Newly released Department of Energy (DOE) data show that consumers in the states that use the most wind energy have fared far better than consumers in states that use less wind energy.
The 11 states that produce more than seven percent of their electricity from wind energy have seen their electricity prices fall by 0.37% over the last fice years, while all other states have seen their electricity prices increase by 7.79% over that time period.
The following charts summarize the change in power prices for consumers in Texas, Wyoming, Oregon, Oklahoma, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa compared to all other states. Between the end of 2008 and the end of 2013, these eleven states more than doubled their operating wind power, increasing their wind capacity by 116%.
Many factors influence the price of electricity in addition to wind energy, such as fuel prices, consumer demand, generation mix, and others. However, based on the data above and the studies discussed below, there is clear evidence that wind energy helps to keep consumers’ electricity prices down.
Americans knows a good deal when they see it. According to a Navigant Research poll, 72% of Americans support wind power, while a poll last month found more than 90% of Kansans support greater use of wind power.
At least 15 separate studies confirm wind energy drives electricity prices down
More than a dozen studies conducted by independent grid operators, state governments, academic experts, and others have found that wind energy benefits consumers by reducing electricity prices:
- Illinois found that wind energy reduces consumer electricity costs by $177 million per year. Illinois.gov has the full report.
- Massachusetts found the state Renewable Portfolio Standard has a 3:1 benefit-to-cost ratio, producing annual net benefits of $217 million. The full report is available from Mass.gov.
- Synapse Energy Economics found that doubling wind energy deployment in PJM (Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states) beyond existing RPS requirements would save consumers a net $6.9 billion per year, after accounting for all wind and transmission costs. Find the report from Synapse Energy here.
- Six peer-reviewed academic studies, discussed in this literature review, confirm that wind energy reduces electricity market prices. EWEA has the full report here.
The full report titled “Wind Power’s Consumer Benefits” is available from AWEA here.
American Wind Energy Association
Filed Under: News, Policy