The cost of producing electricity from wind power could fall by between 24% and 30% by 2030 and 35% and 41% by 2050 compared with 2014, according to a survey by the US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

The findings, which included collaborations from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers at the University of Massachusetts and participants in the International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Programme Task 26, were published in the journal Nature Energy.

The study – Eliciting Expert Views on Future Wind Energy Costs – summarises a global survey of 163 wind energy experts in order to gain insight into the possible magnitude of future wind energy cost reductions, the sources of those reductions and the enabling conditions.

In absolute terms, onshore wind is expected to remain less expensive than offshore, at least for typical projects and fixed-bottom offshore wind less expensive than floating wind plants.

However, there are greater absolute reductions and more uncertainty in the levelized cost of energy for offshore wind compared with onshore wind and a narrowing gap between fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind, the survey found.

It added that there is a 10% chance of even greater cost reductions – over 40% by 2030 and more than 50% by 2050 – with industry learning from market growth and aggressive R&D.

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