Wind is cheaper than coal and about to get cheaper.
AWEA figures show that the average wind PPAs are now being priced at about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the same price for energy procurements from a combined cycle natural gas plant. The group says wind is actually about 2 cents cheaper than coal-fired electricity,
“Prices have dipped below €1m per MW for the first time since 2005,
If you take the full health costs and environmental costs of various energy sources into account, wind comes out looking even better. A recent study out of Harvard found that if one adds in the hidden costs of coal then its actual price in the U.S. is more like 9-27 cents higher per kilowatt hour. The authors write:
Our comprehensive review finds that the best estimate for the total economically quantifiable costs, based on a conservative weighting of many of the study findings, amount to some $345.3 billion, adding close to 17.8¢/kWh of electricity generated from coal. The low estimate is $175 billion, or over 9¢/kWh, while the true monetizable costs could be as much as the upper bounds of $523.3 billion, adding close to 26.89¢/kWh. These and the more difficult to quantify externalities are borne by the general public.
This makes the true, “all-in” cost of coal electricity somewhere between 17 cents and 35 cents per kWh. You pay 8 cents or so per kWh on your electricity bill and then quite a bit more than that in healthcare costs, health insurance premiums, and with your tax dollars. Wind? It’s sticking to its original 4 to 9 cents per kWh.
Wind is cheaper than coal and as cheap as natural gas but even less polluting than natural gas. If we add in numbers for the cost of fracking natural gas wind would beat that too:)
“Compared to coal, the [greenhouse gas] footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years.” So while burning natural gas emits fewer greenhouse gases than burning coal, the impact of fracking combined with burning natural gas is ultimately worse than the emissions from coal.
If we had numbers for the estimated damage to the water table caused by fracking to get natural gas that would raise the cost of natural gas even more.
But now for the good news Wind Power may get even cheaper soon.
The poor reliability of gearboxes is a challenge for the wind power industry and the high cost of replacing busted gearboxes is a chief expense, according to the American Wind Energy Association. While wind turbines are designed to operate for 20 years, estimates for the life of an average gearbox are in the six-to-10-year range, although this can vary
The fixed gearboxes currently used in wind turbines are vulnerable to spikes in wind speeds, Lee said in a telephone interview. High-speed gusts apply a lot of torque (the force that spins the turbine’s shaft) to the transmission, placing it under stress. Sometimes, the wind doesn’t hit the turbine straight on and might catch just one of the blades, which can bend the gears,
The Universal Transmission could improve wind turbine efficiency by five to 20 percent, said Wilson. This figure is based in part on the expectation that turbines will not need a power converter (which converts the fluctuating electrical frequency generators that work at variable speeds produce to a frequency compatible with the electric grid) if fitted with the Universal Transmission. The transmission would also be pared with a synchronous generator, which improves efficiency, he explained.
The Universal Transmission would bring down maintenance costs for wind turbine operators, Lee added. Removing the problem of torque spikes would allow turbines to produce more electricity and with individual turbines functioning more efficiently operators would have to put up fewer wind towers, he said.
So a 5-20% increase in wind power from any windmill and since the transmissions wear out after 6-10 years older windmills could get the new tech as their old transmissions are replaced.plus a longer life span for the transmissions in windmills means even lower maintenance costs.
This new transmission can be used for electric cars too the Koreans and Vision Motors are both showing interest where the hell is GM and Ford?
Electric vehicle manufacturers have shown interest in the product and VMT has received purchase orders from two manufacturers: Vision Motor Cars, based in Kentucky, and Leo Motors in Korea. Vision, which manufacturers an electric small pick-up truck, smart car and sports car, has put through $348 million in purchase orders for the transmission system.
Do GM and Ford think that oil prices will go lower? Do they think that America can win in Iraq? That Israel won’t bomb Iran’s nuclear program?
That their will be no more revolts in the Arab countries? Maybe they think Obama can bring Peace to the Middle East? Bwhahahaha ( I kill me ).
As long as oil prices are over $4 a gallon in Chicago then yes Electric and hybrid cars make sense either GM and Ford get on board or we will have to bail them out again.
Wind is of course cheaper than nuclear power and much much safer:)