The increases in steel and copper prices, together with the higher margins demanded by manufacturers on wind turbine sales, that pushed up turbine prices in 2005 have not resulted in more expensive wind power. Taken across the board in 2006, the average installed cost of wind plant was about the same as in 2005 (page 47). Wind generation costs could still rise, however, as hardware price increases trickle down. Copper prices have recently eased, but steel prices remain high. The consensus is that wind turbine prices will level off over the next two to three years, before dropping again. The higher prices, meantime, will not necessarily erode wind power's competitive position. Steel price increases will almost certainly push up the cost of nuclear and are being felt across the entire power sector. Forward projections of gas prices rarely register much in the way of reductions.
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