Lower Cost of Wind Power
The latest iPhone or Android phone may cost a fortune when you buy them this year, but as time weeks and months and years pass, their value decreases as new and better mobile phones come out in the market.
The same goes for equipment used in producing wind energy – manufacturers come up with technological innovations on a regular basis. Machinery or equipment produced from these innovations could sometimes become cheaper and more efficient in harnessing wind power.
Lower acquisition cost plus efficient energy production only lead to one thing – lower energy prices.
Cheaper Wind Energy Prices
Studies indicate that since 2009, the price of wind energy has started to decline. Prices compared to 2009 to present indicate that current prices are 69 percent lower than in 2009.
Reports from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) also indicate that prices could still decline in the coming years.
Factors Causing Decline in Wind Energy Prices
Several factors have been cited for the continuing decline in wind energy prices, and these are the following:
- Increased domestic production: More and more domestic industries are now manufacturing wind turbines and its components, thereby eliminating the cost of importation for this equipment. The cost of building new wind turbines have become cheaper because of this;
- More efficient turbines: Technological improvements in the design of wind turbines have made it possible for it to work more efficiently in harnessing kinetic energy;
- Lower operation cost: The efficiency of wind turbines has made it possible to generate more electricity at a lower cost than before
- Technological advances: The high technological advances in the improvement of wind turbines have lowered the cost of operation and maintenance. The use of technological breakthroughs like AI, drones, etc. are just some of the improvements being employed.
- Full-featured operation and maintenance contracts: The increasing number of wind energy facilities and manufacturers have given way to more competitive manufacturing companies that are now providing full coverage for the maintenance and repairs of wind turbines.
The Future of Wind Energy Prices
As the years pass, wind energy facilities could incur higher maintenance costs that could force it to close. But not with the current technological breakthroughs.
Wind farms that were given life expectancies of about 20 years are now just a thing of the past. Wind energy equipment are now expected to operate for 25 years minimum, with the maximum estimated at 30 years or longer.
Continuous technological research, increasing wind energy production competition, better operation and maintenance experience, and on-going technological advancements are expected to drive the industry to further growth and more efficient energy production leading to lower prices.