Wind versus Coal – the costs

The cost of onshore wind power has decreased dramatically, and in some regions is competitive with coal, according to a survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In some areas of the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Sweden, the cost of wind power (£42 per megawatt hour) generated electricity is competitive with coal-fired power (£41.50 per megawatt hour, according to the BNEF survey.

“The latest edition of our Wind Turbine Price Index shows wind continuing to become a competitive source of large-scale power,” BNEF’s chief executive, Michael Liebreich, said in a statement.

“For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price of steel,” he added. “Behind the scenes, wind manufacturers were reducing their costs, and now we are seeing just how cheap wind energy can be when overcapacity in the supply chain works its way through to developers.”

There’s more good news about wind power. It is now cost-competitive with natural gas for new electric generation, according to a recent statement by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“Wind power is a great deal right now in many areas of the country,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“If you’re going to build a new wind farm, it is going to be competitive with any other new form of generation,” says Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA’s director of industry data and analysis.

However, when it comes to offshore wind power, the U.S. lags behind Europe, Japan and China. However, the National Offshore Wind Strategy Plan, a Joint DOE and Interior Department research program has been given a $50.5 million grant for wind turbine hardware and software technology development ($25 million), next-generation drive-trains ($7.5 million), and research into removing market barriers for offshore wind (up to $18 million over 3 years).

The True Cost of Coal:
Kids with asthma, mothers taking time off of work to take care of sick relatives, communities turning into cancer clusters, climate change – while in Washington,  US elected leaders are being pressured by the coal industry to take away the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate coal-fired power plants, saying it will cost Americans too much money. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real costs willbe higher if the EPA loses this ability.

This report marks the first time ever that all of the effects during the lifecycle of coal — from mining to burning in coal-fired power plants — have been accounted for and the results are staggering. The hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country are driving these effects. Which is why Greenpeace is launching a new campaign this year that will take the fight directly to these dirty polluters.

Bridgeport, Connecticut is home to one of these plants.   Greenpeace activists were there today to send a simple message — “Shut it down. Quit coal.” It’s a message Greenpeace will be repeating over and over again at plants everywhere. It’s the same message we’ll be delivering to US Senators along with the report.
Sign the petition today and let’s make sure the Senate defends the EPA’s ability to protect us from the true cost of coal.


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