Future Cost of Onshore Wind

Analysis of the current and future cost of wind, as well as an outlook on the first German auction

  • Project Duration: 10/2016 - 05/2017

Wind power is a key pillar for the decarbonisation of the energy sector. The cost development for onshore wind is therefore of great importance to the energy transition. The amount of capacity additions within the framework of renewable targets is usually determined by modelling the cost optimal trajectory. This may lead to unambitious goals, if the cost assumptions behind these models are too conservative – as the discussions revolving around the Winter Package of the European Commission show.

International auctions for onshore wind have shattered all previous records since 2015. The accepted bids ranged around 3 ct/kWh, which is less than half of the typical German pay rate. This poses several questions: Are the cost reduction paths that are assumed by the common studies still up-to-date – considering that the majority was released in the time before the spectacular auctions? Is it possible to realize wind projects in Germany that perform comparably well? What are the potentials and what hindrances stand in the way? These questions shall be answered with a view to the first German onshore wind auctions.

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