THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF WIND POWER2010-9-6
Due to improved technology, wind power generation is increasingly competitive with conventional fossil fuel sources. At the best sites, the costs for wind power production are already on a par with new coal or gas fi red power plants. If the environmental and social costs of power generation were included in electricity prices, wind power would already be cheaper than any other electricity generating technology.
Wind power also eliminates the economic impacts and risks associated with volatile and increasing fuel prices. Since the costs of wind power are fi xed and known, there is no uncertainty over the future price for electricity. Financial analysts have found that if this avoided market risk is taken into account, wind power is cheaper than conventional fuels already today.
For a long time, the cost of wind power has been measured against the cost of running existing conventional power stations, which at the time of their construction received massive subsidies and have been depreciated long since. Increasingly, however, both in the developed and in thedeveloping world, wind energy will have to compete with the much higher cost of building new thermal or nuclear power stations, as additional capacity is needed and old plants are being retired.