From Science Daily:
Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5¢/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy.
“Wind energy prices — particularly in the central United States — have hit new lows, with utilities selecting wind as the low cost option,” Berkeley Lab Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser said. “Moreover, enabled by technology advancements, wind projects are economically viable in a growing number of locations throughout the U.S.”
Key findings from the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest “Wind Technologies Market Report” include:
• Wind is a credible source of new electricity generation in the United States. Wind power capacity additions in the United States rebounded in 2014, with $8.3 billion invested in 4.9 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions. Wind power has comprised 33% of all new U.S. electric capacity additions since 2007. Wind power currently meets almost 5% of the nation’s electricity demand, and represents more than 12% of total electricity generation in nine states, and more than 20% in three states.
• Turbine scaling is enhancing wind project performance. Since 1998-99, the average nameplate capacity of wind turbines installed in the United States has increased by 172% (to 1.9 MW in 2014), the average turbine hub height has increased by 48% (to 83 meters), and the average rotor diameter has increased by 108% (to…