TODAY’S STUDY: THE FUTURE OF WIND IN THE WORLD
2013 Wind Technology Roadmap to 2050
October 2013 (International Energy Agency)
Key findings and actions
Since 2008, wind power deployment has more than doubled, approaching 300 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative installed capacities, led by China (75 GW), the United States (60 GW) and Germany (31 GW). Wind power now provides 2.5% of global electricity demand – and up to 30% in Denmark, 20% in Portugal and 18% in Spain. Policy support has been instrumental in stimulating this tremendous growth.
* Progress over the past five years has boosted energy yields (especially in low-wind-resource sites) and reduced operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Land-based wind power generation costs range from USD 60 per megawatt hour (USD/MWh) to USD 130/ MWh at most sites. It can already be competitive where wind resources are strong and financing conditions are favourable, but still requires support in most countries. Offshore wind technology costs levelled off after a decade-long increase, but are still higher than land-based costs.
* This roadmap targets 15% to 18% share of global electricity from wind power by 2050, a notable increase from the 12% aimed for in 2009. The new target of 2 300 GW to 2 800 GW of installed wind capacity will avoid emissions of up to 4.8 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
* Achieving these targets requires rapid scaling up of the current annual installed wind power capacity (including repowering), from 45 GW in 2012 to 65 GW by 2020, to 90 GW by 2030 and to 104 GW by 2050. The annual investment needed would be USD 146 billion to USD 170 billion.
* The geographical pattern of deployment is rapidly changing. While countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) led early wind development, from 2010 non-OECD countries installed more wind turbines. After 2030, non-OECD countries will have more than 50% of global installed capacity.
* While there are no fundamental barriers to achieving – or exceeding – these goals, several obstacles could delay progress including costs, grid integration issues and permitting difficulties.
* This roadmap assumes the cost of energy from wind will decrease by as much as 25% for land-based and 45% for offshore by 2050 on the back of strong research and development (R&D) to improve design, materials, manufacturing technology and reliability, to optimise performance and to reduce uncertainties for plant output. To date, wind power has received only 2% of public energy R&D funding: greater investment is needed to achieve wind’s full potential.
* As long as markets do not reflect climate change and other environmental externalities, accompanying the cost of wind energy to competitive levels will need transitional policy support mechanisms.
* To achieve high penetrations of variable wind power without diminishing system reliability, improvements are needed in grid infrastructure and in the flexibility of power systems as well as in the design of electricity markets.
* To engage public support for wind, improved techniques are required to assess, minimise and mitigate social and environmental impacts and risks. Also, more vigorous communication is needed on the value of wind energy and the role of transmission in meeting climate targets and in protecting water, air and soil quality.
Key actions in the next ten years
* Set long-term targets, supported by predictable mechanisms to drive investment and to apply appropriate carbon pricing.
* Address non-economic barriers. Advance planning of new plants by including wind power in long-term land and maritime spatial planning; develop streamlined procedures for permitting; address issues of land-use and sea-use constraints posed by various authorities (environment, building, traffic, defence and navigation).
* Strengthen research, development and demonstration (RD&D) efforts and financing. Increase current public funding by two- to five-fold to drive cost reductions of turbines and support structures, to increase performance and reliability (especially in offshore and other new market areas) and to scale up turbine technology for offshore.
* Adapt wind power plant design to specific local conditions (e.g. cold climates and low-wind sites), penetration rates, grid connection costs and the effects of variability on the entire system.
* Improve processes for planning and permitting transmission across large regions; modernise grid operating procedures (e.g. balancing area co-ordination and fast-interval dispatch and scheduling); increase power system flexibility using ancillary services from all (also wind) generation and demand response; and expand and improve electricity markets, and adapt their operation for variable generation.
* Increase public acceptance by raising awareness of the benefits of wind power (including emission reductions, security of supply and economic growth), and of the accompanying need for additional transmission.
* Enhance international collaboration in R&D and standardisation, large-scale testing harmonisation, and improving wind integration. Exchange best practices to help overcome deployment barriers.
There is a pressing need to accelerate the development of advanced energy technologies in order to address the global challenges of clean energy, climate change and sustainable development. To achieve emission reductions envisioned, the IEA has undertaken an effort to develop a series of global technology roadmaps, under international guidance and in close consultation with industry. These technologies are evenly divided among demand-side and supply-side technologies and include several renewable energy roadmaps (www.iea.org/roadmaps/).
The overall aim is to advance global development and uptake of key technologies to limit global mean temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius (°C) in the long term. The roadmaps will enable governments and industry and financial partners to identify steps needed and implement measures to accelerate required technology development and uptake.
The roadmaps take a long-term view, but highlight in particular the key actions that need to be taken by different stakeholders in the next five to ten years to reach their goals. This is because the actions undertaken within the next decade will be critical to achieve long-term emission reductions. Existing conventional plants together with those under construction lead to a lock-in of CO2 emissions as they will be operating for decades. According to the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP 2012), early retirement of 850 GW of existing coal capacity would be required to reach the goal of limiting climate change to 2°C. Therefore, it is crucial to build up low-carbon energy supply today.
Rationale for wind power in the overall energy context
ETP 2012 projects that – in the absence of new policies – CO2 emissions from the energy sector will increase by 84% over 2009 levels by 2050 (IEA, 2012a). The ETP 2012 model examines competition among a range of technology solutions that can contribute to preventing this increase: greater energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power and the near-decarbonisation of fossil fuel-based power generation. Rather than projecting the maximum possible deployment of any given solution, the ETP 2012 model calculates the least-cost mix to achieve the CO2 emission reduction goal needed to limit climate change to 2°C (the ETP 2012 2°C Scenario [2DS]; Figure 1 and Box 1).
ETP 2012 shows wind providing 15% to 18% of the necessary CO2 reductions in the electricity sector in 2050, up from the 12% projected in Energy Technology Perspectives 2008 (IEA, 2008). This increase in wind compensates for slower progress in the intervening years in the area of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and higher costs for nuclear power. Yet, it also reflects faster cost reductions for some renewables, including wind.
Wind energy, like other power technologies based on renewable resources, is widely available throughout the world and can contribute to reduced energy import dependence. -As it entails no fuel price risk or constraints, it also improves security of supply. Wind power enhances energy diversity and hedges against price volatility of fossil fuels, thus stabilising costs of electricity generation in the long term.
Wind power entails no direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and does not emit other pollutants (such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen); additionally, it consumes no water. As local air pollution and extensive use of fresh water for cooling of thermal power plants are becoming serious concerns in hot or dry regions, these benefits of wind become increasingly important.
Purpose of the roadmap update
The wind roadmap was one of the initial roadmaps developed by the IEA in 2008/09. This document is an update of that earlier document, outlining progress made in the last four years, as well as presenting updated goals and actions. This updated roadmap presents a new vision that takes into account this progress of wind technologies as well changing trends in the overall energy mix.It presents a detailed assessment of the technology milestones that wind energy will need to reach the ambitious targets presented in the vision. The key objective is to seek measures to improve wind technology performance and reduce its costs in order to achieve the competitiveness needed for the large investments foreseen.
The roadmap also provides an extensive list of non-economic barriers that hamper deployment and identifies policy actions to overcome them. For instance, addressing issues such as permitting processes and public acceptance, transmission and system integration is critically important.
This roadmap thus identifies actions and time frames to achieve the higher wind deployment needed for targeted global emission reductions. In some markets, certain actions will already have been taken, or will be underway. Many countries, particularly in emerging regions, are only just beginning to develop wind energy. Accordingly, milestone dates should be considered as indicative of urgency, rather than as absolutes. Individual countries will have to choose what to prioritise in the rather comprehensive action lists, based on their mix of energy and industrial policies.
This roadmap is addressed to a variety of audiences, including policy-makers, industry, utilities, researchers and other stakeholders. It provides a consistent overall picture of wind power at global and continental levels. It further aims at triggering and informing the elaboration of action plans, target setting or updating, as well as roadmaps of wind power deployment at national level.
Roadmap process, content and structure
This roadmap was developed with inputs from diverse stakeholders representing the wind industry, the power sector, R&D institutions, the finance community, and government institutions. Following a workshop to identify technological and deployment issues, a draft was circulated to participants and a wide range of additional reviewers. It is consistent with the Long Term R&D Needs Report of the Implementing Agreement for Co-operation in the Research, Development and Deployment of Wind Energy Systems (Wind Implementing Agreement [IA], 2013).
This roadmap is organised into seven major sections. First, the current state of the wind industry and progress since 2008 is discussed, followed by a section that describes the targets for wind energy deployment between 2010 and 2050 based on ETP 2012. This discussion includes information on the regional distribution of wind generation projects and the associated investment needs, as well as the potential for cost reductions.
The next three sections describe approaches and specific tasks required to address the major challenges facing large-scale wind deployment in three major areas, namely wind technology development; transmission and grid integration; policy framework development, public engagement and international collaboration.
The final section sets out next steps and categorises the actions from the previous sections by stakeholders (policy makers, industry and power system actors) to help guide their efforts to successfully implement the roadmap activities and achieve the global wind deployment targets.
Roadmap action plan and next steps
The main milestones to achieve the target of 15% to 18% global electricity from wind power in 2050 are:
* Stimulate cost reductions to achieve cost competitiveness with new conventional power production (including carbon prices) by 2020 for onshore and by 2030 for offshore wind power. This means increasing funding allocation for wind energy RD&D between two- and five-fold by 2020.
* Reduce uncertainty of resource assessment to 3% of projected output of wind power plants and increase technology reliability to 95% by 2020 also for offshore.
* By 2020: publish and encourage broad use of best practice guidelines for project development, system integration and community engagement.
* By 2020: include wind power in long-term regional planning with clear ways to address deployment barriers from transmission and safety distances to built environment.
* By 2020: increase cost competitiveness by setting a price on emissions through an emissions trading system, with careful design to ensure the emissions price is meaningful (fully cost-reflective) and stable.
Near-term actions for stakeholders
The most immediate actions are listed below by lead actors.
Governments include policy makers at international, national, regional and local levels. Their underlying roles are to: remove deployment barriers; establish frameworks that promote close collaboration between the wind industry and the wider power sector; and encourage private sector investment alongside increased public investment.
Governments should take the lead on the following actions:
* Set or update long-term targets for wind energy deployment, including short-term milestones.
* Ensure a stable, predictable financing environment. Where market arrangements and cost competitiveness do not provide sufficient incentive for investors, make sure that predictable, long-term support mechanisms exist.
* Address existing or potential barriers to deployment from land-use restrictions, public resistance and lack of co-ordination among different authorities (e.g. environment, building, traffic, defence).
* Launch work on regional land-use and marine spatial planning, taking into account wind power and its transmission needs. Harmonise and streamline permitting practices.
* Identify and provide a suitable level of public funding for wind energy R&D, proportionate to the cost reduction targets and potential of the technology in terms of electricity production and CO2 abatement targets.
* Enable increasing international R&D collaboration to make best use of national competencies.
* Provide incentives for accelerated construction of transmission capacity to link wind energy resources to demand centres; identify agencies to lead large-scale, multi-jurisdictional transmission projects together with regulators and system operators.
* For offshore deployment, make available sufficient and suitably equipped large harbour space.
* Work with R&D funding organisations to establish the technology push (e.g. compulsory reporting when getting subsidies) needed to establish public databases (O&M and wind resources).
* Launch maritime spatial planning that includes areas for offshore wind energy deployment and develop appropriate offshore planning regimes.Wind industry includes turbine and component manufacturers, developers of wind plants and associated infrastructure, with strong collaboration with the research sector. One main objective is to lower the lifecycle cost of energy production and reduce the uncertainties of wind output estimates and reliability.
Wind industry actions on R&D for short-term results by 2015 should focus on:
* wind characteristics: develop a publicly available database of onshore and offshore wind resources and environmental conditions; develop and implement international standards for wind resource assessment and siting; further develop remote sensing technology; and develop short-term forecast models, for use in power system operation (working together with system operators);
* wind turbine technology: build a shared database of offshore operating experiences; develop dedicated designs for different site conditions;
* for offshore deployment, make available sufficient purpose-designed vessels and improve installation strategies;
* work with funding agencies to establish targeted R&D support programmes, then launch long-term programmes for new materials; improve design tools; and increase knowledge of offshore, complex terrain and icing climates, aerodynamics, and of offshore turbine and foundation designs.
Power system actors include transmission companies, system operators and independent electricity sector regulators as established by governments, as well as vertically integrated utilities (where they exist). Their key role is to invest in transmission infrastructure needed to connect wind power (and other generators) and move electricity to load centres. They also play a role in enabling physical power markets to evolve in a manner that cost-effectively reduces the impact of variability and increases the value of wind power while ensuring security of supply.
Power system actors should focus their short-term efforts on the following areas:
* develop wide-area transmission plans that support interconnection, anticipating wind power deployment and the linking of regional power markets, to ensure security of supply;
* establish mechanisms for cost recovery and allocation from new transmission build-outs for wind-rich areas, in case transmission costs are not covered by customers;
* where not already available, implement grid codes that ensure open access to transmission networks for wind power plants; collaborate with neighbouring areas to enhance balancing;
* continue to advance progress on the evolution of market design and system operating practices to enable integration of large shares of renewable energy;
* improve wind forecasting and include online data in control rooms of system operators;
* work for offshore grid improvements such as meshed grids connecting several countries and combining offshore connections with interconnectors where regionally and socio-economically reasonable;
* develop methods to assess the need for additional power system flexibility; carry out grid studies to examine costs and benefits of high shares of wind power;
* exploit power system flexibility to increase the value of RES;
* support standards development to ensure government-funded R&D is translated into industry best practice.
The implementation of this roadmap could take place through national roadmaps, targets, subsidies and R&D efforts. Based on its energy and industrial policies, a country could develop a set of relevant actions. To facilitate this process at national levels, the IEA is also publishing a How2Guide for the development of wind roadmaps, which includes information and guidance related to:
* resource availability;
* technology status and costs;
* policy costs and effectiveness;
* barriers that would need to be addressed;
* stakeholder engagement and public acceptability.
Ultimately, international collaboration will be important and can enhance the success of national efforts. This roadmap update identifies approaches and specific tasks regarding wind energy research, development, demonstration and deployment, financing, planning, grid integration, legal and regulatory framework development, public engagement, and international collaboration. It also updates regional projections for wind energy deployment from 2010 to 2050 based on ETP 2012. Finally, this roadmap details actions and milestones to aid policy makers, industry and power system actors in their efforts to successfully implement wind energy.
The wind roadmap is meant to be a process, one that evolves to take into account new developments from demonstration projects, policies and international collaborative efforts. The roadmap has been designed with milestones that the international community can use to ensure that wind energy development efforts are on track to achieve the GHG emissions reductions required by 2050. As such, the IEA, together with government, industry and non-governmental organisation (NGO) stakeholders will report regularly on the progress that has been achieved toward this roadmap’s vision. For more information about the wind roadmap inputs and implementation, visit www.iea.org/roadmaps.