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Economics from the Windicator

There is a fast growing realisation among utilities that wind power is a sound investment -- for a variety of reasons. Among these are the absence of "fuel price inflation risk," the presence of carbon penalties, the falling cost of wind power, the willingness of markets to put a value on green tags, and growing market volume thanks to the increasing number of government mandates for renewables. As Xcel Energy vice president David Eves said of the American utility's recent order for several hundred megawatt of wind (page 31), "Wind has become competitive with traditional electricity generating fuels ... [it] will serve our customers reliably and economically." Expressions of interest from market players in building 20,000 MW of offshore wind off the coasts of Britain alone also illustrate how utilities are now viewing wind.

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