Anyone who tells you wind power is expensive is bad-shit crazy. Wind power is the cheapest option for new electricity generation in many if not most places in the world, including much of the US. That would indeed help to explain why the US installed more wind power capacity than power capacity from any other source in 2012, 42% (or 43%?) of all new power capacity in the country.
In announcing a recent report released by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Berkeley Lab actually noted that, “The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.”
That’s $0.04 per kWh. Even if you add in the $0.022 Production Tax Credit (PTC), that’s $0.062 per kWh.
As the reader who shared this with me aptly emphasized, “This is a low number. It’s not just the LCOE of wind. It includes real estate, transmission, taxes and profits. It’s the ‘delivered to the door’ cost of electricity, not just the generation price.”
Another point worth noting, highlighting even, is that some “energy experts” are downright horrible at projecting the future cost of new and new-ish (wind power isn’t that new) technologies. “The EIA is predicting $0.0866 in 2018 and that does not include real estate costs, profits, and taxes,” our reader adds. “EIA predictions stink.” Well, I think many of us who follow the industry already knew that, but what an excellent forecast to highlight.
By the way, Silvio did an excellent job covering the new DOE/Berkeley Lab report, 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report, right after it was released. For a lot of interesting and fun facts and maps, as well as additional context that is highly important, be sure to check out his piece, “Rollercoaster Policy Threatens US Wind Energy’s Record-Setting Pace.”
We just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this exciting US wind power price statistic, and the note about how off the EIA’s wind power price forecasting is.