According to a new report from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, wind power could become a lot cheaper in the years to come.
Utah has 177 wind turbines which produce 1 and a half percent of the state's electrical production, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Researchers found that advances in technology should continue to drive down wind-energy costs by as much as 30 percent by the year 2030. By 2050, the cost could go down by as much as 40 percent.
Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory senior scientist Ryan Wiser said reduced up-front costs and increased output will lead to cost savings.
“Even though wind energy has expanded and deployed significantly in the United States already, there remain a large number of opportunities to further reduce the cost of wind energy in the future," Wiser said.
If the technology improves Wiser says it will mean bigger turbines, taller towers and longer blades. This could increase land-use issues and threats to wildlife.
Reduced costs will help the wind industry stay competitive with solar and fossil fuels. Wiser also said that even though global price drops have affected oil and gas producers, that’s not likely to happen for wind.
"Prices, which are established on a global level, have declined, but their underlying costs have not also similarly declined, at least at the same level," Wiser said. "So, it’s that ‘pinching’ that really has hurt the oil and gas industry for the U.S.”
The findings in the report were published in the journal Natural Energy.