Cost-potentials for large onshore wind turbines in Europe

R. McKenna*, S. Hollnaicher, P. Ostman, W. Fichtner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Against the background of the recent trend towards ever larger wind turbines at higher hub heights, this contribution determines the total technical potential and associated costs for electricity generation in Europe with large turbines, based on a GIS-based methodology employing cost-potential curves. For the EU28 and Europe technical potentials of 15PWh/a and 20PWh/a are determined respectively, with associated LCOEs (Levelized Costs of Electricity) of between 6 and 50 €ct/kWh and large variations between countries: the largest potentials and lowest generation costs are to be found in the UK, Poland and Sweden. The approximate required investment to meet national 2020 targets based on the National Renewable Energy Action Plans is estimated based on the model results. A comparison with the results of other studies shows significant deviations in the results, most of which can be explained through the differences in input parameters, and a comparison of the obtained results for Germany with those from a previous study under the same assumptions produced very similar results with a deviation of about 10%. A sensitivity analysis showed that the results are only moderately sensitive to the assumed discount rate as well as the size of turbines available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-229
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Cost-potentials
  • Europe
  • Wind energy


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