NUTEK says its views on wind are misunderstood

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Swedish energy agency Nutek says its views on subsidies to wind energy have been misunderstood. Far from believing that wind energy is competitive without subsidies, the Nutek view is that investment subsidies will be necessary for several years to come, says the agency's Hans Ohlsson. Last year Nutek masterminded the bulk purchase of 14 Bonus turbines destined for a variety of projects planned by a development consortium. The order was large enough for the turbines to be bought at a favourable price, leading to a 20% cut in the cost of wind generated electricity, according to Ohlsson (Windpower Monthly, December 1996). But though the procurement proved that wind energy's price can be pressed down to a competitive level, this does not imply that investment subsidies are no longer necessary, says Ohlsson. He explains that Nutek's project price calculations were not based on strict commercial terms, but were intended to provide a basis for comparison of the price of wind with electricity from other new power plants. Today wind power can compete only in locations with very good wind resources, stresses Ohlsson.

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