Siemens Wind Power has set itself a clear goal: to lower the cost of generating one Kilowatt-hour (kWh) of onshore wind power to less than five euro cents by the end of the decade. That would put wind power on a par with traditional energy sources. By comparison, a kilowatt-hour of wind power now costs around seven cents, depending on the location in question. Siemens also believes the price of electricity produced by offshore facilities needs to be substantially reduced, since it’s currently around twice as high as the onshore price. The company’s target is therefore to lower the price to less than ten cents per kWh, which would make offshore wind power competitive.
As it increasingly focuses on competitiveness, the wind industry can learn from car and truck manufacturing. Over the last few decades, the auto industry has optimized vehicle components to such an extent that they can now be manufactured as cheaply as possible. Much of this success can be attributed to platform strategies, modularization, standardization, and lean manufacturing processes.