The federal government has pumped a ton of money into wind power projects and development. There is valid reason, as wind never expires and is highly free. Wind energy has the potential to stabilize power costs, basically for good, and there is a reason why more wind energy generators are increasing than ever.
Energy from the wind
The Obama administration is working really hard on wind energy generation laws right now. There are a bunch of subsidies set to expire at the end of the year that would trigger a 30 percent increase in wind power costs, according to CNN. Normally, that money is made up in government subsidies, but they will end if the bill is not renewed.
Wind turbines are becoming much more popular considering 32 percent of all brand new power generation comes from wind turbines. The cost of wind power will be double natural gasoline costs if the subsidies were to stop. Only 3.3 percent of the nation’s electricity came from wind turbines in 2011, but that is still 18 million homes.
Using things that do not go out
Sunlight, wind, water and more are considered renewable energy sources because they will never stop existing or run out. There will be lower costs of the product in the long run because there are lower costs of operation. The sources do not produce waste or pollution and require a lot less maintenance. The problem is that getting anything set up is pretty expensive.
Presently, wind power is beginning to get competitive with conventional coal plants and some natural gasoline plants. According to CleanTechnica, the Department of Energy reported in 2009 that the cost per kilowatt-hour of wind energy was between 4 and 9 cents. In 2010, according to the National Resources Defense Council, top-performing wind energy online websites were averaging about 7 cents/kWh. The American Wind Power Association also reported in 2011 that new wind farms were selling contracts at about 6 cents/kWh, roughly the same as a combined-cycle natural gasoline power plant, which according to the Department of Power, is the cheapest type of natural gas plant to run.
Trying to find Competitive prices
The cost of wind is $96.00 per kWh, but the cost of natural gasoline is only $66.10 per kWh, according to the DOE. There are a ton of brand new plants entering the service in 2017, and that is the anticipated cost. It costs $138.80 per kWh for advanced coal with a carbon-capture system, and regular coal is $87.70/kWh.
You have to consider tax credits and subsidies though, and the DOE does not do that.
The NRDC reports that the cost of wind energy has come down by 85 percent in the past 20 years, which should continue as the technology progresses. Subsidies are not exactly in vogue politically right now and there are a healthy number of skeptics about renewable energy sources’ potential. Investment in them, by private interest or by government, is pursuit of two noble goals. The first, of course, is cleaner power. The second is cheaper power, which everyone can appreciate.