Wind - Economics of Wind Energy

Wind-generated electricity has become more economical to produce in the past 10 years, dropping from as much as 30 cents per kilowatt-hour to 4 cents to 7 cents, making it more competitive with other energy sources.

Construction costs for wind-power electric generators are considerably higher than those of fossil-fuel plants on a per-megawatt-of-capacity basis.

Cost per megawatt of capacity

Wind $1.6 million to $1.9 million
Natural Gas $800,000
However, the good news is that wind facilities, once constructed, have no fuel costs because the wind is free, and maintenance costs are relatively low.

Another financial incentive in developing wind-energy facilities is the federal Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC was first enacted in 1994 and dramatically changed the economics of wind production through a tax incentive to develop and operate wind-generation facilities. It provides a substantial economic benefit that lowers the cost of wind energy for the customer. The PTC has changed the landscape of the wind-generation business in the U.S. and helps promote a sensible energy policy that wisely encourages diversification of energy sources.