how much would it cost ....???

how much would it cost to provide wind energy to produce and cost a comsumer??

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How much does wind energy cost?

    Over the last 20 years, the cost of electricity from utility-scale wind systems has dropped by more than 80%. In the early 1980s, when the first utility-scale turbines were installed, wind-generated electricity cost as much as 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. Now, state-of-the-art wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents/kWh with the Production Tax Credit in many parts of the U.S., a price that is competitive with new coal- or gas-fired power plants.

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with the wind industry to develop a next generation of wind turbine technology. The products from this program are expected to generate electricity at prices that will be lower still.

    More reading:

    The Economics of Wind Energy is a fact sheet that discusses this topic in greater depth.

    The Comparative Cost of Wind and Other Energy Resources

    Tne Economics of Wind Energy, British Wind Energy Association


    Why does the cost of wind energy vary from place to place?

    The most important factors in determining the cost of wind-generated electricity from a wind farm are: (1) the size of the wind farm; (2) the wind speed at the site; and (3) the cost of installing the turbines. Each of these factors can have a major impact. Generally speaking:

    The larger the wind farm, all other factors being equal, the lower the cost of energy;

    The higher the wind speed, the lower the cost of energy;

    The less expensive construction costs are, the lower the cost of energy.

    On New England ridgelines, for example, wind farms are likely to be smaller, to experience lower wind speeds, and to cost more to install than in the flat terrain of northern Plains states. While wind power may cost less than 5 cents/kWh in the northern Plains, it may cost 6-7 cents/kWh in New England.

    In the case of offshore wind farms, the distance that power must be transmitted to shore is a fourth potentially significant cost element.

    More reading:

    The Economics of Wind Energy


    How do utility-scale wind power plants compare in cost to other renewable energy sources?

    Wind is the low-cost emerging renewable energy resource.

    What is the "production tax credit" for wind energy?

    1.5-cent per kilowatt-hour1 production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy was included in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Passage of the PTC reflected a recognition of the important role that wind energy can and should play in our nation's energy mix. It also was intended to partially correct the existing tilt of the federal energy tax code, which has historically favored conventional energy technologies such as oil and coal.

    Generally, the credit is a business credit that applies to electricity generated from wind plants for sale at "wholesale" (i.e., to a utility or other electricity supplier which then sells the electricity to customers at "retail"). It applies to electricity produced during the first 10 years of a wind plant's operation. The company that owns the wind plant subtracts the value of the credit from the business taxes that it would otherwise pay.

    The U.S. Congress recently (July 2005) extended the wind PTC to expire for the fourth time since it was created, through December 31, 2007. While the U.S. wind industry welcomed the extension, it noted that a longer term for the PTC is needed to provide a stable financial environment industry. Such a stable financial environment would allow the industry to reduce wind energy’s cost—for example, by allowing wind farm development companies to order wind turbines in larger quantities.

    An incentive similar to the PTC is made available to public utilities (which do not pay taxes and therefore cannot benefit from a tax credit). The incentive is called the Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) and it consists of a direct payment to a public utility installing a wind plant that is equal to the PTC (1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, adjusted for inflation). However, since the REPI involves the actual spending of federal funds, money must be "appropriated" (voted) for it annually by Congress. It is sometimes difficult to obtain full funding for REPI because of competing federal spending priorities.

    1 The PTC is adjusted annually for inflation, and stood at 1.8 cents/kWh as of December 2003


    If wind energy is competitive, why does it need a tax credit subsidy from the government? Isn't this government interference in the free market?

    The energy market has never been free — large energy producers such as coal and oil have always been able to win government subsidies of various kinds. To take just one example, the federal government has paid out $35 billion over the past 30 years to cover the medical expenses of coal miners who suffer from "black lung disease." These subsidies mean that the true cost of coal is not reflected in its market price.

    As the previous answer indicates, the wind PTC was passed by Congress to give wind a "level playing field" compared with other subsidized energy sources. More information on energy subsidies is available from the Renewable Energy Policy Project,

    More generally, coal receives a huge hidden subsidy resulting from the fact that its full environmental and health costs are not accounted for. The hidden environmental and health costs of coal and other fossil fuels are also confirmed by a major 10-year study by the European Union. More information on the findings of this study is available at and

    Nuclear power and oil also benefit from hidden subsidies. The potential cost of damages that might result from an accident at a nuclear power plant are too large for the insurance industry to cover, so the federal government has pledged to act as "insurer of last resort" above a certain level of cost. The cost of oil does not reflect government military expenditures that are required to make sure that the shipping lanes to the Persian Gulf remain open.


    If wind energy is competitive, why do "green power" or "green pricing" programs charge extra for it?

    There are several reasons for the cost premium (typically 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour) that most green marketers charge for wind-generated electricity. Among them:

    If the power is being sold by a marketing company, it has to recover the cost of its marketing campaigns;

    Whether the power is being sold by a marketing company or a utility, the sale is being done on a piecemeal basis. Often one turbine's output is sold, then another's, and another's. Also, the term of the sales to retail customers is short, typically a year or two. This is more expensive, and risky, than buying all of the power from a 50-megawatt or 100-megawatt wind farm for 10 years.

    More reading:

    AWEA Green Power Fact Sheets

    If my utility uses more wind energy, will that make my electric rates go up my electric rates go up?

    Yes, probably, but not much. Let's say that wind energy costs 2 cents more per kilowatt-hour (2 cents/kWh) than the rest of the electricity your utility is generating or buying—a conservative estimate. If your utility were to decide to use wind energy to generate 10% of its electricity (more than nearly all utilities in the U.S.), then the added cost to you would be 0.2 cents/kWh. An average U.S. home uses about 800 kWh per month, so you would pay an extra $1.60 per month, or about a nickel a day.

    With the price of natural gas, oil, and other fuels soaring today (August 2005), wind energy is becoming more of a bargain than ever. A recent landmark study of wind integration into the New York State electric power system, looking at a 10% addition of wind generation (3,300 MW of wind in a 34,000-MW system), projected a reduction in payments by electricity customers of $305 million in one year (see “The Effects of Integrating Wind Power on Transmission System Planning, Reliability, and Operations: Report on Phase 2: System Performance Evaluation,” Executive Summary, p. 2.13. The entire study is available

  • 1 decade ago

    That is not the problem . The wind energy is not always reliable. Here in Texas very often when u need the lights the wind stops.

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