July 30, 2012
Authors: Eric Lantz and Maureen Hand, NREL; Ryan Wiser, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Over the past 30 years, wind power has become a mainstream source of electricity generation around the world. However, the future of wind power will depend a great deal on the ability of the industry to continue to achieve cost of energy reductions. This report, developed as part of the International Energy Agency Wind Implementing Agreement Task 26, titled "The Cost of Wind Energy," reviews historical costs, evaluates near-term market trends, reviews the methods used to estimate long-term cost trajectories, and summarizes the range of costs projected for onshore wind energy across an array of forward-looking studies and scenarios. The authors also highlight the influence of high-level market variables on both past and future wind energy costs.