“Anyone who tells you wind power is expensive is bad-shit crazy. Wind power is the cheapest option for new electricity generation in many if not most places in the world, including much of the US. That would indeed help to explain why the US installed more wind power capacity than power capacity from any other source in 2012, 42% (or 43%?) of all new power capacity in the country.
In announcing a recent report released by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Berkeley Lab actually noted that, ‘The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.’
That’s $0.04 per kWh. Even if you add in the $0.022 Production Tax Credit (PTC), that’s $0.062 per kWh.”
For comparison, general electricity power in the US is anywhere from 6.82 cents to 33 cents depending on location, buy-in agreements, etc, according to this chart by the Energy Information Administration. So even unsubsidized wind seems pretty cheap, if that info from that Berkely Lab report is correct.
Certainly it’s not the cheapest, but that shouldn’t be the only calculation. Realizing how low it actually is, it’s no surprise that a) with a subsidy of 2 cents it’s taking off as far as new energy installations and b) really should be encouraged more.