Wind generators’ cost declines reflect technology improvements and siting decisions

  • 12 julio, 2018
  • Resumen:

    Between 2010 and 2016, the capacity-weighted average cost (real 2016$) of U.S. wind installations declined by one-third, from $2,361 per kilowatt (kW) to $1,587/kW, based on analysis in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (DOE/EERE) Wind Technology Market Report. The reasons for this decline include improving technology and manufacturing capability and an increasing concentration of builds in the regions of the United States with the lowest installation costs.

    After many years of declining real project costs, wind reached a low in 2004 at $1,342/kW. Through the remainder of that decade, costs gradually increased, reaching a peak in 2009 and 2010 of about $2,360/kW.

    Contributing factors to the increasing costs through 2010 included increasing labor costs, an increase in the cost of key manufacturing and construction commodities, and international currency exchange fluctuations affecting imports of key equipment.

    After 2010, installed costs began to decline as some of those pressures lifted. The global recession of 2008 reduced the cost of key construction and manufacturing commodities. Domestic manufacturing capacity for wind turbine components increased, and the increasing pace of installations helped to reduce both turbine manufacturing and installation costs through learning-by-doing effects, even as higher-performing equipment continued to enter the wind turbine market.