Posted on 31 October 2012.
Roger Price, the chief executive officer of Windlab, says that with the electricity price of 97 cents per kWh for Eskom’s new coal-fired power stations, wind has become the cheapest form of electricity generation, with an average price of 89 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh).
“The costs are unlikely to go up because, unlike coal, there are no input costs as wind is free,” Price said.
It is imperative that when comparing these prices of these two energy sources, new coal-fired power stations should be used. Older stations’ construction has been paid off decades ago and that rate does not apply. The new Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations, according to what Eskom said to parliament, will generate power at 97cents per kWh. This is in contrast, Price said, to the study performed by the University of Pretoria which showed a generation
price of 120 cents a kWh.
“In the second round of bids for wind energy the average price was 89c/kWh, so wind is already cheaper than new-build coal.”
Eskom has applied to Nersa for an annual increase of 16% per year over the next five years. Of this, 3% would be applied to support the independent power producers in the renewable energy sector. This would then generate around 10% of the capacity.
Wind powerhas tremendous potential for the country. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s wind atlas has shown that South Africa is one of the top five countries in the world when it comes to wind resources.
“Overall we say the capacity of wind generation should amount to 25% of generating capacity by 2030.”
For the above to work, a network of wind turbines in different areas of the country would be required so that all winds can be harnessed. But there are concerns about the capacity to kill animals.
According to Price, this is true. In the US, around 20 000 birds are killed by turbines every year. However, domestic cats kill around 100 million, transmission lines 175 000 and windows, a billion. Hence, says Price, “One stray cat can kill between 10 and 100 more birds than one wind turbine.”
Price said the government had laid down requirements for wind power producers that included having 45% local content, 4% local ownership and 1.5% of income to generate local economic development.The government expected 50 000 jobs to be created by the industry by 2030.
Source Article from http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2012/10/31/wind-overtakes-coal-fired-power-as-cheapest/
Wind overtakes coal-fired power as cheapest