Economics

Electricity demand is increasing at nearly 4% per annum in Western Europe, a market force which has encouraged gas prices to edge upwards recently. Whether or not this will continue is uncertain, but gas remains wind's most serious competitor. Wind costs are continuing to fall and prospects for continuing improvements in performance and economics are bright. For remote market applications, wind is generally cheaper than photovoltaics, biomass, and diesel generators. Wind's principal competitor in the third world is small hydro, but the comparison is site-specific and clearly depends on the availability of water and wind.

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