This photograph is NOT photoshopped. Actual location is 1105 South Highline Drive Idaho Falls.
   Energy Integrity Project
Not Cheap

Levelized costs do NOT make sense unless they're applied to technologies that can stand on their own feet.  Wind CANNOT.   EIA's table incorporates a fundamental mistake.

"The availability of wind or solar will not necessarily correspond to operator dispatched duty cycles and, as a result, their levelized costs are not directly comparable to those for other technologies (even where the average annual capacity factor may be similar)."
-- EIA's Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources (2016) in the Annual Energy Outlook 2011

 Wind Energy: Costs vs Benefits

There has NEVER been a genuine scientific assessment of wind energy's cost-benefits
. However, here is what we do know:
  1. There is NO such thing as wind electricity by itself, because in its raw form, wind is not reliable. When incorporated onto the grid, in order to make it reliable, wind MUST be paired with a complementary source such as coal, gas, hydro, or energy storage. But since no one’s proposing to build storage, the only real choices are fossil and hydro.

  2. Because wind must always be paired with a complementary source, WIND CANNOT REPLACE any of those sources, or reduce any of the costs of keeping them in operation, other than the cost of fuel.

  3. We know that WIND COSTS FAR MORE than the maximum amount of fossil fuel or water it could ever save. Wind turbines alone (plus maintenance) cost 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on the cost of capital (10% to 12%). 500 miles of long-distance transmission could add 5 cents per kilowatt-hour more.

  4. Yet when wind is paired with hydro, we don’t know if it saves anything. If there were no way to store the water, it would just be wasted.

  5. Likewise, when wind is paired with fossil, we don’t know exactly how much fuel is saved, if any, because NO REGULATORY AGENCY DEMANDS UNBIASED ANALYSIS AND MEASUREMENT of the fuel consumption with and without wind. We do know that fossil plants which are forced to balance wind’s large and rapid variations run less efficiently than they would have without wind. Further, the impact on the fossil plants’ efficiency is an exponential function of the amount of wind generation and become increasingly worse with more wind, sometimes to the point of increases in net fuel consumption.

  6. However, even if we assumed no loss of efficiency, according to Energy Information Administration data for the delivered cost of coal and natural gas, the most fuel wind could save would be about 3 cents per kilowatt hour when paired with gas and 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour when paired with coal.

    Calculation: the delivered price of gas equaled $5 per million Btu for most of 2009 through 2011, and combined-cycle gas plants can generate more 150 kilowatt-hours per million Btu.)

  7. WHO PAYS for the other 7 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour before counting transmission, and even more including transmission?

  8. WE DO. The ratepayers and taxpayers. No matter how much politicians subsidize wind’s costs or how much regulators socialize wind’s costs, someone has to pay them.

  9. And we, the public, deserve to know exactly how much wind is really costing us and the genuine amount of fossil fuel or water saved.

Representative Eskridge said it would also be helpful to have a presentation examining what the true cost of wind generation incorporating integration costs, transmission costs, reserves costs and so on.  He said it would seem to be more than what is seen on the initial purchase price.”

July 13, 2011  (Page 26) Idaho Energy Interim Committee meeting minutes  

Wind Energy, It's all about the Tax Credits
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