Wind is more than
just a clean energy resource, it’s a great investment according to the 2018
Wind Technologies Market Report
from The Department of Energy. The analysis shows that costs to build
and operate wind farms are so low, it would be cheaper than the expected cost
of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant. Wind prices have
declined 69 percent since 2009, making it the cheapest energy source of the
2010s. This record low is projected to have a long-term value that might
provide as a “hedge” against unpredictable natural gas prices.
Fossil fuels not
only pose an environmental risk, but a financial one as well. Because wind has
no fuel cost, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) can be locked in at a set price
for many years, providing the certainty that businesses and utilities are
looking for. Conversely, fossil fuel costs can fluctuate greatly, making it
difficult to accurately forecast. This unpredictability makes for a trickier
The Department of
Energy’s analysis also found that wind power purchase agreement prices are at
historic lows. The national average levelized price of wind PPAs has dropped to
$20 per megawatt hour (MWh). Today’s PPA prices are the results of a
combination of higher capacity factors, declining installation and operating
costs and low interest rates.
with advancements in wind technology in recent years, wind hardware prices
continue to be affordable to install and operate. Turbine prices have dropped nearly 50
percent since 2008, despite new designs and
advancements that increase the typical power output. That means that turbines
are producing larger amounts of energy faster than ever without breaking the
The United States just hit the 100 gigawatt
(GW) mark for wind capacity in 2019, and this is expected to increase to 125 GW in
2020 with more projects and repowering in the works.
That’s 44 percent
of planned electric generation capacity additions for the year.
Rural communities, especially in the Midwest, are benefitting immensely
from the renewable energy developments that provide well-paying jobs and
economic development to their communities. Wind farms provide a source of new tax revenue for counties and townships, which is often used to help pay for road and
bridge improvements, emergency services, schools and teacher salaries, as well
as to reduce taxes.
Wind energy is a safe, affordable, and reliable energy source that
offers financial prosperity for rural communities and helps meet our
energy needs and carbon reduction goals. With no fuel cost, there’s less
financial risk for utilities and their customers. Wind energy is a smart choice for small towns and corporate investors alike.