Wind Prices Now Beating NatGas
Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas; In the US, it's cheaper to build and operate wind farms than buy fossil fuels.
John Timmer, August 17, 2019 (Ars Technica)
“…[Wind hardware prices are dropping and] new turbine designs are increasing the typical power generated by each turbine…[As a result, wind farms can be built and operated] for less than the expected cost of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant…[Wind’s federal production tax credit (PTC) is phasing out, leading to some long-term uncertainty…[Growth in coal and nuclear are essentially at a standstill. Wind’s new 7.6GW was 20% of new U.S. capacity, third behind natural gas and solar…[ U.S. installed capacity is now] nearly 100GW…[It supplied 6.5% of total electricity in 2018 and Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma get over 30%,] with the two Dakotas not far behind. The Southwest Power Pool, which serves two of those states plus wind giant Texas, is currently getting a quarter of its electricity from wind…[The 2018 national average wind price fell] below $20/MWh for the first time…That puts wind in an incredibly competitive position…
…[N]atural gas—on its own, without considering the cost of a plant to burn it for electricity—is already over $20/MWh…[Photovoltaics have reached prices that are roughly equivalent to wind…[U]nless natural gas prices reverse the expected trend and get cheaper, wind and solar will remain the cheapest sources of new electricity in the US…[The levelized cost of electricity, which eliminates the impact of incentives and subsidies on the final prices, places natural gas around $50/MWh and] wind below $40/MWh in 2018…[I]t's clear that the economic case for wind energy will remain solid as the tax credits for the construction of renewable energy fade out over the next few years…[but developers are starting projects sooner rather than later to capture them, there could be] a bubble in construction for the next couple of years, followed by a dramatic drop off.” click here for more