Welcome to Task 26
Modern wind power generation is experiencing a unique situation. After decades of cost reduction leading to competitive levels with conventional technologies, the investment cost per megawatt began rising for new wind projects. This was associated with increasing commodity prices (mainly raw material such as copper and steel, plus a bottleneck in certain sub-products), tightness in the international market for wind turbines, and other factors. Recent developments, however, include reductions in investment cost along with increased performance due to a range of wind turbine options which may yield historically low cost of wind energy. In addition, natural gas prices have experienced a significant market impact resulting from innovative drilling practices in some parts of the world, particularly the United States. The impact of wind technology advances, market influences and the relative cost of natural gas will influence the cost competitiveness of wind relative to other generation options.
This is precisely the background that justifies the continuation of this task on the cost of wind energy. As wind is becoming an important source of electricity generation in many markets and competes with other technologies – notably natural gas – in terms of new installed capacity, it is crucial that governments and the wind research community are able to discuss the specific costs of wind systems on the basis of a sound methodology. Without a clear impartial voice regarding the costs of wind systems, organizations without a clear understanding of wind systems are left to determine and publicize the costs of wind systems, often in error. These issues are exacerbated by the diversity of the wind portfolio and variations in international project development cost assumptions. The work undertaken in this task is also expected to assess methodologies for projecting future wind technology costs. Finally this task aims to survey methods for determining the value of wind energy.
The objective of Task 26 is to provide information on cost of wind energy in order to understand past, present and anticipate future trends using consistent, transparent methodologies as well as understand how wind technology compares to other generation options within the broader electric sector.
Expected results include:
- Enhanced international collaboration and coordination in the field of cost of wind energy
- Updated data, analysis and understanding of on-shore wind energy cost trends and comparison among countries
- Identification of the primary offshore wind energy cost drivers and the variation of these costs among participating countries
- Collaborative journal articles summarizing and further analyzing work conducted to understand trends in cost of energy
- Collaborative journal articles exploring issues related to the value of wind energy.