What is the impact of different wind turbine technologies on the value of wind power in Europe?

By Cezanne Murphy-Levesque posted 11-27-2017 00:00


What is the impact of different wind turbine technologies on the value of wind power in Europe?

Ea Energy Analyses, together with the working group of IEA Wind TCP Task 26, has analyzed the effects of advanced wind turbine designs on the European power system. The study focuses on the market value of wind and total system costs arising from different combinations of wind turbine hub height and specific power.

The ongoing transformation of the power system increases the importance of integrating variable renewable energy. Very high wind penetration rates pose challenges to system operation and put downward pressure on the market value of wind power. Among other measures, a more system-friendly deployment of variable renewable power generation would ease integration issues.

The IEA Wind TCP Report, just released, analyzes the development of the European power system until 2030 and explores the effects of different wind turbine designs on the value of wind energy.

The report finds that wind turbines with taller towers and larger rotors achieve higher capacity factors and have higher market value: by 2030, advanced turbines can earn as much as 4.3 €/MWh more (+13%) than business-as-usual technology. Both new land-based wind turbines, and offshore turbines as well as the existing land-based wind fleet benefits from a shift in new land-based turbine design. Notably, specific power was demonstrated to have a larger impact on the market value than hub height.

High capacity factor turbines also contribute to lower system cost due to lower Levelized cost of Energy and reduced fuel costs for medium and peak load operation. However, advanced turbines are more costly in terms of investment cost per unit power capacity. Therefore, tradeoffs between cost and value may be required to assess optimal turbine choice, which could vary widely across Europe depending on site and local market conditions.

The report concludes that technology design that takes into account both cost and value is important. Moreover, failing to consider both cost and value in the technological development of land-based wind power and when analyzing the development of power systems could result in an underestimation of the competitiveness of wind power and its potential contribution to a cost-effective system development.


The report is available for free download at www.ieawind.org: https://community.ieawind.org/publications/communitylibraries

  1. Dalla Riva, J. Hethey, A. Vitina. Impacts of Wind Turbine Technology on the System Value of Wind in Europe. IEA Wind TCP Task 26 Report. October 2017.


A launch event was held in Copenhagen, at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the 22 November 2017.