The Value of Wind Technology Innovation: Implications for the U.S. Power System, Wind Industry, Electricity Consumers, and Environment

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Improvements to wind technologies have, in part, led to substantial deployment of U.S. wind power in recent years. The degree to which technology innovation will continue is highly uncertain adding to uncertainties in future wind deployment. We apply electric sector modeling to estimate the potential wind deployment opportunities across a range of technology advancement projections. The suite of projections considered span a wide range of possible cost and technology innovation trajectories, including those from a recent expert elicitation of wind energy experts, a projection based on the broader literature, and one reflecting estimates based on a U.S. DOE research initiative. In addition, we explore how these deployment pathways may impact the electricity system, electricity consumers, the environment, and the wind-related workforce. Overall, our analysis finds that wind technology innovation can have consequential implications for future wind power development throughout the United States, impact the broader electricity system, lower electric system and consumer costs, provide potential environmental benefits, and grow the U.S. wind workforce.
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Grid Integration & Transmission
Market Analysis
Technology Development
Utility-Scale Wind
Technical Report
Mai, Trieu T [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)]; Lantz, Eric J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)]; Mowers, Matthew [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)]; Wiser, Ryan [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory]