Better Turbines Boost Harvest From Wind Farms

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • Improving wind turbine performance delivers cheaper power
  • Average capacity factors now around 37%, up from 25% in 1993

Improving onshore wind capacity factors 

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance 

The cost of energy from onshore wind has been tumbling in recent years, in large part due to ever-improving wind turbine designs. Average capacity factors have increased from 25% in 1993 to 37% in 2017. Turbines are getting bigger too, with median capacity increasing from 2MW in 2010 to 2.4MW today. The chart shows this inexorable march, with each dot representing a wind project. Dot size indicates generating capacity and its position on the y-axis its capacity factor. Results were produced from over 2,000 runs of the BNEF Wind Capacity Factor Tool, recently re-published with 87 new turbine specifications.

Clients can access the full report and tool here.

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