Title: Technological evolution of onshore wind turbines — A market-based analysis
Authors: SERRANO GONZALEZ JAVIERLACAL ARANTEGUI ROBERTO
Citation: WIND ENERGY vol. 19 no. 12 p. 2171-2187
Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC97219
ISSN: 1095-4244
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC97219
DOI: 10.1002/we.1974
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Wind energy technology is evolving towards larger machines (longer blades, taller towers and more powerful generators). Scaling up wind turbines is a challenging task, which requires innovative solutions as well as new configurations and designs. The size of wind turbines (in terms of both rotor diameter and rated power) has increased extraordinary from 30 m rotor diameter and 300 kW rated power, usual in the late 80s, to 164 m rotor diameter and 8 MW currently (mid-2015) available in the market. However, technological evolution has not only been focused on the scaling up process, but also on developing innovative solutions that minimise costs at the same time as they deal with aspects of different nature, such as grid codes requirements, reliability, quality of the wind resource or prices and availability of certain commodities, among others. This paper analyses the evolution of wind technology from a market-based perspective by identifying trends in the most relevant technological indicators at the same time as stressing the key differentiating aspects between regions/markets. Evolution and trends in indicators such as rated power, rotor diameter, specific power, wind class and drive train configuration are presented and analysed, showing an intense and fast technological development, which is enabling wind energy to reduce costs and becoming increasingly more competitive with conventional fuel-based generating technologies.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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