Full Title: IEA Wind Task 26: Wind Technology, Cost, and Performance Trends in Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the European Union, and the United States: 2007–2012
Author(s): Vitina, Aisma, Silke Lüers, Anna-Kathrin Wallasch, Volker Berkhout, Aidan Duffy, Brendan Cleary, Lief I. Husabø, David E. Weir, Roberto Lacal-Arántegui, Maureen M. Hand, Eric Lantz, Kathy Belyeu, Ryan H. Wiser, Mark Bolinger, and Ben Hoen
Publisher(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: 06/2015


Description (excerpt):

The International Energy Agency Implementing Agreement for cooperation in Research, Development, and Deployment of Wind Energy Systems (IEA Wind) Task 26—The Cost of Wind Energy represents an international collaboration dedicated to exploring past, present and future cost of wind energy. This report provides an overview of recent trends in wind plant technology, cost, and performance in those countries that are currently represented by participating organizations in IEA Wind Task 26: Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and the United States as well as the European Union.

This report builds from a similar previous analysis (Schwabe et al., 2011) exploring the differences in cost of wind energy in 2008 among countries participating in IEA Wind Task 26 at that time. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is a widely recognized metric for understanding how technology, capital investment, operations, and financing impact the life-cycle cost of building and operating a wind plant. Schwabe et al. (2011) apply a spreadsheet-based cash flow model developed by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) to estimate LCOE. This model is a detailed, discounted cash flow model used to represent the various cost structures in each of the participating countries from the perspective of a financial investor in a domestic wind energy project. This model is used for the present analysis as well, and comparisons are made for those countries who contributed to both reports, Denmark, Germany, and the United States.

Each country chapter in this report discusses three primary topics. The first section of each chapter describes the wind industry in terms of installed capacity along with near- and mediumterm projections if available. Revenue and policy incentives are also discussed. The second section details certain turbine- and project-level trends in the wind industry from 2007 (or 2008) to 2012, including wind plant size, turbine size, project performance, investment costs, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, and project financing. In each of these cases, a statistical representation of individual project data is provided to the extent possible. The third section reports the estimated LCOE for representative wind plants in 2008 and 2012, including discussion of typical power-sale prices for wind and the value of policy instruments.