How Much Does Wind Energy Cost?

How Much Does Wind Energy Cost?

It is always a good idea to switch to renewable sources of energy. So, if you live in a windy area and are planning to set up a windmill, this article will help you get a general idea about the related costs of the setup.
To preserve our planet from environmental hazards, man has always been on the lookout for eco-friendly ways of generating energy. One such way is to generate energy by wind. Wind power can be converted into electricity with the help of wind turbines and windmills. People living in the states of Montana, Texas, Kansas, or South Dakota have the option of saving a lot of money on electricity, because all these states have the distinction of being the windiest states in the US.

In today's times, wind turbines can generate electricity from wind at the rate of 5 cents/kWh. However, in the 1980s, the cost of wind energy was 30 cents/kWh. This drastic fall in prices has happened in the last few years due to the extensive use of fossil fuels.

Actual Wind Energy Cost
The three important factors which influence the price of wind energy are Capital Costs, Running Costs, and the Total Expenditure for the entire project. Capital costs include the cost of building the entire project and then connecting it to the grid. Larger the project, cheaper the electricity. The cost also depends on the site at which the project is to be built, and the average wind speeds at that site. Expenses incurred would be less if the plant is constructed on an elevated area. The running cost is usually zero, as windmills or turbines don't need any fuel for their functioning.

The cost of wind energy also depends on the size of the windmill or the amount of wind turbines you wish to install. If you are looking for a small setup for your residence, then a windmill which measures up to a meter would be more than enough. The cost of such a windmill would be around $6,000. Commercial windmills are systems which are larger in size, and their cost can be anywhere between $1.5 to $3.4 million. Most homeowners don't have to worry about the installation, as most windmills come with a DIY (Do It Yourself) kit. This kit has a step-by-step instructional guide to get your windmill up and running.

Pros and Cons of Wind Energy
Now that you know enough about the cost of windmill's, let's have a look at some advantages and disadvantages of wind energy, which will help you determine whether wind power is worth your money.

Pros
  • Windmills generate electric power without the emission of harmful gases or pollutants, and helps keep the environment clean.
  • They don't require the use of fossil fuels for their maintenance.
  • Wind energy installation projects have a low impact on the environment.
  • Wind farms can also be established in oceans.
  • Windmills act as money savers for people who install them.
Cons
  • Though wind is a great source of energy, it is not enough to solve the energy crisis.
  • Windmills can only be installed at places where winds blow at high speeds.
  • Wind turbines can easily be damaged by harsh weather conditions.
  • They can injure or even kill birds flying into their blades.
  • They interfere with television reception.
Choosing wind as a medium of generating energy is great, but the decision of installing one should be taken only after weighing all the pros and cons in relation to your needs.