Price of wind energy in the U.S. near all-time low

Annual wind power additions in the U.S. achieved record levels in 2012, while wind energy pricing is near an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Roughly 13.1 GW of new wind power capacity were connected to the U.S. grid in 2012, well above the previous high in 2009, and motivated by the scheduled expiration of federal tax incentives at the end of 2012.

The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy. At the same time, even with a short-term extension of federal tax incentives now in place, the wind power industry is facing uncertain times, in part due to low natural gas prices and continued policy uncertainty.