A technology breakthrough from Japan’s Kyushu University may result in steep declines in the cost of wind power, bringing it below that of nuclear energy.
The innovative new design, called the ‘wind lens’, could result in triple the power output of a conventional wind turbine. Falling component costs have already helped to reduce the price per MW of wind power, but with this new technology advance that trend could accelerate.
In some places in the United States, such as the TWE Carbon Valley project in Wyoming, wind power is already cheaper than coal – $80 per MWh for wind vs. $90 per MWh for coal. What’s more, government subsidies are not necessary to achieve this cost differential.
With its nearly 2.2 million square kilometers of high wind potential locations, the United States has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind.” In terms of total wind energy potential, the United States ranks #3 in the world, says the International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA).