Offshore wind is expected to become cost-competitive with gas by 2020. According to a new report, innovations in wind energy technology as well as increased manufacturing of the new technology and governmental policy have together made the costs associated with wind energy drop.
The report was published by BVG Associates and commissioned by Statkraft UK. Statkraft UK is the United Kingdom-based division of an electricity company based in Norway.
Only wind energy projects installed as of 2020 will be cost-competitive, and only with newly built gas plants. However, the report states that if the existing wind projects could be upgraded with the most up-to-date turbines, then by the late 2020s, offshore wind farms may actually be more cost-effective than gas.
The authors of the report also predicted that the growing wind energy industry will create nearly 18,000 long-term jobs to staff manufacturing, construction and operations. These jobs will be available by 2025, and generally in coastal areas where the unemployment rate is high.
For the UK, the report is good not only because of their eventual energy savings. Once the benefits of solar are apparent, other companies in other countries will want to adopt their technology and energy strategies. The potential value of exports from the wind energy industry could total £200 billion. The exports will be services, products and knowledge about cost-effective wind energy production.
Taking into account the rising prevalence of solar and this new report, it seems likely that the world will soon undergo an energy revolution unlike anything since the invention of the light bulb.