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Innovation and the price of wind energy in the US

Authors
Journal
Energy Policy
0301-4215
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
37
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2009.05.071
Keywords
  • Wind Energy
  • Innovation
  • Price

Abstract

Abstract In the last ten years, the wind energy industry has experienced many innovations resulting in wider deployment of wind energy, larger wind energy projects, larger wind turbines, and greater capacity factors. Using regression analysis, this paper examines the effects of technological improvements and other factors on the price of wind energy charged under long-term contracts in the United States. For wind energy projects completed during the period 1999–2006, higher capacity factors and larger wind farms contributed to reductions in wind energy contract prices paid by regulated investor owned utilities in 2007. However, this effect was offset by rising construction costs. Turbine size (in MW) shows no clear relationship to contract prices, possibly because there may be opposing factors tending to decrease costs as turbine size increases and tending to increase costs as turbine size increases. Wind energy is generally a low-cost resource that is competitive with natural gas-fired power generation.

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