By L.M. Sixel
A sorghum field near Taft, Texas
The cost of wind-generated power declined by one-third between 2010 and 2016, thanks to improving technology, better manufacturing capability and concentrating projects in regions with lower installation costs, the Energy Department reported.
The capacity-weighted average cost in inflation-adjusted dollars for wind generation was $1,587 per kilowatt in 2016 compared to $2,361 per kilowatt six years earlier.
Since 2010, domestic manufacturers have increased their production capacity of wind turbine components, according to the Energy Department. The increasing pace of wind turbine installations reduced overall costs as manufacturers perfected their methods through trial and error in the growing industry.
At the same time, the interior of the United States, including Texas, is drawing more new wind installations than either coast or the Great Lakes region. By 2016, nearly 90 percent of new capacity was installed in the interior, which has lower costs than other regions. The interior also has plenty of wind, easy-to-develop expanses of flat land and transportation access to turbine component makers.