Renewables Wind

Wind power ‘cheaper than coal’

Times Live 13 February 2013.

Renewable energy sources such as wind power could contribute almost 40% of the country’s power demand in 20 years.

This is according to Ian Macdonald of the SA Wind Energy Association, who believes wind power producers would be able to “comfortably” generate 30000MW of power in the next 20 years…

…Where Eskom’s coal power is currently produced at 97c per kWh, Macdonald said wind power could be produced at 89c per kWh.

“Standard Bank’s estimate is that Kusile [Eskom’s power station being built in Bronkhorstspruit, Pretoria] will cost R1.38 kWh in 2019 when it is commissioned.

“The entire spectrum of estimated Eskom new coal cost thus falls above the actual cost for new wind power, and the inescapable conclusion is that the more wind power we build, the more money we save,” Macdonald said…

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  • Let’s not confuse cost and value. A kWh of wind power may cost less from wind than coal (debatable anyway), but the value of energy from coal is much higher as it is fully dispatchable and available when you need it. The cost of unserved energy (when the wind doesn’t blow) is several times higher and the wind tariffs do not take into account the cost of the back-up (storage, coal-fired power stations, gas-peakers, etc.) and ancillary services required to make wind generated electricity useful.

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