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Understanding the variability of wind power costs

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  • Valentine, Scott Victor

Abstract

Wind power has a significant contribution to make in efforts to abate CO2 emissions from global energy systems. Currently, wind power generation costs are approaching parity with costs attributed to conventional, carbon-based sources of energy but the economic advantage still rests decidedly with conventional sources. Therefore, there is an imperative to ensure that wind power projects are developed in the most economically optimal fashion. For wind power project developers, shaving a few tenths of a cent off of the kilowatts per hour cost of wind power can mean the difference between a commercially viable project and a non-starter. For civic authorities who are responsible for managing municipally supported wind power projects, optimizing the economics of such projects can attenuate stakeholder opposition. This paper attempts to contribute to a better understanding of how to economically optimise wind power projects by conflating research from the fields of energy economics, wind power engineering, aerodynamics, geography and climate science to identify critical factors that influence the economic optimization of wind power projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Understanding the variability of wind power costs," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3632-3639.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:8:p:3632-3639 DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2010. "Canada's constitutional separation of (wind) power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1918-1930, April.
    2. Firestone, Jeremy & Kempton, Willett, 2007. "Public opinion about large offshore wind power: Underlying factors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1584-1598, March.
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    5. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2010. "A STEP toward understanding wind power development policy barriers in advanced economies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(9), pages 2796-2807, December.
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    7. Ian H. Rowlands, 2007. "The Development of Renewable Electricity Policy in the Province of Ontario: The Influence of Ideas and Timing," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 24(3), pages 185-207, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bortolini, Marco & Gamberi, Mauro & Graziani, Alessandro & Manzini, Riccardo & Pilati, Francesco, 2014. "Performance and viability analysis of small wind turbines in the European Union," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 629-639.
    2. Soares M.C. Borba, Bruno & Szklo, Alexandre & Schaeffer, Roberto, 2012. "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as a way to maximize the integration of variable renewable energy in power systems: The case of wind generation in northeastern Brazil," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 469-481.
    3. Zhao, Zhen-yu & Sun, Guang-zheng & Zuo, Jian & Zillante, George, 2013. "The impact of international forces on the Chinese wind power industry," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 131-141.

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