Those of you who've looked for facts about wind energy prices on the internet will
probably agree with me that there's too much opinion and not enough data
Remember when making comparisons that the coal and gas price per watt doesn't include the price of the fuel itself. I've used a load factor of .75 for nuclear, coal and gas, so an 800 MW unit is treated as delivering 600MW of electrical energy. For the Westinghouse Sanmen/Yangjiang contract with China (Dec 06) I've used an exchange rate of $1.00 = 50p.
To return to wind turbines - recent figures on wind farm performance from Germany are somewhat unsettling:
A report from German energy company E.On quotes an estimate that, although by 2020 Germany plans to have 48 gigawatts of "installed wind capacity", this will equate to only two gigawatts of stable fossil fuel capacity.
This would be equivalent to a capacity factor or 2/48, or.0416. The effect on the electricity price per watt installed would be as follows:
I welcome comments on these figures. I'm not pro or anti; I just want to know what's going on. Billions of pounds of taxpayers' money are being put into wind farms. If the figures above are anywhere near the truth, the money is being wasted.
On top of this, most of the wind energy generated at night cannot be used by the Grid. People are asleep, factories are closed, and wind energy cannot be stored.
My own turbine, as I write this, is stationary, as it was yesterday, and my batteries are flat; I'm back on the mains. We have a second, larger turbine which will be installed for testing soon. To satisfy my curiosity I calculated the price per watt of my "600W" wind turbine on a breezy day:
Nigel Deacon / habitat21 website
|Fuel to Electricity
| Wind -
| Wind -