Cost of wind energy worldwide: Low and going lower


The the price of wind energy paid by utility buyers in the USA using 20 year power purchase agreements has give from: in 2006 the average PPA was 5c, in 2009 it was 6.8c in 2014 it was 2.3c and we do not have data for 2015, but it is probably lower.  This is lower than the wholesale price of electricity in the US.  Even with incentives like 2.3c production tax credit for 10 years the unsubsidized price paid for wind energy is less than 5c.  Even at such low prices about 8.6 GW were added in the US in 2015.


In 2015 Brazil saw competitive auction prices of wind of 4.78 US cents per kWh.

South Africa:

In 2015, South Africa wind energy was procured at 4.5 US cents per kWh, way below the price of new coal of 7 US cents.


In 2016, Egypt signed to procure wind energy at 4.7 US cents per kWh.


In 2016, Mexico had an auction of solar and wind.  394 MW of wind projects were awarded 5.5 cents to 4.2 cents per kWh.  What is really surprising is solar PV was awarded 1.8 GW prices came in at an weighted average of 4.5 cents, with lowest at 3.54 cents.

Progress of Wind Deployments in the Philippines

Wind power has grown tremendously in the Philippines.  The Energy Regulatory Commission started with a feed-in tariff (lets call it FIT-1) of P8.53 with quota of 200 MW.  This quota was exhausted quickly.  In October 2015, FIT-2 came into existence with tariff of P7.40 with quota of additional 200 MW.  At the time of approval of FIT-2, 144 MW was already commissioned and delivering power, that is for FIT-2 only 56 MW was left.  Last data, as of May 2016, indicates that 194 MW of the 200 MW is taken.  This rapid wind power development is a testament to clear and transparent FIT, the demand for wind power and readiness of private sector to develop and finance wind power.  The Philippines adopted an unusual approach of awarding the FIT after 80% electro-mechnical completion.

Portugal achieves 100% RE for 4.5 days

Between May 7 and 11, wind and hydro contributed about 45% each of the total domestic demand of 632.7GWh.  Rest of the demand was provided by solar and biomass.  An additional 153.7 GWh was exported, which included some non-renewable energy.

More details are available at:


Successful integration of 30% wind energy in Germany

I am directly quoting from this very informative article:

"Renewables now provide close to 30% of Germany’s power on an average basis.  And on some peak days in 2014, solar and wind supplied close to 80% of peak power demand at specific times of the day.  In the future, Germany is targeting a 35% average share by 2020 and a 50% average share by 2030.  Because of the feed-in tariff law (EEG), renewables have dispatch priority, meaning they are always used first, sometimes leaving very little power demand left to be supplied by coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants. So how is Germany integrating and balancing renewable energy today?  What has Germany needed to do so far?

The answer is that Germany has so far managed to integrate and balance high shares of renewable energy with very modest changes to its power system.  Bigger changes will be necessary in the future, certainly, including new market frameworks that are currently under active discussion.  But today, Germany has managed quite well to reach close to a 30% share, for seven main reasons, which are discussed below.

The two most important reasons are: (1) the existing strength of its power grids; and (2) flexible operation of coal and nuclear plants (and to a lesser extent gas and pumped hydro).  In addition, Germany has managed quite well because of: (3) better design of the balancing (ancillary) power markets, to make them more effective, faster, and open; (4) better system control software and day-ahead weather forecasting; (5) modest technical improvements to local-level distribution systems; (6) exports of power to neighboring countries; and (7) solving the “50.2 hertz” inverter problem."

For more details see


Wind auction rates in Canada come in below Feed-in tariff

Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected 300 MW of wind power in a reverse auction with an average price of C$0.0859/kWh.  In 2009 the wind feed-in tariff was C$0.135, which was lowered to C$0.115.  

In the same auction IESO bought 140 MW of solar power for C$0.1567/kWh.

For details see

Repowering and decommissioning of Altamont Pass wind project

One of the oldest wind farms in US, Altamont pass wind project, is being partly repowered and partly decommissioned.  It has 828 Kenetech 100kW turbines with lattice towers, something unimaginable today.  The project was controversial because of the number of raptor kills, which is primarily due to the wind farm's location on major migratory route of raptors.  Mitigation measures like curtailment during November to February, the high season for birds, were in place.  A few turbines were the source of majority of the bird kills, in addition to the high density of the 100kW turbines.

A repowering plan has been proposed which replaces 828 turbines with 27 turbines with rated capacity of 2.1MW.

For more details see this source.

Wind energy statistics by states in the USA

The following is useful data about wind energy in US in 2015:

  • Iowa is the first state to reach the 30% milestone; it generates 31.3% of total in-state energy from wind
  • Other states that generate more than 20% of energy from wind are: Kansas and South Dakota
  • Wind energy contributed 4.7% to the total electricity generation in US in 2015, while solar was at 0.94%
  • 8.6 GW of wind power was installed in US, which was the largest source of generation capacity ahead of Solar (7.3 GW) and natural gas (6 GW)
  • Electricity rates in US ar 5.5% lower compared to 2009
  • US power sector emissions fell to the lowest level since 1995
  • At 7.1 cents per kWh, the retail price of electricity to the industrial sector in US is the lowest compared to major economies like Germany, China and India.
  • Wind power supports 73,000 jobs across US

The following graphic illustrates the percentages, 


US State Wind Energy production

US is number one in wind energy production, but China is number one in wind power installation

A very interesting fact was published today by GWEC regarding wind energy production in 2015:

  • US produced 190 million MWh from 74.5 GW of wind power installations
  • China produced 185.1 million MWh from 145.1 GW of wind power installations
  • Germany produced 84.6 million MWh from 44.95 GW of wind power installations.

This implies that the effective capacity factor of Chinese wind farms is about half of US wind farms.  This can be attributed to a) better transmission infrastructure in US while China faces shortage of transmission from wind producing areas to load centers, and b) higher productivity due to higher wind speed and focus on bottom line in the US.


Additional information from WindPower Monthly--As of December 2015, in China 14.8 GW of wind was not connected to the grid. The article also mentions that China has 20% exposure to curtailment.