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. Expert elicitation provides a quantifiable means for assessing a range of expert perspectives on future cost of energy. All projections of future wind energy costs can be informed by analysis of historical trends that capture both technology and market-related influences.
Repowering is becoming an increasingly relevant issue in the wind energy landscape, as significant capacities of wind turbines are reaching the end of their technical/economic lifetimes across Europe and the US. Due to repowering being an emerging trend, there is very little research done on the topic to date. Achieving a better level of understanding regarding technical, performance and economic impacts of repowering would therefore be a value-adding contribution to the currently existing knowledge base, and provide critical input to informed decision-making on the part of policy-makers, investors, etc.