The global wind energy industry has continued aggressive innovation of advanced technology as subsidy mechanisms are increasingly embattled and as competing fossil fuel prices remain stagnant. With global carbon emission regulations imminent, solar has emerged as the main competitive threat to wind, but solar is unable to reach the same performance as the latest wind power technology. In developing regions, such as India, Brazil, and Turkey, the unsubsidized wind energy LCOE is already below the wholesale price of electricity. In mature markets, wind has established itself as competitive with coal-fired generation, natural gas combined cycle plants and solar power.
This Research Note examines the evolution of the cost of wind energy as well as other forms of power generation within the top seven markets in the world, according to MAKE’s 10-year forecast. The cost of wind energy is compared to natural gas, coal-fired power, nuclear, hydro and solar for key markets. Future projections are made for wind energy LCOE. Wind energy LCOE is compared to the wholesale power price, and future projections to determine the cost competitiveness of wind energy in years ahead.
Key points in the report include:
Wind energy technology and cost position has advanced substantially, resulting in steadily reducing levelized cost of electricity (LCOE)
In many markets, onshore wind energy without subsidies is lower cost than conventional fuels and wholesale power prices
New emissions regulations are expected to impact Europe and the US, negatively impacting the cost position of coal and natural gas
Offshore wind energy is still uncompetitive with conventional forms of power, but is expected to experience significant LCOE reductions by 2025 in Europe.