Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Cost of Wind

On 16 September, an article entitled ‘Environment issues top green debate’ appeared in the Oakville Beaver.  In that, ‘Halton incumbent MPP Ted Chudleigh, of the Tories, said he and his party are not opposed to alternative energy, but believe it has its time and its place.  “The windmills are becoming more and more efficient, more and more economically feasible. The big ones are down to 20 cents per kilowatt hour or less, which is great,” he said.’ … The statement is remarkable on at least two levels:  first, 20 cents per kWh is not particularly ‘great’ (compare to the average price of electricity, as a commodity, recently in Ontario here); and second, although it depends upon the wind resource, a number of sources cite the fact that wind power’s cost is often of the order of 2.5-3.5 cents kWh (e.g., this report from the NREL).
There are other passages in the article – issues of rising costs with smart meters, etc. – but I have addressed that issue in other parts of this blog.

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