EGU23-1148, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Cost-Potential Curves of Onshore Wind Energy: the Role of Disamenity Costs

Oliver Ruhnau1, Anselm Eicke1, Raffaele Sgarlato1, Tim Tröndle2, and Lion Hirth1
Oliver Ruhnau et al.
  • 1Centre for Sustainability, Hertie School, Berlin, Germany (
  • 2Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Numerical optimization models are used to develop scenarios of the future energy system. Usually, they optimize the energy mix subject to engineering costs such as equipment and fuel. For onshore wind energy, some of these models use cost-potential curves that indicate how much electricity can be generated at what cost. These curves are upward sloping mainly because windy sites are occupied first and further expanding wind energy means deploying less favorable resources. Meanwhile, real-world wind energy expansion is curbed by local resistance, regulatory constraints, and legal challenges. This presumably reflects the perceived adverse effect that onshore wind energy has on the local human population, as well as other negative external effects. These disamenity costs are at the core of this paper. We provide a comprehensive and consistent set of cost-potential curves of wind energy for all European countries that include disamenity costs, and which can be used in energy system modeling. We combine existing valuation of disamenity costs from the literature that describe the costs as a function of the distance between turbine and households with gridded population data, granular geospatial data of wind speeds, and additional land-use constraints to calculate such curves. We find that disamenity costs are not a game changer: for most countries and assumptions, the marginal levelized cost of onshore wind energy increase by 0.2–12.5 €/MWh.

How to cite: Ruhnau, O., Eicke, A., Sgarlato, R., Tröndle, T., and Hirth, L.: Cost-Potential Curves of Onshore Wind Energy: the Role of Disamenity Costs, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1148,, 2023.

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