One of the value propositions that startups in wind energy often use is “future proofing”, or helping their customers get ready for the next big thing.
The question is, what are those things likely to be, and how can you convince an investor that you’ve really seen the future accurately?
For an answer, check out this paper by authors from NREL, LBNL, and the US DOE. Although it’s a US author team they’ve interviewed experts globally and the results make interesting reading - and could go a long way to providing investors with confidence.
Short version of the state of the art in 2035:
- Continuing reductions in LCOE, strongest in floating offshore, then fixed-bottom, and lastly onshore
- Mean wind speed at development sites will drop slightly
- Increase in plant sizes onshore and offshore
- Some geographic trends about turbine sizes and rated power
- Onshore turbines will likely be in the 5-6 MW scale
- Offshore has less constraints on turbine size, and we should expect 200-m rotor diameter, 20-MW+ turbines
“Experts’ expectations of the key characteristics of the wind plant of the future. Note: Attributes shown represent the median-scenario expert prediction. Only those attributes are shown here that were elicited in the expert survey and can easily be visualized. Others are discussed in text or amended in the discussion below from a literature review. Plant size was only elicited for offshore applications”. Figure reproduced from Beiter et al. (2022) under the CC BY 4.0 license.
What do you think?