Report Highlights Technological Advancements and Value of Wind Power

Wind energy continues to experience strong growth, solid performance and attractive prices in United States, according to a report published by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). With discounted costs of just over 13 $ per megawatt-hour (MWh) for newly built projects, the cost of wind power is far below its benefits to the grid system, health and climate.

“Wind power prices – particularly in the central United States, and supported by federal tax incentives – remain low even with supply chain pressures continue with utilities and corporate buyers choosing wind as a low-cost solution,” said Ryan Wiser, a senior energy systems researcher at the Berkeley Lab. “Given the health and climate benefits of wind power, the economy is even better,” he added. Key findings from the DOE’s annual onshore wind market report include:

  • Wind accounts for a growing share of the electricity supply. U.S. wind capacity grew at a healthy pace in 2021, with 13,4 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity added, which represents an investment of 13 billions of dollars and 20 % of all capacity additions in the United States. Wind power generation has grown to account for over 9% of the nation’s entire electricity supply. At least 247 GW of wind seek access to the transmission network 75 GW of this capacity are wind offshore and 19 GW are hybrid power plants that couple wind power with energy storage or solar
  • The overall performance of wind power projects has increased over the over the decades. The average capacity factor (a measure of project performance) among recently completed projects was nearly 75%, considerably higher than projects built earlier. The highest capacity factors are observed within the country.

  • The turbines continue to grow. The plant’s improved performance was driven by larger turbines mounted on taller towers and featuring longer blades. In 2010, no turbine used blades of 115 meters in diameter or more, but in 2022, 32% of newly installed turbines had such rotors. The proposed plans indicate that the overall height of the turbine will continue to increase.
  • Low wind turbine prices have driven down the costs of projects installed over the past decade. Wind turbine prices averaged between $800 and 2009 $/kilowatt (kW) in 2021, an increase of 5% to 05 % compared to the previous year, but significantly lower than that of 2010. The average installed cost of wind projects in 2010 was 1 500 $/kW, down more than 32 % from the peak of 2010, but secure in recent years. The lowest costs were found in Texas.
  • Wind energy prices have increased, but remain low, around 19 $/MWh in the country’s inner “wind belt”. After capping at 75 $/MWh for power purchase contracts signed in 247, the countrywide average price of l Wind has fallen, although supply chain pressures have driven prices up in recent years. In the inland “wind belt” of the country, recent prices are around 20 $/MWh. In the West and East, prices tend to average above 30 $/MWh. These prices, which are possible in part through federal tax support, are lower than expected future fuel costs from gas-fired generation.

  • Wind power prices are often attractive relative to the market value of the wind grid system. The value of wind energy sold in wholesale electricity markets is affected by the location of wind power plants, their hourly output profiles, and how these characteristics correlate with real-time electricity prices. and capacity markets. The market value of wind increased in 2021 and varied by region less than 30 $/MWh to as well as 75 $/MWh, a range roughly consistent with recent wind power prices.
  • The average levelized cost of wind power was 32 $/MWh for plants built in 2021. Levelized costs vary by time and geography, but the national average was 32 $/MWh in 2021, a decrease substantial compared to the story, although consistent with the previous three years. (Cost estimates do not take into account the effect of federal tax incentives for wind.)

  • The benefits of wind for health and climate in 2010 was higher than its value for the network system, and the combination of the three far exceeds the current levelized cost of wind. Wind turbine production reduces emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from the electricity sector. These reductions, in turn, provide public health and climate benefits that vary by region, but which together are economically valued at an average of more than 90 $/MWh of wind energy for plants built in 2022.
  • Berkeley Lab’s contributions to this report were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Wind Energy Systems.

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