Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wall Street Journal On Wind Economics

The Wall Street Journal has a great piece today on the "new math" of renewables and how they are approaching cost-competitiveness with traditional dirty tech energy sources.

..."Wind power stands out as one of the splashiest success stories in renewable energy. Over the past 10 years, as wind farms sprouted around the world, the cost of generating electricity from wind has fallen dramatically.

In 1980, wind-power electricity cost 80 cents per kilowatt hour; by 1991 it cost 10 cents, according to the International Energy Agency.

Today, production costs at the best on-shore sites have dropped as low as 3 cents to 4 cents per kilowatt hour, but are more typically 6 cents to 9 cents, not counting subsidies -- getting closer to the cost of generating electricity from burning coal. In fact, costs are approaching the point where wind power may be able to prosper without subsidies -- currently 1.9 cents a kilowatt hour in the U.S. -- particularly if natural-gas prices stay high.