This article is the introduction to the wind power section in a report from the International Power Generation Costs in 2012. The full report is available here:
Wind power technologies come in a variety of sizes and styles although they can generally be categorized as horizontal axis or vertical-axis wind turbines, and whether they are onshore or off. Power generation of wind turbines is determined by the capacity of the turbine (in kW or MW), the wind speed, height of the turbine, and rotor diameter.
The principal determinants of the Lowest cost of energy (LCOE) of wind power systems include capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, and the expected annual energy production. Assessing the cost of a wind-power system requires careful evaluation of all of these components over the life of the project. The following sections look at the latest trends in these components.
The key findings from the analysis for wind include:
• Total installed costs are declining again after having increased between 2004 and 2008/2009.
• Wind turbine costs, driven by a global overcapacity at wind turbine manufacturers, are declining and have fallen by around a quarter from their 2009
peak in the United States. There remain large discrepancies between Chinese turbine prices ($630/kW) and those found in the United States in 2012 ($900 to $1,270/kW),
which suggest further price reductions are likely.
• With wind turbine prices in decline and capacity factors improving, the LCOE of wind is again declining after a period of increases, with this being reflected in power purchased agreements signed in 2012 in the United States.
Filed Under: News, Policy, Turbines