IEA Wind Collaborative Releases Cross-Country Wind Energy Data Viewer, and Assesses the Market Value of Larger Wind Turbines

December 6, 2017

A working group of IEA Wind has developed an online tool to visualize and download data related to wind project statistics for the participating countries, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United States, as well as some aggregated data for the 28 European Union countries. LBNL, as a member of the multi-country IEA Wind working group, contributed the U.S. data to the tool.

Wind power data available in the viewer include installed capacity, turbine characteristics (nameplate capacity, rotor diameter, specific power, hub height, IEC class), capacity factor, project size, investment cost, O&M cost, and weighted average cost of capital. The national data are based on project-level information for land-based wind. The period covered is currently 2007-2016, with future updates planned.

Different statistics are accessible, including average, median, minimum and maximum levels, weighted average and box-and-whiskers. The customizable and user-friendly nature of the platform allows the user to filter countries and years, zoom to a specific data range, as well as download the figures or the underlying data for further analysis.

The data provide a basis for analyzing historical trends in wind technology, cost and performance, while allowing cross-country comparisons in a convenient way. Having access to these project level figures highlights the differences in trends for land-based wind over time and in different countries. The figure below provides one example, showing average project-level installed costs over time.

Check out the Data Viewer here

The Data Viewer shows a continued move towards larger turbine sizes, with turbines growing in height and rotor diameters. Reflecting on those trends, Ea Energy Analyses together with the working group of IEA Wind also recently released a report that analyzes the effects of advanced wind turbine designs on the European power system. 

The study focuses on the evolution of the 'market value' of wind and total system costs arising from different combinations of wind turbine hub height and specific power. The analysis finds that taller towers and lower specific power can increase the value of wind in electric supply portfolios, relative to smaller wind turbines (see 'Ambitious' and 'Likely' Market Value (MV) lines in graphic below, relative to 'Business as Usual' (BAU)). While evaluating the optimal turbine for any particular site requires an assessment of both cost and value, the analysis shows that the European market would benefit from continued scaling in turbine size.

That report, "Impacts of Wind Turbine Technology on the System Value of Wind in Europe", is available for download here

We appreciate the funding support of the U.S. Department of Energy in enabling Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to participate in these IEA Wind activities.

The International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Programme is an international co-operation that shares information and research activities to advance wind energy deployment. The IEA Wind collaborative is a vehicle for member countries to exchange information on the planning and execution of national, large-scale wind system projects and programs, and to undertake co-operative R&D projects. The objective of 'Task 26 - Cost of Wind Energy' is to provide information on the cost of wind energy in order to understand past, present and anticipate future trends using consistent, transparent methodologies as well as understand how wind technology compares to other generation options within the broader electric sector.