Expert Elicitation Survey on Future Wind Energy Costs: Article No. 16135

Eric Lantz, Aaron Smith, Ryan Wiser, Karen Jenni, Joachim Seel, Erin Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus Citations


Wind energy supply has grown rapidly over the last decade. However, the long-term contribution of wind to future energy supply, and the degree to which policy support is necessary to motivate higher levels of deployment, depends -- in part -- on the future costs of both onshore and offshore wind. Here, we summarize the results of an expert elicitation survey of 163 of the world's foremost wind experts, aimed at better understanding future costs and technology advancement possibilities. Results suggest significant opportunities for cost reductions, but also underlying uncertainties. Under the median scenario, experts anticipate 24-30% reductions by 2030 and 35-41% reductions by 2050 across the three wind applications studied. Costs could be even lower: experts predict a 10% chance that reductions will be more than 40% by 2030 and more than 50% by 2050. Insights gained through expert elicitation complement other tools for evaluating cost-reduction potential, and help inform policy and planning, R&D and industry strategy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
JournalNature Energy
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-66669


  • cost reduction
  • expert elicitation
  • future
  • innovation
  • LCOE
  • technology
  • wind energy
  • wind power


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