Wind Energy Helps Control Your Electric Bill
For a wind energy project to be successful, there must be a buyer for the power it will produce.
Generally, this electricity is purchased by utilities, manufacturers, universities, or municipalities that demand large amounts of energy.
These large-scale customers buy wind power because:
- Unlike coal, gas, and other fuels, the cost of wind doesn't change. The fuel for wind energy is free.
- Once a project is built, the cost of producing energy remains constant, so power purchase contracts “lock in” a predictable, steady rate for 20 to 25 years.
- Wind energy is clean, reducing pollution and helping states meet renewable energy goals.
In many locations, the cost of wind power is already competitive with other energy sources. In fact, in some parts of the country, consumers are saving significant sums of money because utilities are buying power from wind energy projects.
“Wind prices are extremely competitive right now, offering lower costs than other possible resources, like natural gas plants.”
—Dave Sparby, Regional CEO, Xcel Energy
Wind Power Installation Is Increasing Substantially
Wind power represented 24% of electric-generating capacity additions in 2014. It was the third-largest source of new generation capacity in 2014, after natural gas and solar. Since 2007, wind power has represented 33% of all U.S. capacity additions.*
Wind Energy and Tax Incentives
Tax incentives to encourage domestic energy production are nothing new. Some oil industry tax incentives are over 100 years old. Incentives have played a major role in developing new technologies that have reduced natural gas prices and commercialized shale-oil production, helping to drive America’s current energy boom.
The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) is an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kWh for electricity from wind turbines. Unlike a grant or direct payment to wind energy companies, the PTC reduces income tax for wind project owners based on the amount of energy produced in the first 10 years of operation. This savings allows a project to charge lower rates for its energy. Thus, like all energy incentives, the PTC helps save money for consumers while also creating American jobs in construction, turbine component manufacturing, supply industries, trucking companies, and more.
* U.S. Department of Energy, 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report