The demand for wind turbines―a vital source of clean and green energy―is increasing continually and it is anticipated that this trend will be accelerated in the coming future. To meet this demand, the cost of wind turbines must be reduced, which can be achieved partly by reducing the cost of wind turbine towers. Currently, wind turbine towers are made of thin steel cylindrical shells due to their structural efficiency and ease of construction. However, the sensitivity of thin cylindrical shells to imperfections reduces the inherited benefits of thin cylindrical shells; this has long been an obstacle for the effective and efficient use of thin cylindrical shells. The current practices, to deal with imperfection sensitivity, are the use of knockdown factor and stiffeners. These methods, which are also used for designing wind turbine towers, diminish the structural benefits and increase the cost of construction. Recently, a new approach has emerged to reduce the sensitivity of thin cylindrical shells to imperfections, and to increase the load carrying capacity. In this approach, wavy cross-sectional shapes are explored instead of circular cross-sections. The wavy cross-section shapes reduce the slenderness (R/t) of the cylindrical shells because the local radius of curvature is reduced and consequently, the imperfection sensitivity of thin cylindrical shells is also reduced. Past studies have been carried out using the wavy shape cross-sections and they present highly promising results. These studies did not investigate the effect of residual stresses, which are an important factor for wavy cross-sectional cylindrical shells. In this study, the sensitivity of wavy cylinders to the residual stresses, which are generated by the manufacturing process, is investigated. Moreover, the cost-comparison of the wavy cross-sectional thin cylindrical shells with the stiffened circular cross-sectional thin cylindrical shells is performed to study the applicability of the wavy cross-sectional thin cylindrical shells. Furthermore, an application of wavy cross-sectional thin cylindrical shells in tall wind turbine towers is explored to illustrate the benefits of wavy cylinders.