May 19, 2024

While only delivering about 1% of U.S. electricity requirements, wind energy is growing far more quickly than any other energy source. Over 5,000 megawatts of new wind generating capacity was installed in the U.S., in 2007, second only to new all-natural gas-fired creating ability. Wind know-how has enhanced extensively over the past two decades even so wind electrical power still relies upon on federal tax incentives to contend with regular power sources. A huge impediment for grid parity applying wind electrical power is that its creation is dependent on when the wind is blowing relatively than peak consumer power wants. This variability produces included costs and complexity for balancing supply and demand from customers on the grid. An extra situation is that new transmission infrastructure will be essential to deliver wind-produced electrical power to high density population facilities. Due to the fact creating new transmission traces are high-priced and time-consuming, it is complicated to ascertain how construction costs ought to be allocated among the customers and which pricing methodologies to use.

To day, U.S. federal wind energy plan has centered on the output tax credit history The Creation Tax Credit rating is a company incentive to function wind services. Even so, this credit history expired on December 31, 2008. Coverage analysts and wind market representatives have argued that the on-once more off-again mother nature of the output tax credit rating is inefficient and essentially sales opportunities to increased expenditures for the market.

According to the 2008, CRS Report for Congress, “Wind Electrical power in the United States: Systems, Economic and Coverage Troubles,” wind turbines have no gas prices, and minimal variable operations and maintenance (O&M) bills. Also, wind electric power does not have the other expenditures that come with fossil gas burning, these types of as air air pollution control products. Nor does wind electric power incur the squander disposal prices related with other vitality era, these as scrubber sludge disposal for coal crops and waste storage for nuclear crops. Having said that, although wind crops have lower variable costs, the set O&M expenditures are higher, and wind electrical power plants are money intense. For the reason that of these preset costs, project expenses have risen and averaged about $1,700 for each kilowatt in 2007. Also, bigger input prices (metal, cooper, concrete), a scarcity of competent workers, unfavorable currency exchange, and shortages in crucial wind turbine factors and production capacity have all contributed to the expense raise.

When wind tends to make up a big part of a electrical power system’s full generating potential, most likely 10% to 15% or additional, the program have to also bear further charges to provide trusted backup for the wind turbines. This backup capability is possibly fossil fuel, nuclear, or other renewable strength (e.g., hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass).


CRS Report for Congress, “Wind Electrical power in the United States: Technologies, Financial and Policy Problems,” June 20, 2008.