A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance has shown that wind power will keep coming down in price until it becomes cheaper than coal, gas, nuclear, and cheap natural gas power generation. Wind power is already competitive (or even better than traditional energy sources) in the long run when emissions, natural resource mining, and health side effects are taken into consideration but this study suggests that the new price parity expected in 2016 will be independent of externalities.
After analyzing the cost curve for wind projects since the mid-1980s, BNEF researchers showed that the cost of wind-generated electricity has fallen 14 percent for every doubling of installation capacity. These cost reductions are due to a number of factors: more sophisticated manufacturing, better materials, larger turbines, and more experience with plant operations and maintenance. Those improvements, combined with an oversupply of turbines on the global market, will bring the average cost of wind electricity down another 12 percent by 2016.
Read a summary of the Bloomberg report at Grist.org.