There is an excellent discussion about the cost of wind generated electricity following a post on British Offshore wind on The Energy Blog, Wind advocates have become the snake oil salesmen of the dawning post carbon age. The British government plans to install 33 GW of wind generating capacity by 2020. The prices being quoted are astonishing. Even the British Wind Energy Association acknowledges that a shortage of turbines will make it difficult to raise Britain's wind power production to 33 gigawatts by 2020 from the current level of half a gigawatt.
The amount of electrical power produced by a wind generator, has little relationship to its rated capacity. First you have to be aware of how much of the time enough wind is blowing to actually generate electricity. In Germany that is 18% of the time, in Denmark it is 20%. Then you have to figure what is the average percentage of rated generation capacity the wind actually produces. It turns out you get from $10,000 per installed average KW generating capacity with off shore power.
Jim from The Energy Blog called attention to a post on the Cleatech Blog on off shore wind.
"the installed cost of an onshore wind project is projected to increase from an actual cost of Euro 1540/kw in 2003 to a forecasted cost of Euro 2940/kw by 2013. For an improving technology in a growing marketplace, this cost trend is clearly opposite of what should be expected."
Bill Hannahan notes:
That’s $4,330 U.S. dollars / kw of onshore wind. Assuming a .35 capacity factor, the cost / kw output is $12,370.
The cost for 990MW of output, equal to a large coal or nuc plant, is $12.2 billion. With luck they will last half as long as a nuc plant.
The cost of offshore windfarms will be much higher than the price quoted above, probably about double. That might explain this.
On 5 December 2007, the German Cabinet presented its final draft of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG):
Initial feed-in tariffs for offshore wind energy projects are supposed to be raised from 9.1 ct/kWh at present to 14 ct/kWh if the respective wind turbines are commissioned by 31 December 2013.
This is in euros, so figure 20.58 cents / kWh U.S.
If U.S. nuclear plants got the same deal they would raise an additional $162 billion per year.
The British Wind Energy Association acknowledges that a shortage of turbines will make it difficult to raise Britain's wind power production to 33 gigawatts by 2020 from the current level of half a gigawatt.
Quotes from DaveMart:
'A UK Royal Academy of Engineering report in 2004 looked at electricity generation costs from new plant in the UK on a more credible basis than hitherto. In particular it aimed to develop "a robust approach to compare directly the costs of intermittent generation with more dependable sources of generation". This meant adding the cost of standby capacity for wind, as well as carbon values up to £30 per tonne CO2 (£110/tC) for coal and gas. Wind power was shown to be more than twice as expensive as nuclear power.'
DaveMart also noted:
The information I have been able to locate shows wind power onshore as being around twice as expensive as nuclear, and offshore 3 times.