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Task 26 – Work Plan

Approach

The Task 26 work formally began in January 2009. In October of 2012, an extension of the work begin and is expected to continue for three years until the end of September 2015.

Work Package #1 - Update analysis of land-based wind technology cost drivers and differences among participating countries with current data.

Providing transparency in the cost elements of wind projects among all participating countries will result in better understanding of the cost drivers of wind technology and the reasons for differences among participating countries. In the initial task, the Participants used a common model to estimate the Levelized Cost of Energy for typical land-based wind projects in their respective countries. In this extension, the spreadsheet models will be updated with more recent data and documentation; new participants will create comparable spreadsheet models representing typical land-based wind projects over the period from 2007 to present based on available data. The spreadsheets and associated documentation will be made available on the publicly accessible IEA Wind Task 26 website. A brief report summarizing the primary differences in LCOE among participating countries will be published.

Work Package #2 - Estimate cost of offshore wind energy and identify major cost drivers in each participating country.

Offshore wind technology has been installed by some participating countries, and others are exploring the potential uses of this technology. The approach developed in the initial phase of Task 26 to assess the cost of land-based wind projects will be applied to describe cost elements of offshore wind projects. A taxonomy of offshore wind project cost elements will be created building on previously published work . Based on available data from each participant, a composite representation of offshore wind project cost and primary differences in a sub-set of parameters, e.g., water depth, distance from shore, wind resource, and finance structure will be developed. The spreadsheet model will be made available on the publicly accessible IEA Wind Task 26 website along with documentation of assumptions and the impact of variation in the parameters explored.

Work Package #3 - Explore methods and application of methods to understand future cost of wind energy and value of wind energy in electric system.

Estimates of future cost and performance for wind technology are important for analyses of the potential for wind energy to meet national targets for carbon emission reductions or renewable electricity generation. Learning curves are one method for assessing the effect of technology development, manufacturing efficiency improvement, and economy of scale. Component level cost and scaling relationships can also be used to estimate future technology development pathways. Engineering models can isolate theoretical improvements associated with individual technical changes, e.g., larger rotors. These models can also project theoretical cost and energy production from future technology advances. All projections of future wind energy costs can be informed by analysis of historical trends that capture both technology and market-related influences.

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