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Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a publicly available model to forecast the future costs of offshore wind energy. The Forecasting Offshore wind Reductions in Cost of Energy (FORCE) model combines past years’ wind energy project capital costs with global wind energy deployment forecasts to predict the future cost of offshore wind energy.
The model estimates that the average levelized cost of energy could decrease from $75/MWh in 2021 to $53/MWh in 2035 for fixed-bottom offshore wind energy and from $207/MWh to $64/MWh in 2035 for floating offshore wind energy. These projections can inform investment decisions, national goal development, and policies, such as the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035.
The FORCE Model Uses Learning Curves to Forecast Future Offshore Wind Energy Costs for Decision Makers
The Forecasting Offshore wind Reductions in Cost of Energy (FORCE) model, an open-source tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), uses learning curves to simplify the complexity of forecasting the cost of future offshore wind energy in the United States. By focusing on expected capacity of offshore wind in the future, the model estimates the lifetime cost of a power plant and informs investment decisions, policies, and the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035. Although the model cannot predict exactly what’s to come, it can help energy decision makers anticipate possible futures.
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