Coal wind turbines rainbow

Published on March 7th, 2011 | by Shellee Tyler

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Wind Energy Now Cost-Competitive with Coal

March 7th, 2011 by

wind turbines with rainbow behind

Perhaps not in your part of the world, but according to the latest report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in many parts of the world, onshore wind power is now completely cost-competitive with coal.

Over the past several years, the demand for wind turbines has increased. As a result, manufacturers have been able to lower their prices on wind turbines and turbine parts and continue to make money because of the increased quantity being sold.

As a result, the overall price of wind power has fallen, and all indications are that it will continue to remain and gain competitive standing with fossil fuel power….

In certain regions of Brazil, Mexico, Sweden and even the United States, wind power now costs $68/MWh. Coal power in those same regions is $67/MWh, so the differential is shrinking quickly.

Unfortunately, in those same regions, natural gas still remains the most economical choice at just $56/MWh, so look forward to more fracking debate in the near future.

Now, take the total cost of coal (including the health costs) into account, and I’m sure wind power looks even better.

This is awesome news, especially for those of us who received a $539 power bill this month courtesy of AEP in West Virginia (the “Coal State”). AEP says it’s due to the high coal prices it is paying — seems a little odd to me, since it owns its own coal mine.

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Photo Credit:  jinterwas via Flickr

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