Wind: the facts

The cost of wind power is steadily declining, driven by advances in system and component design, materials, controls, monitoring and maintenance.

Subsidised costs of wind power are naturally comparable with wholesale power prices in relevant markets and in some areas, unsubsidised wind competes with wholesale prices. Wind is typically uneconomic in urban areas due the poor resource and significant noise; there is no small scale wind equivalent to rooftop solar, although small turbines can be cost effective for remote power.

Power output depends on the installed capacity and the wind speed. Modern commercial wind turbines range from around 500 kW to 7.5 MW of rated power, although turbines with rated output of 1.5 to 3 MW have become the most common for commercial use.

Fig 1: Onshore wind annual global capacity additions, 2017-2019

There has been a very rapid expansion of wind power from the year 2000 onwards, initially in Europe and the US. Today the fastest growth is coming from China. Within the ‘new renewables’ group (excluding hydro and biomass), wind power has the largest share in electricity generation.

Read the full briefing by downloading the pdf attached. 

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Read more:

Global Wind Report, Global Wind Energy Council, 2019

Onshore Wind Tracking Report, International Energy Agency, June 2020