are getting larger and larger, technological and design advancements require less material for turbine construction per megawatt.

– via The Washington Post / Chris Mooney

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