Wind Energy Economic Effects

Wind energy is free. It does not have to be imported or mined or harvested in any way, other than through a wind energy system. Once the initial financial outlay has been made, there is some regular maintenance, but the resource is by and large zero cost.

Surprisingly, though, wind accounts for far less than half a percentage point of the US electricity generation, as of 2003. Although wind energy remains capital intensive, the cost is coming down annually. In fact, (according to the US Department of Energy), in the 1980's, wind energy cost 40 cents per kWh, and the cost today is less than 5 cents per kWh. And in the meantime, the cost of non-renewable energy has continued to climb.

The day is not far off when wind and other renewable energies will be demonstrably cheaper than non-renewables such as fossil fuel.

There are other benefits to wind, too. Wind power already employs thousands of people all over the American North and Midwest, and the numbers will continue to rise. The USDE estimates that wind will create as much as 80,000 jobs by the year 2020.

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