Not anticipated at this time last year was the sharp rise in wind turbine prices that marked 2005, pushing up the average cost of installed wind power plant during the year to e1200/MW (e1420/MW), a 20% increase on 2004 (pages 43-47). But with gas prices rising, carbon penalties biting home hard for coal, and renewable energy certificates often providing an extra stream of revenue, wind remains highly competitive. In contrast to fossil fuel generation, its costs are also likely to come down rather than continue up. As a result, utilities are increasingly looking to wind as a best cost option, at least on markets which allow it to compete directly for power purchase contracts. There are no current nuclear prices to hold wind up against.
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