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$0.11/kWh: Why Wind Is More Expensive than Advertised

By Michael Giberson -- October 18, 2013

“Wind, an expensive energy resource, becomes more expensive (uneconomical) when costs are added for an apples-to-apples comparison to conventional generation. With natural gas prices at $4.00/MMBtu, and long-term cheap gas contracts available to anchor new power generation, wind power projects are typically uneconomic on a variety of grounds.”

A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the 2011 Cost of Wind Energy Review, estimated the cost of wind-generated electricity at $0.o72/kWh. This estimate is nearly 20 percent lower than the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimate of about $0.087 per kWh.

But as I argue in a new study for the Institute for Energy Research (IER), Assessing Wind Power Cost Estimates (October 2013),  adding wind power to the power grid involves a number of other costs.