Wind Technology Development: Large and Small Turbines

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Wind technology has been developing rapidly over the last decade. The experience gained in the wind farms of California is being used to design and develop advanced systems with improved performance, higher reliability, and lower costs. During the past several years, substantial gains have been made in wind turbine designs, lowering costs to an average of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) forutility-scale applications at 13 mile-per-hour (mph) average annual wind speeds. Further technology qevelopment is expected to allow the cost of wind-generated electricity to drop below $0.04 per kilowatt-hour by 2000. As a result, wind is expected to be one of the least expensive forms of new electric generation in the next century. With global efforts already underway to curb energy-relatedemissions of carbon dioxide, the current availability of this low-cost technology means that the use of wind systems will likely increase worldwide throughout the 1990s for both utility-scale applications and remote, small-village applications. This paper will present the technology developments for both utility-scale wind turbines and remote, small-village wind turbines that are currentlyavailable or in development. The authors describe future technology improvements and likely wind turbine configurations in 2000.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1994

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-440-7224


  • electricity
  • turbines
  • wind


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