Wind Energy Finance in the United States: Current Practice and Opportunities

Paul Schwabe, David Feldman, Donald Settle, Jason Fields

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In the United States, investment in wind energy has averaged nearly $13.6 billion annually since 2006 with more than $140 billion invested cumulatively over that period (BNEF 2017). This sizable investment activity demonstrates the persistent appeal of wind energy and its increasing role in the U.S electricity generation portfolio. Despite its steady investment levels over the last decade, some investors still consider wind energy as a specialized asset class. Limited familiarity with the asset class both limit the pool of potential investors and drive up costs for investors. This publication provides an overview of the wind project development process, capital sources and financing structures commonly used, and traditional and emerging procurement methods. It also provides a high-level demonstration of how financing rates impact a project's all-in cost of energy. The goal of the publication is to provide a representative and wide-ranging resource for the wind development and financing processes.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages49
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-68227


  • financing structures
  • wind financing
  • wind investment
  • wind project development


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