Spatial Impacts of Technological Innovations on the Levelized Cost of Energy for Offshore Wind Power Plants in the United States

Matt Shields, Philipp Beiter, William Kleiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Recent studies predict significant decreases in the future levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of offshore wind energy, much of which is attributed to anticipated cost reductions from technological innovation. This study evaluates the spatial variability of LCOE caused by technology-induced decreases in a range of capital, operational, and financial cost categories. A spatial cost model of fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind plants is used to model the impact across thousands of potential United States sites. A specified change in an individual turbine subsystem cost produces a range of LCOE outcomes due to the varying geospatial characteristics of the considered sites and the nonlinear, interactive dependency on these input parameters; for example, a 10.8% improvement in net capacity factor can reduce LCOE by between 6% and 20% at different sites. This work expands upon the existing offshore wind literature, which typically evaluates cost sensitivities at a single site and does not consider the spatial variance in LCOE. The results suggest that the impact of technological innovations can be considerable and should be considered on a spatial as well as temporal basis when prioritizing technology innovation research or funding decisions to advance offshore wind technologies in the United States.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 101059
Number of pages10
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Volume45
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-74542

Keywords

  • Impact of technological innovations
  • Levelized cost of energy
  • Offshore wind energy
  • Spatial cost modeling

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