Task 53 Objectives

The following proposed objectives for our new collaborative work build on but also deviate from the original Task 26 scope and objectives of the prior phases of the research collaboration:

Objective 1

Provide new insight and intelligence on the economics of wind energy and key drivers of historical trends.

Objective 2

Provide perspective on the potential future costs of wind energy and insight into the technological innovations and operational choices that could drive costs and value lower or higher over time.

Objective 3

Analyze future cost and value in the context of deep decarbonization scenarios and emerging wind applications.

Objective 4

Assess the impact of global and domestic supply chain development on the cost of wind energy technologies and identify global wind supply chain development needs.


Task 53 Work Packages

Anticipating trends in wind energy design, operations, and ownership models under high penetration and deep decarbonization futures as well as their impact on wind energy’s economic offering is essential to inform investment, research and development, and energy system planning decisions. Task 53 researchers have identified six Work Packages to explore related research questions.

Work Package 1

How does the design and operation of wind energy change in a deep decarbonization future and impact the value of wind energy, especially as some regions saturate their potentials amid grid value and siting considerations?

This research collaboration will utilize expert elicitation methods to inform the potential for innovations in wind plant technology, plant design, and operational practices that are critical enablers to support a higher level of deployment and grid services. The expert elicitation will also explore potential market (archetype) designs that would provide sufficient incentives for a new generation, reliable production, and cost-efficiency. Survey design and execution will leverage the survey pool and infrastructure developed for an earlier survey conducted in 2020 under the auspices of Task 26. The planned scope includes land-based, fixed-bottom, and floating offshore wind applications.

Work Package 2

How do specific and novel technology innovations and operational trends impact the economics of wind energy?

This collaborative research will address these knowledge gaps through two approaches. First, we will develop and apply engineering cost models to assess the LCOE impacts of a range of wind technology, plant design, and operational innovations that were revealed in the Work Package 1 elicitation described above. Second, we will conduct comparative case studies (across multiple regions and grid-system archetypes) to analytically assess available solutions to increase the value of wind energy. Potential analysis questions that will be explored in this Work Package are the cost and value impact of increased turbine rating, hybrid plants of fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind turbines, shared export cable and offshore substations, and the effect of condition monitoring systems on operations and maintenance costs.

Work Package 3

How does uncertainty impact wind energy economics and financing?

In this work package, we plan to complement traditional methods for characterizing costs and work to bridge this research gap through a three-fold approach. First, we determine how project uncertainties and risks are accounted for in practice (e.g., as part of cost contingencies, the cost of capital, or government support regimes) by analyzing the results from an ongoing IEA Wind Task 26 and IRENA expert elicitation on wind energy financing costs. Second, we quantify the impact of key uncertainties and risks (including revenue uncertainty) by illustrating their effect on LCOE and the cost of capital for wind energy assets. Third, we develop a model for scenario-based forecasting of wind energy financing costs.

Work Package 4

What data and methods best inform our understanding of current and historical wind energy economics?

The work within this research category focuses on three primary themes: annual data updates, evaluation of LCOE methods, and methods validation. This Work Package will span onshore and offshore wind applications. The annual data updates will include technology, cost, and performance data to be collected and reported over the 4-year research phase by each of the Task participants. The data will be used as inputs to evaluate country-specific LCOEs using various calculation methodologies. The comparison is intended to illustrate the fallacies and complexities of different LCOE calculation methods and to integrate new wind applications and holistic considerations.

Work Package 5

How does transmission infrastructure and hydrogen affect the cost and value of offshore wind energy?

Exploring the impact of combined hydrogen and transmission infrastructure development on the cost and value of wind energy is a new addition to the Task and fills an important gap in academic and applied research. Because of the novelty of this research field, we will utilize a scenario approach that explores the relative impact of different hydrogen and transmission configurations. This research collaboration will build on existing cost and value modeling tools among the participating members for technical-economic assessment. By amending considerations for hydrogen use under different transmission and market configurations, new quantitative insights will be generated to inform potential tradeoffs for policymakers and planners. We expect to be able to present comparable findings on the cost and value impact of hydrogen infrastructure choices across participating countries.

Work Package 6

How does the wind energy supply chain evolve and change in established and future markets?

This research collaboration will identify key enabling supply chain technologies and map them to markets where needs for those technologies may arise. We will also examine the potential impact on total wind energy costs that these infrastructure investments could have. In a possible subsequent step, we may estimate the future value (e.g., expected jobs, sales volume) created within a region considering the expected onshore and offshore wind capacities by 2030 and 2050. For a given region we may consider the following approach: First, we analyze current wind deployment and respective turbine models in use. Second, we identify the subcomponents (a blade, bearings, pitch system, generator, support structure, etc.) of the turbine models and their manufacturing location, building on data published by certification bodies and others. Third, we use the Task’s knowledge of costs (capital expenditure shares at the component level) to identify the value created within a region or through a specific original equipment manufacturer. As an optional final step, we might expand to a forward-looking perspective, providing estimates on future (e.g., 2030/2050) regional value creation and assembly needs.

Task 53 Work Plan

More in-depth information on elements of the Task 53 work plan can be found in the Wind Energy Economics Task Relaunch Proposal. The following documents are works in progress, and links to final versions will be provided here.

Work Package #


Deliverable Description


Deliverable Due Date

Deliverable Status

WP0 D1 OA annual report to ExCo USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)


Month 7 TBD
D2 OA annual report to ExCo Month 19 TBD
D3 OA annual report to ExCo Month 31 TBD
D4 OA annual report to ExCo Month 43 TBD
D5 OA research phase final report Month 48 TBD
WP1 D6 Dissemination of the experts’ survey USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Month 24 TBD
D7 Journal article USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Month 36 TBD
WP2 D8 Technical report covering onshore or offshore United Kingdom (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult) Month 36 TBD
D9 Journal article highlighting core results Japan (University of Tokyo) Month 48 TBD
WP3 D10 Journal article on how wind energy uncertainties and risks are accounted for in practice Denmark, USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Month 24 TBD
WP4 D11 Annual cost data updates Denmark, USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Month 9 TBD
D12 Annual cost data updates Month 21 TBD
D13 Annual cost data updates Month 33 TBD
D14 Annual cost data updates Month 45 TBD
D15 Journal article Denmark, USA (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Month 36 TBD
WP5 D16 Technical report or journal article on the cost and value considerations for offshore wind and hydrogen coupling Denmark Month 24 TBD
WP6 D17 Inventory of supply chain and port capabilities European Commission Joint Research Centre Month 24 TBD
D18 Technical report European Commission Joint Research Centre Month 36 TBD


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Email: tyler.stehly@nrel.gov