How much does wind power really cost?
- Depending on which factors are included, estimates for the cost of wind power vary wildly. On the low end, the financial advisory firm Lazard claims wind costs $59 per megawatt-hour. On the high side, Michael Giberson at the Center for Energy Commerce at Texas Tech University suggests the it’s closer to $149.
How much are farmers paid for wind turbines?
Wind lease terms vary quite a bit, but general rules of thumb are: $4,000 to $8,000 per turbine, $3,000 to $4,000 per megawatt of capacity, or 2-4% of gross revenues. Larger turbines should translate to larger payments.
Are wind farms Subsidised?
There are six live offshore wind farm sites subsidised via Contracts for Difference as at the end of 2020. The strike prices are those for each wind farm as at the end of 2020.
Are wind turbines Subsidised in Australia?
7.53 By any reckoning, the wind industry receives a substantial and generous cross subsidy from the RET. On a conservative estimate, each RET-eligible company receives in excess of $500 000 a year for each turbine.
How much does the government spend on wind energy?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $104 million in fiscal year 2020 (FY20) funds for wind energy technologies.
How much money does a land owner get from a wind turbine?
Each of the landowners whose fields either host turbines or who are near enough to receive a “good neighbor” payment, can earn $3,000 to $7,000 yearly for the small area – about the size of a two-car garage – each turbine takes up.
How much do wind turbines pay rent?
The landowner will receive a monthly rental payment, which varies according to the number of wind turbines on the property, their location, and the rate of local competition. On average, a smaller, single wind turbine lease can be valued at around $8,000 per year; a larger turbine, between $50,000 to $80,000.
Does wind energy make money?
Wind turbine owners can sell electricity to local power utilities for homes and businesses. So how much can wind turbines make? Wind turbines can make between $3000–$10,000 or more per year depending on the size and kilowatt capacity of the turbine.
What is economic subsidy?
Key Takeaways. A subsidy is a direct or indirect payment to individuals or firms, usually in the form of a cash payment from the government or a targeted tax cut. In economic theory, subsidies can be used to offset market failures and externalities to achieve greater economic efficiency.
Is offshore wind cost-effective?
Offshore wind is not cost-effective, and the forecasts of rapidly declining costs through increasing economies of scale are unrealistic. Experience in Europe over the previous decade demonstrates that the performance of offshore wind turbines degrades rapidly—on average, 4.5% per year.
How much does a wind turbine cost in Australia?
You will need to contact your local council to find out their exact requirements. A wind turbine will cost upwards of $10,000 (depending on turbine capacity, tower type, site grounds works, etc).
What are the subsidies for renewable energy?
The MISI report found that non-hydro renewable energy (primarily wind and solar) benefited from $158 billion in federal subsidies, or 16% of the total, largely in the form of tax policy and direct federal expenditures on research and development (R&D).
What are the subsidies for renewable energy in Australia?
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar will receive subsidies of up to $2.8 billion a year up to 2030 to ensure Australia reaches its Renewable Energy Target, according to new research.
How much has the government invested in renewable energy?
Renewable energy investments in the U.S. 2004-2019 Investment into renewable energy technologies has grown significantly in the United States over the last decades. In 2019, investments reached 59 billion U.S. dollars, in comparison to 11.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2005.
How much did the US invest in renewable energy in 2020?
The United States’ investment in clean energy reached its highest point in 2020 at 85 billion U.S. dollars. This represents a substantial increase since 2004, when investment totaled roughly 10 billion U.S.
Who pays for wind farms?
This economic development comes in two primary forms: community-wide (primarily through the property taxes that wind developers pay to local governments ) and personally (through payments made directly to landowners).
U.S. wind energy production tax credit extended through 2021 – Today in Energy
The date is January 28, 2021. In the United States, tax incentives are frequently used to determine the timing and volume of wind turbine installations. A per-kilowatthour (kWh) credit for energy provided by qualifying renewable sources was established by the United States Congress in 1992 and has been extended and changed several times since then, most recently in 2012. Congress extended the PTC for another year, until December 31, 2021, at a rate of 60 percent of the entire credit amount, or $0.018 per kWh ($18 per megawatthour), for another year, through December 31, 2020.
Construction on qualified wind projects must commence by December 31, 2021, in accordance with the current PTC law.
In the years following 2016, the proportion declines by 20 percent every year from 2017 through 2019; buildings beginning construction in 2019 are eligible for 40 percent of the total credit amount available.
It is known as safe harboring because it permits wind developers to obtain the PTC at a given year’s level if they finish construction within four calendar years of the calendar year in which development started.
- According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S.
- A further 10 GW was projected to be added in December, according to plans released by project developers and grid operators and included in the EIA’sPreliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.
- The anticipated enhancements made in December will be confirmed as operational in the EIA’s survey data, which will be revealed in late February.
- It was developers that planned project completion in time to qualify for the full-valued PTC, which was introduced in 2016, that drove the record level of annual capacity additions in 2020.
- Project developers anticipate that 12.2 GW of wind capacity will be installed by 2021, with 7.2 GW (59 percent) of that capacity expected to be installed in December.
- The anticipated capacity increases addressed in this article are based on projects that have been submitted to the EIA through surveys and that have been published in the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.
Since the extension of the PTC, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has not updated the estimated increases in December 2020. Richard Bowers is the primary contributor.
Wind costs more than you think due to massive federal subsidies
When it comes to electricity, we consumers pay twice: once via our monthly power bill and a second time through taxes that fund enormous subsidies for inefficient wind and other energy providers. Most cost estimates for wind energy do not account for the significant financial burden placed on US taxpayers by these subsidies. However, if Americans were fully aware of the true cost of generating electricity from wind power, they would be less ready to foot the tab – since it is far more than the majority of people believe.
- Because of these subsidies, consumers are shielded from the painful truth about how much wind energy truly costs, and money is transferred from normal taxpayers to affluent wind farm owners, many of whom are subsidiaries of foreign corporations.
- In truth, the true cost of ownership is substantially more.
- Even the alleged environmental benefits of increasing reliance on wind power are questionable due to the instability of wind energy – it does not constantly blow – which means a steady backup power source must always be available to take over during periods of stillness.
- As we rely more on wind energy for our energy needs, the risk of blackouts increases due to the unreliability of wind energy.
- These days, several government entities are involved in the wind energy industry.
Where the subsidies go
Even while many people are acquainted with Warren Buffet’s contention that government rules are the sole reason for wind farms to be built in the United States, few are aware of how many of the corporations that stand to gain the most are foreign-owned. An investigation by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University discovered that, as of 2010, foreign-owned wind businesses received 84 percent of the total clean-energy funding provided by the federal government. A more general observation is that giant corporations, rather than individual taxpayers or small enterprises, are the primary benefactors of government renewable energy initiatives.
- Iberdrola has received more than $1 billion in federal benefits since 2000.
- In 2014, the parent firm generated $33 billion in sales, which is approximately 6.7 percent of the total revenue (in current US dollars).
- The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a federal subsidy that pays wind farm operators $23 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated during the first 10 years of a turbine’s operational life.
- In total, Congress has established 82 rules that are monitored by nine distinct agencies to encourage the use of wind energy.
- In this essay, I’ll calculate the real cost of wind energy in the United States, taking into account the impact of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and other subsidies and regulations.
As Warren Buffett has stated, there would be no wind business if the PTC were not in place. UCS, DOE, and AWEA are examples of such organizations.
Tallying the true costs of wind
Estimates for the cost of wind energy vary widely depending on which factors are taken into consideration. Depending on who you ask, the cost of wind energy may range from $37 to $81 per megawatt-hour, according to Lazard, although Michael Giberson of the Center for Energy Commerce at Texas Tech University believes it is closer to $149. During the course of our investigation, which will be published in a forthcoming paper, we discovered that most studies underestimate the true cost of wind energy because they miss important aspects.
- According to the research we looked at, capital expenses varied from $48 to $88 per megawatt-hour, but operation and maintenance costs ranged from $9.8 to $21 per megawatt-hour.
- Because we cannot predict when the wind will blow or how powerful it will be, coal and natural gas facilities must be maintained operational as a backup to compensate for periods of stillness.
- This also has a negative impact on the environmental friendliness of wind energy.
- As a result of their carbon emissions, these plants reduce the environmental advantages of wind power.
- While backup power plants are required to preserve the dependability of the grid, their capacity to function is jeopardized by incentives for wind energy production.
- This drives costs even down and makes it more difficult for more dependable providers, such as nuclear power plants, that do not benefit from substantial government subsidies, to remain in business.
- As one of the reasons for the shutdown, Dominion Energy, which controlled both reactors, cited artificially low pricing created by the PTC as one of the factors.
Lost in transmission
Another consideration that is sometimes forgotten is the additional expense of transmission. Many of America’s wind-rich regions are isolated, and wind turbines are frequently located in wide fields far away from large cities, making them an attractive investment. This means that additional transmission lines will need to be constructed in order to transport power to customers. Depending on the location, new transmission lines might cost anything from $15 to $27 per megawatt-hour to construct.
Despite the fact that transmission infrastructure may be regarded a fixed cost that will minimize future transmission costs for wind generation, these costs are expected to remain significant in the long term.
If we continue to support wind energy, manufacturers will ultimately expand to sub-prime places, which may be much further away from population centers than they now are.
Increased need for new transmission lines to carry power from far wind farms to cities would result as a result of these developments.
The final bill comes to…
Transmission costs are an additional element that is sometimes disregarded. Many of America’s wind-rich regions are isolated, and wind turbines are frequently located in wide fields far away from large cities, which makes them particularly attractive. In order to transport power to customers, new transmission lines must be erected. Depending on the location, new transmission lines might cost anywhere between $15 and $27 per megawatt-hour to construct. It was finished in 2013, and it cost the state taxpayers $7 billion to do it.
These expenses will likely remain significant even if transmission infrastructure may be considered a fixed cost that may lower future transmission costs for wind energy.
Producers will ultimately expand into sub-prime areas, which may be even further away from population centers if we continue to support wind energy.
Blowing in the wind
The enormous expenses of federal subsidies and state requirements for wind energy have not been recouped by the general population in this country. In accordance with theMercatus Centerat George Mason University, wind energy is the recipient of a bigger share of federal subsidies than any other source of energy, despite the fact that it generates just a small percentage of the nation’s power. Wind energy earned 42 percent of all federal subsidies in 2010, despite the fact that it produced just 2 percent of the nation’s total power output in that year.
Wind energy consumes the greatest proportion of subsidies while producing the least amount of electricity.
Consequently, taxpayers will be left with the bill for subsidizing affluent wind energy companies for the foreseeable future.
Despite the fact that such policies may be well-intentioned, the reality is that they will result in diminished freedom, reduced wealth, and an increasingly unpredictable electricity supply.
This article has been updated to include a more accurate statistic for wind power’s current proportion of energy generation in the United States. It also confirms the range of Lazard’s cost predictions, which had previously been unclear.
The era of subsidies for wind and solar may be ending far too soon
Solar energy companies participated in an auction to sell electricity into the Portuguese electrical system, which took place in August. And many anticipated that they would lose money on every megawatt. An auctioned power price of €11.14 (US$13.12) per megawatt-hour (MWh) was provided by one of the winning bidders, a Spanish solar startup called Enerland, making it one of the lowest auctioned electricity costs in history. One megawatt hour is somewhat more than the amount of electricity that the average American household consumes in a month.
The fact is that they are not wasting their money at all.
After that, they may sell their electricity at the current market pricing (which is now more than $50 per megawatt-hour) and pocket the difference in profits.
This “very extraordinary” finding, in the words of Joao Galamba, Portugal’s minister of state for energy, “indicates the possibility of a new future for renewable energy sources.” Developers are prepared to spend a lot of money in exchange for the ability to sell inexpensive electricity into the grid.
- “The Portuguese government had anticipated developers to pay them,” adds Chase, “but instead developers are paying the power distribution system.” Nothing short of a complete turnaround of the economics of energy during the previous half-century is taking place.
- Offers for offshore wind plots in the Irish Sea were far higher than expected, suggesting a windfall of up to £9 billion ($12.5 billion) over the course of ten years if the project is successful.
- This joint venture between oil company BP and its partner EnBW, a German utility, is an indication that oil giants are increasingly pouring resources into the industry.
- It is true that not every auction will end up as successful as those in Portugal and Scotland.
- By 2030, it is predicted that renewables will account for at least 80 percent of new energy capacity, with unsubsidized wind and solar power beginning to compete directly with fossil fuel generation.
- It is premature to withdraw if the world hopes to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as laid forth by experts working for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Over the next several decades, it is anticipated that renewables will lower the cost of power generation, resulting in a decrease in this figure.
- According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), no energy source receives greater assistance today than fossil fuels, which account for around 70% of direct global energy subsidies.
- According to Kammen, when indirect subsidies are taken into consideration, fossil fuels get between $1.5 trillion and $5 trillion in assistance each year.
- “People who believe in the free market will argue that we don’t need subsidies anymore,” Kammen predicts.
The fossil fuel industry, on the other hand, is apologist. We haven’t reached the stage where we can completely withdraw subsidies for renewable energy sources. “All that is required is for us to become aware of the enormous cost of fossil fuels.”
Renewables pay back the grid
Regulatory electric utilities continued to procure and sell the majority of power generated in the 1990s. Prices were not subject to competition; rather, they were determined by government regulators and other authorities. That began to change when certain state and national governments began mandating utilities to sell off generating, transmission, and distribution assets in order to comply with environmental regulations. The energy market was completely revolutionized overnight as a result of competition.
- Auctions sponsored by the government highlighted just how inexpensive renewable energy was getting.
- At least 130 countries have launched competitive auctions, with bidders requesting prices that are shockingly low.
- Much of this drop has occurred in recent years, despite the fact that conventional fuel prices have remained stable or even increased significantly (coal, for example, continues to be priced at roughly $100 per Mwh).
- While the value of government subsidies used to determine the price of renewables, today’s prices are influenced by manufacturing and raw materials like as silicon and steel, as well as nuts and bolts and other fasteners.
- As a result, governments are gradually eliminating renewable energy subsidies, and unsubsidized wind and solar power facilities are being built all over the world.
- Solar developers in Vietnam rushed to link 78 solar plants (up from four) in only a few months in the middle of this year, thanks to an expiring tariff that fuelled the frenzy.
Announcing that it would convert to competitive auctions in 2021, the nation also declared that it will switch to wind in 2023. India, Mexico, Zambia, Madagascar, and Kazakhstan are among the countries that have followed suit.
Solar prices keep falling
Renewable energy projects benefit from the fact that they incur the majority of their expenses up front during development. The cost of operation and maintenance accounts for less than a quarter of overall energy costs, a figure that is rapidly declining. The cost of fossil fuels is inextricably linked to the price of electricity. In most parts of the world, this has resulted in wind and solar being the cheapest sources of new power, with prices now considerably below $30 per megawatt-hour (MWh).
For Chase of the BNEF, “we are still in the early days of really, extremely inexpensive solar.” A combination of quickly developing solar cells, more energy-efficient building, favorable government laws, and a swell of cash flowing into stable, attractive, and environmentally friendly ventures is expected to further drive down prices in the next months and years.
In every year since 2005, analysts at the International Energy Agency have raised their forecasts for the world’s energy supply.
By email, Endesa representatives Julia Llata Lavn and Iratxe Manchobas Fernández stated that “vigorous competition has been a constant in the renewable business for some time now, so it isn’t really something new.” Obtaining a grid connection for low-cost renewables is now so desirable that developers like as Endesa are offering to repay money that utilities were willing to pay for power in exchange for getting a grid connection.
Their reasoning for doing so was that the initiative would be successful enough that they would be able to make some kind of contribution to the system, according to the letter they sent.
The global shift in subsidies
Policymakers are now wrestling with a seismic shift in the character of energy markets that has occurred in recent years. It will be necessary to modify the nature of how we pay for a megawatt in order to successfully manage this clean-energy transition. Despite recent progress, there is still a significant gap between global emission objectives and what the market can achieve on its own. In order to reach a carbon-free system by 2035, as proposed by US President Joe Biden, the United States will need to build at least 70 gigatonnes (GW) of wind and solar capacity every year beginning in 2025.
Only incentives, money, and public policy will be able to close the gap.
“If the ultimate objective is to decarbonize the grid as quickly as possible, there may be a compelling justification for keeping subsidies in place.” As predicted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the next phase of subsidies will focus on upgrading the system to allow greater penetration of zero-carbon fuels and accelerating the retirement of existing fossil-fueled power plants before their natural lifespans.
- In a high-renewables scenario, energy sector subsidies, which are currently over 1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), will shrink to 0.2 percent of GDP by 2050, according to the World Resources Institute.
- There would be a total of more than $100 billion in redirected funds to energy efficiency, heating, and cooling for industry and buildings.
- In Kammen’s words, “I see this as a move away from technological subsidies—for solar or storage—and toward system design and infrastructure.” “It’s that type of meticulous, step-by-step preparation that transforms a tale into something new.” It will be difficult to go there from here.
- Conservative politicians will seize on every setback, even when programs are successful, in order to undermine the change (the US Department of Energy loan program supporting defunct solar cell manufacturer Solyndra ended upreturning a profit to the US Treasury).
- It will be extremely difficult to find the correct balance of financial rewards and sticks in a politically charged environment.
- In 2020, Abu Dhabi achieved the record for the lowest solar pricing ever for a new solar project at the time: $13.50 cents/MWh for a new solar project in the United Arab Emirates.
- At that price, it is suddenly becoming more cost-effective to construct new solar farms than it is to operate existing coal plants.
Even experts are divided on how to do this at this time. “If you can accomplish that,” adds Kammen, “you will be able to get a step ahead of 90 percent of the world’s economic experts.”
It’s Time to End Subsidies for Renewable Energy
The federal government has provided specific tax breaks to renewable power sources like as wind and solar in order to encourage the expansion of these sources. The production tax credit (PTC), which has been used primarily by wind energy and provides a significant tax credit for every megawatt-hour (MWh) produced, and the investment tax credit (ITC), which has been used primarily by solar electricity generators as a credit against construction costs, are the most significant of these incentives.
- These tax breaks were created by Congress to encourage the development of technology that was prohibitively expensive in its early stages.
- Despite the fact that this was intended to be a transitory scheme, Congress has extended these subsidies on a number of occasions in recent years when they were ready to expire.
- The following are some of the reasons why renewable energy subsidies should not be increased.
- For the past 40 years, renewable energy resources—primarily wind and solar—have benefited from tax credits and deductions.
- In all, more than $100 billion in subsidies were provided between 2014 and 2018.
- Moreover, to put this in context, this amount surpasses the combined 2020 budgets of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, the Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (which are all combined).
- One of the declared purposes of renewable energy subsidies and mandates has been to boost demand for wind and solar technology in the expectation that the high costs of these technologies will come down in the future.
- The U.S.
- In the case of solar photovoltaic capacity, the EIA’s 2020 forecast is 82 percent lower than the previous ten-year forecast ($1,331 per kW against $7,297 per kW).
- Although it may be cheaper expensive to maintain existing power facilities rather than replace them with new electricity sources such as wind and solar, this is not always the case.
- Numerous widely-reported studies by proponents of renewable energy have shown the dropping costs of wind and solar generating and come to the conclusion that these resources are now competitive with traditional electricity sources in terms of price and efficiency.
As the costs of solar and wind energy technologies continue to decline, this will become the case in an increasing number of nations.” Wind energy is currently competitive, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): “Growth in the wind sector is likely to stay robust when the PTC is completely phased out.” Because the PTC has been successful in assisting in the establishment of a dependable and competitive domestic wind sector, wind capacity will continue to increase.” Renewable energy sources that are subsidized have caused disruptions in the electrical system.
- When compared to traditional energy sources, wind and solar power do not add the same amount of value to the system.
- Instead, they rely on other power producers to supply the services that they are unable to offer themselves, so “imposing” the costs of such services on other electricity generators and the grid.
- A heat wave that hit Texas in August of this year serves as an excellent illustration of how renewable energy sources can cause disruptions in electrical system operations.
- Since wind power has a low marginal cost, it has lowered energy market prices to the point that over 5,000 megawatts of conventional capacity opted to retire in 2018 rather than continue to lose money.
- Although no blackouts occurred on August 13, 2019, power prices soared from around $20 per megawatt hour (MWh) in the morning to over $9,000 per megawatt hour (MWh) in the afternoon.
- The Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit subsidies have reduced out-of-pocket costs for renewable energy project developers, but they have not resulted in comparable savings for power customers.
- In a study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, researchers looked at the influence that renewable portfolio standards (RPS) programs had on power rates throughout the country and found that they were associated with higher electricity rates.
These cost estimates, according to the report, “largely represent the costs that renewables impose on the generating system, including those associated with their intermittency, increased transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs allocated to consumers.” A significant amount of the subsidy is remitted overseas.
Several studies have found that only 15 companies received three-quarters of the $24.5 billion in PTC credits awarded between 2007 and 2016, and that 42 percent of that total ($8.2 billion) went to seven international firms.
In order to maintain a fully established renewables business, it is no longer necessary to provide ongoing subsidies.
According to AWEA, “the PTC has proven to be beneficial.” Or, to put it another way, enough is enough.
In 2016, new wind was eligible for a production tax credit (PTC) of $23 per megawatt-hour (MWh), which was 39 percent of the EIA levelized cost estimate of $58.5 per MWh that year (EIA,Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, August 2016).
- On May 2, 2011, the Congressional Research Service published Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures, Report for Congress R41227, which examines the history and current status of energy tax expenditures.
- The Congressional Research Service published Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 114th Congress on June 15, 2016, as a Report for Congress R43206.
- Updated on March 19, 2019, by the Congressional Research Service’s report for Congress, The Value of Energy Tax Incentives for Different Types of Energy Resources, Report for Congress R44852.
- Report R43453 of the Congressional Research Service, dated November 27, 2018.
- “The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources,” as it is known in the industry.
- Total overnight capital costs, adjusted to actual 2019 dollars, derived from the Annual Energy Outlook2010 through 2020 published by the United States Energy Information Administration.
- IRENA, Renewable Energy Costs in 2018, International Renewable Energy Agency, 2019.
- Data compiled by S P Global Market Intelligence.
- Greenstone and I.
- “Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?” asks the question.
Working Paper 2019-62, published by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in April 2019. Texas Public Policy Foundation published an article by Angela C. Erickson titled “The Production Tax Credit: Corporate Subsidies and Renewable Energy” in October 2018.
Economics and Incentives for Wind
A wide range of economic advantages are generated by wind energy projects, including direct and indirect employment, land leasing payments, local tax income, and cheaper power costs in wind-rich locations. Wind energy projects also provide significant amounts of cash for the government. The economic implications of utility-scale wind energy development are easily quantifiable, whereas the project-specific benefits are dependent on factors such as location, size, and ownership. However, the overall economic consequences of utility-scale wind energy development are difficult to quantify.
In addition to providing information on the economic impacts of wind energy development, WINDExchange also provides information on the ability of wind energy to offset energy costs, federal energy subsidies and other project financing incentives, the effects of policy on project economics, analysis tools to assist interested parties in evaluating projects, and the economic impacts of wind energy on neighboring communities.
Average Wind Energy Costs
The average cost of wind energy is determined by the size of the turbine, the size of the project, and the location. The average cost of wind energy is often divided into two categories: the cost of the turbine and the cost of the installed project. According to Energy Department analysts, wind turbine prices have fallen from their peak levels in 2008 to between $700 and $850 per kilowatt in 2019. In 2019, the national average price of wind power purchase agreements fell to less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, indicating that new wind energy facilities, when combined with federal incentives such as the Production Tax Credit, were among the most affordable sources of new electricity generation available at the time.
Offsetting Energy Use and Costs
Offsetting energy costs is another manner in which wind energy installations may make a beneficial contribution to the economy. Distributed wind turbines have the potential to directly offset the power consumption of customers. In this case, the wind turbine is situated near to the load and supplies energy directly to the load, which reduces the amount of electricity purchased by the user at retail rates. This idea is known as net metering. Any electricity that is not consumed by the residence is credited to the client when it is returned to the electrical grid.
A system of this sort can be utilized for residential or agricultural structures, schools and other community buildings, as well as big commercial or industrial complexes that require many megawatts of electrical energy.
It is also feasible to protect yourself against potential increases in retail power bills by generating your own energy.
A wind turbine will normally pay for itself after a number of years, although it will have significant upfront expenditures to pay for. For people who are ready to invest in wind energy, learn about the federal energy subsidies and other financial incentives that are available to them. When analyzing future wind projects, it is critical to predict the costs and benefits of new installations, as well as the economic development consequences of such installations. WINDExchange provides connections to software tools and publications that may be used to assist people, developers, local governments, and utilities in making economic decisions regarding wind energy.
Economic Impacts to Neighboring Communities
The construction of wind energy facilities creates jobs, increases tourism, and provides a source of income for farmers and ranchers, which may then be spent in the surrounding community. Learn more about the economic implications of wind energy on local areas.
- Designing a Wind Energy System
- In this paper, we discuss wind energy finance in the United States, including current practice and future opportunities. Wind Energy Costs in 2018
- 2018 Cost of Wind Energy Review
- In this report, we examine the economic potential of offshore wind in the United States from 2015 through 2030. Wind Energy Technology Data Update: 2020 Edition
- Wind Energy Technology Data Update: 2020 Edition
- Summary of Distributed Wind Data for 2019
- Data Update on Offshore Wind Technology for 2019
- Impacts of Wind Energy on the Economy in Colorado—A Case Study: There is a wind farm at Rush Creek. A description of the Wind Energy Workforce in the United States, including training, hiring, and future requirements
Fact-check: Has Texas wind energy received $19B in state subsidies since 2006?
“Since 2006, Texas has provided $19 billion in public subsidies to wind energy firms,” says Allen West. In the last two to three years, Texas has more than quadrupled its reliance on wind energy, which now accounts for 23-25 percent of our energy distribution system.” PolitiFact’s conclusion: “False.” The reason behind this is as follows: The deadly winter storms that struck Texas last month, leaving millions of Texans shivering in their homes without power, have reignited the debate over fossil fuels versus renewable energy.
Many have attempted to place blame for the outages on renewable energy, despite the fact that all types of generators struggled to produce during the freeze.
Here’s what we discovered.
Wind energy producers, as well as other types of generators, have benefited from subsidies at the federal, state, and municipal levels in the United States. West asserted that the state had distributed $19 billion in grants since 2006. The party’s spokesman, Luke Twombly, did not reply to repeated demands for an explanation of the number’s origins, despite repeated inquiries. The author of a report on state energy subsidies, Carey King, a research scientist at the University of Texas and assistant director at the university’s Energy Institute, said he couldn’t understand how West came up with that amount.
- According to the findings of the report, renewables receive significantly greater financial assistance than traditional technologies.
- As a result of the cost of the $7 billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines, a ratepayer-funded project that helps get electricity from West Texas wind and solar producers to big Texas towns hundreds of miles away, the wind number is quite high.
- One argument in favor of omitting it is because subsidies are often intended to promote investment; however, the report points out that in the case of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone lines, customers, rather than generators, are responsible for paying for an investment.
- Moreover, according to King, the transmission lines, which are also connected to traditional energy producing units, convey more than simply power generated by renewable sources of energy.
- However, even after accounting for the $7 billion, King said that he had “a difficult time coming up with that ($19 billion) amount” for wind.
- When projecting state and local subsidies in Texas that are to be paid out through 2029, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, came up with a comparable figure of approximately $18 billion, according to an April 2019 analysis.
- An official with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Brian Phillips, verified that the amount pertained to subsidies that would be in effect for another eight years.
Dependence on wind energy
Twombly, a spokesperson for West, said that the party’s chairman made a grammatical error in the second portion of the statement. “The Chairman intended to write double in his tweet, not triple,” Twombly said in an email, pointing to the state’s rising reliance on wind energy during the previous two to three years, which he described as “double” in his tweet. Energy data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s electric grid operator, reveals that wind power has increased from 17 percent of the state’s energy mix in 2017 to 23 percent in 2020, or a 35.3 percent rise.
However, that would be a five-year time range rather than a two- or three-year time frame.
Since 2006, according to West, the state has awarded wind energy corporations a total of $19 billion in public subsidies. He also stated that the state is utilizing three times the amount of wind energy that it was utilizing two or three years before to this. It’s impossible to come at West’s $19 billion figure no matter how many different ways you slice the statistics. Furthermore, over a five-year period, rather than a two- to three-year period, the composition of wind energy has doubled, rather than tripled.
Brandon Mulder, a staff writer for the American-Statesman, contributed to this article.
- Allen West posted a status update on Facebook on February 19, 2021. Texas Public Policy Foundation, Policy Perspectives, April 2019: The Cost of Renewable Energy Subsidies in Texas. Brain Phillips, Chief Communications Officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, conducted an email interview on March 11, 2021. Email interview with Luke Twombly, a spokesman for the Travis Republican Party, on February 23, 2021. The University of Texas Energy Institute published a report in April 2018 titled State Level Financial Support for Electricity Generation Technologies: An Analysis of Texas and California. February 24, 2021, an interview with Carey King, a researcher at the University of Texas in Austin and an Assistant Director at the Energy Institute Power Generation Fuel Mix Report: 2007 – 2020, Electric Reliability Council of Texas The Austin American-Statesman is a newspaper based in Austin, Texas. Did renewable energy ‘push’ Texas into frequent power disruptions, as some claim? The 19th of February in the year 2021
How Much Do Renewables Actually Depend on Tax Breaks?
A wind farm in Texas, which is the leading producer of wind energy in the United States. Wind energy is produced in greater quantities in the United States than in any other country. Photo courtesy of the United States Department of Commerce With lowering prices, wind and solar energy production are becoming increasingly competitive with fossil-fuel-driven power in the United States. Wind and solar energy production in the United States is expanding faster than any other source of electricity.
- According to a research published by the Business Council on Sustainable Energy, these factors contributed to the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions falling to their lowest level since 1991 in 2017.
- Weaning ourselves off of our reliance on fossil fuels is a critical component of the international effort to cut carbon dioxide and other global warming gases emissions and delay climate change by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
- How much support do renewables truly require in the form of tax breaks and other subsidies?
- In this argument, there are many different state and federal policies to consider, including tax credits, low-carbon fuel standards, renewable portfolio standards, depreciation allowances, energy efficiency credits, net metering, and the list may go for days.
- The discussion will cover a wide range of topics, including the following: Whom should we provide financial assistance to?
- Who will be the victors and losers in this contest?
Photo courtesy of www.fairfaxcounty.gov In a statement, Alexandra Hobson, external communications director of the Solar Energy Industries Association, stated, “Your ‘conventional’ energy sources have been receiving subsidies for more than 100 years.” In the United States, solar energy is supported by a solar investment tax credit that was established in 2005 to help jump-start the business.
- The federal tax credit she mentions reduces the cost of solar by 30 percent, according to her calculations.
- Federal tax credits have also aided the development of wind energy.
- The United States is performing well in terms of access to low-cost energy sources.
- The surge in natural gas production, as well as the declining cost of solar and wind energy as a result of more efficient technologies and scaled-up manufacturing, have all contributed to keeping costs low.
- According to Lazard, the cost of solar energy in the United States decreased by 85 percent between 2009 and 2016, and the cost of wind energy decreased by 66 percent between 2009 and 2016.
- The cost range reflects a variety of different scenarios.
- What are the subsidies?
has used tax incentives and other policies to encourage domestic fossil fuel production.
That changed when the government decided we needed to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Depending on how you define them, the list of subsidies can be quite long.
And policies vary state to state.
Thetax credits for renewablesallow utility developers and homeowners to take 30 percent of the cost of a solar, wind or fuel cell project off their taxes.
Currently, most of the credits are scheduled to decrease and disappear by 2022.
These“renewable portfolio standards”vary: New York and California aim for 50 percent by 2030; Vermont targets 75 percent by 2032.
Electrical utilities buy the power they need on a wholesale market.
To ensure they meet the state’s renewable standards, they buy “certificates” from producers pumping out electricity from solar farms, wind turbines, hydropower or biomass generators that add up to the required percentage of megawatt hours.
In states like California and New York, that “has a huge impact on generation sources,” Steckler said.
The government also provides access to resources through leases for drilling or coal mining on public lands.
(Department of Energy funding also goes to renewable energy projects and research into carbon sequestration.) Some tax breaks are not unique to the fossil fuel industry, or have overlapping policy objectives.
Can we put a price on the military alliances that help protect foreign sources of oil?
Tax preferences for fossil fuels have been around a long time.
Source: Congressional Budget Office Who gets how much?
cost $18.4 billion in 2016.
The estimates do not include every program that affects the energy supply, such as research programs, tax breaks that apply more broadly to industry like depletion allowances, or the value of leasing on federal lands for coal, gas and oil extraction.
Using a more inclusive set of government incentives, they said the U.S.
Globally, theInternational Energy Agencysaid that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies — those directed at consumers and electricity providers to dampen prices — dropped to $260 billion in 2016.
Worldwide subsidies for renewable energy in power generation amounted to $140 billion in 2016, the agency said.
A2017 paperin the journalWorld Developmentestimated that when “external costs” such as air pollution and warming climate were included, subsidies for fossil fuels cost the world more than $5 trillion in 2015.
Click on the map to go to an interactive map produced by the University of Texas AustinEnergy Institute.
Do subsidies work?
Because solar and wind are intermittent power sources, they make it more complicated to maintain a steady supply of electricity that meets demand that varies hour to hour.
Energy storage technology, though improving, still has a way to go to relieve that problem.
It also argues that tax subsidies for wind power should end, since the cost of that energy is now competitive with natural gas.
domestic fossil fuel supply have succeeded.
However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the impact of fossil fuel tax benefits has been negligible, and that tax incentives have cost the United States significantly more in recent decades than the value of the additional oil and gas produced.
from subsidies,” according to Bloomberg’s Steckler.
However, the method through which you assess the advantage is equally important.
According to the National Academies report, energy subsidies can be detrimental in the following ways: When energy prices are lowered or energy efficiency is improved, they may actually stimulate higher energy use and emissions.
For example, if a state adopts a renewable portfolio standard that is heavily weighted toward solar and wind, it may be passing up an opportunity to achieve significant carbon reductions by switching from coal to natural gas-fired power generation.
What should I do now?
Despite the fact that solar and wind power are adding more megawatts to the electricity grid than other sources, all renewables combined — including hydropower and biomass — accounted for only 18 percent of total electricity generation in the United States and 10 percent of total energy consumption in the country in 2017.
Natural gas, oil, and coal account for approximately 81 percent of total energy consumption.
“However, twenty years from now.they will still constitute a rather minor fraction of the energy mix,” he continued.
Consider how we will transition from the current fuel that powers hundreds of millions of automobiles to a new one.
Some believe that a carbon price is the only way to achieve these objectives.
The tax would make an attempt to reflect the potential environmental cost of emitting more CO2 through increased CO2 emissions.
Consumers may be eligible for rebates or reductions in other taxes, which would help to offset the additional cost.
Following the passage of a comprehensive tax reform bill, Congress and the administration are unlikely to take up the topic of a carbon price any time in the near future.
In Bordoff’s opinion, “I believe that will change.” People will seek to policy solutions as the political pressure to address climate change becomes more acute, and the economic efficiency of lowering emissions.
The Block Island Wind Farm, with a capacity of 30 megawatts, is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.
It is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 3.8 miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of David Funkhouser_ Further reading and resources are available at:
- A wind farm in Texas, which is the leading producer of renewable energy in the United States Wind energy is produced in greater quantities in the United States than anywhere else in the world. Featured image courtesy of the United States Commerce Department As a result of falling prices, wind and solar energy production in the United States is outpacing all other sources of electricity production, and they are becoming more competitive with fossil-fueled electricity. While this is happening, natural gas has surpassed coal as the most commonly used fuel for electric power generation. As a result, according to a report for the Business Council on Sustainable Energy, greenhouse gas emissions in the United States fell in 2017 to their lowest level since 1991. Those concerned about climate change will be relieved to learn of this news. Weaning ourselves off of our reliance on fossil fuels is a critical component of the international effort to reduce carbon dioxide and other global warming gases, as well as to slow the rate of climate change. Conservatives contend that this expansion would have been impossible without financial assistance from the federal government. Tax breaks and other subsidies for renewables are needed, but to what extent? A complex battle has erupted between players in the energy industry, environmental organizations, and politicians as a result of government policies that have assisted in the expansion of renewable energy sources. In this debate, there are many different state and federal policies to consider, including tax credits, low-carbon fuel standards, renewable portfolio standards, depreciation allowances, energy efficiency credits, net metering, and the list could continue for hours. Some are beneficial to consumers and the renewables industry, while others are beneficial to the fossil fuel industry and consumers. Questions addressed in the debate include the following: Should we provide financial assistance to? The most effective strategies for encouraging cleaner energy, keeping prices low and people employed, and keeping the lights on when we need them are as follows: 1. Who are the winners and losers in this game? Because of tax credits available to both homeowners and solar installers, the number of rooftop solar installations has increased. Fairfax County government website (photo courtesy of). In a statement, Alexandra Hobson, external communications director of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said, “Your ‘traditional’ energy sources have received subsidies for more than 100 years.” In the United States, solar energy is supported by a solar investment tax credit that was established in 2005 to help jump-start the market. This credit has proven to be extremely effective in encouraging the deployment of both rooftop and utility-scale solar energy. According to her, a federal tax credit reduces the cost of solar power by 30%. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, five million homes in the United States are now powered by solar energy, with that number expected to double in the coming years due to projects currently under contract and numerous others in the planning stages. Moreover, federal tax breaks have benefited wind energy. American Wind Energy Association estimates that the United States now produces enough wind energy to power approximately 17.5 million homes. The United States is doing well in terms of affordable energy. In 2017, Americans spent less than 4 percent of their income on energy, a figure that is close to a record. The surge in natural gas production, as well as the declining cost of solar and wind energy as a result of more efficient technology and scaled-up manufacturing, have all contributed to the low level of pricing. When subsidies are removed, solar and wind energy are now more cost-effective than electricity generated by coal, nuclear, or even natural gas over the lifetime of a power plant, according to a 2016 study by LazardLtd., an international financial advisory and asset management firm. Lazard estimates that the cost of solar energy in the United States decreased by 85 percent between 2009 and 2016, while the cost of wind energy decreased by 66 percent during the same period. Subsidies taken into account, the levelized cost of energy from various sources by 2020. There is a wide range of costs to account for various possibilities. A report by Lazard provides an alternative perspective on energy costs, which can be found here. Source: United States Energy Information Administration What are the terms of the subsidies? Since the passage of the Revenue Act of 1916, the United States has used tax breaks and other policies to encourage the production of domestic fossil fuels. Up until the mid-2000s, the oil and natural gas industries reaped the greatest benefits. All of that changed when the federal government determined that we needed to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The development of alternative-fuel vehicles such as fuel-cell and hybrid vehicles, as well as improvements in energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy, have received a significantly greater share of support since then. According to how they are defined, the list of subsidies can be quite long in some cases. California residents and businesses can take advantage of 212 different renewable energy assistance programs, including federal and state-run initiatives. Furthermore, policies differ from one state to the next. Parabolic trough solar power is being installed as part of the 354 MW Solar Energy Generating Systems complex in northern San Bernardino County, California. Photo courtesy of the United States Bureau of Land Management According to Nicholas Steckler, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the most important subsidies for renewables are federal investment tax credits and production tax credits for solar and wind energy, as well as state renewable portfolio standards, among other things. Solar, wind, and fuel cell energy tax credits allow utility developers and home owners to deduct up to 30% of the cost of a solar, wind, or fuel cell energy project from their taxes. Other technologies, such as geothermal energy and combined heat and power systems, are eligible for a 10 percent tax credit. At the moment, the majority of the credits are scheduled to decrease and eventually disappear by 2022. In many states, it is now mandatory that a certain percentage of their electricity comes from renewable sources, usually by a specific date in the future. The following are examples of “renewable portfolio standards”: Several states, including New York and California, aim to achieve 50 percent by 2030, while Vermont aims for 75 percent by 2032. Thirteen states do not have a standard in place. Electrical utilities purchase the electricity they require on the wholesale market. Despite this, they are unable to tell where the electrons flowing across their power lines are coming from. The certificates are purchased from producers who pump out electricity generated by solar farms, wind turbines, hydroelectric power, or biomass generators that add up to the required percentage of megawatt hours to ensure they meet the state’s renewable standards. The certificates are purchased to ensure they meet the state’s renewable standards. In addition to providing additional revenue for renewable energy producers, these “certificates” also provide additional benefits to consumers. This “has a significant impact on generation sources” in states such as California and New York, according to Steckler. Subsidies for fossil fuels include tax exemptions and deductions, depletion allowances (tax deductions to compensate for the depletion of non-infinite deposits), and accelerated depreciation allowances on energy-related equipment. The government also provides access to resources through leases for drilling or coal mining on public lands, which are administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Pollution control assistance is provided to the coal industry, and the Department of Energy funds both research and development and loan programs for the coal industry. Renewable energy projects and research into carbon sequestration are also supported by funding from the Department of Energy.) Some tax breaks are not exclusive to the fossil fuel industry, and others have policy objectives that are similar to those of the fossil fuel industry. Would it be appropriate to classify federal assistance with home heating oil for the poor as a “subsidy” for the fossil fuel industry? Is it possible to put a monetary value on military alliances that aid in the protection of foreign oil sources? The calculations become increasingly hazy. It has been a long time since fossil fuels have benefited from tax breaks. Preferences for renewable energy are newer, and have been significantly higher than preferences for fossil fuels, according to this study. Congressional Budget Office is the source of this information. Who gets what amount of money? According to the Congressional Budget Office, energy-related tax preferences in the United States cost $18.4 billion in fiscal year 2016. According to the budget office, nearly $11 billion was allocated to renewable energy, $2.7 billion was allocated to energy efficiency and electricity transmission, and $4.6 billion was allocated to fossil fuels. It is not possible to include all of the programs that have an impact on the energy supply in the estimates. For example, research programs, tax breaks that apply more broadly to industry such as depletion allowances, and the value of leasing on federal lands for coal, natural gas, and oil extraction are not included. A different point of view is expressed by a group called Oil Change International, which advocates for the use of renewable energy sources. They asserted that the United States provides more than $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies alone each year, based on a more comprehensive set of government incentives. On a global scale, according to the International Energy Agency, fossil-fuel consumption subsidies — those directed at consumers and electricity providers in order to keep prices down — decreased to $260 billion in 2016. The figure does not include any production-related assistance. According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide subsidies for renewable energy in power generation totaled $140 billion in 2016. But what about the consequences for the environment and human health? The journal World Development published a paper in 2017, which estimated that, when “external costs” such as air pollution and global warming were taken into consideration, fossil fuel subsidies cost the world more than $5 trillion in 2015. What is the most cost-effective electricity source in the United States? In order to access an interactive map produced by the University of Texas AustinEnergy Institute, please click on the map. The map allows you to factor in various costs, such as a price on CO2 emissions, county by county, which you can see on the right. Do government subsidies have any effect? Opponents of renewable energy subsidies argue that the revenue lost as a result of the subsidies outweighs the benefits. Because solar and wind energy are intermittent sources of energy, it is more difficult to maintain a steady supply of electricity to meet demand that varies from hour to hour due to the nature of the sources. Your home solar panels may be supplying power to the grid, but it may not be required at the time, resulting in energy being wasted. Even though energy storage technology is improving, it still has a long way to go before it can alleviate this problem. The Institute for Energy Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to free market principles, asserts that increasing the share of solar energy in the electricity grid will reduce the reliability of the grid and cause additional costs to be incurred by the system. It also argues that tax breaks for wind energy should be phased out because the cost of wind energy is now competitive with the cost of natural gas. Policies aimed at increasing the domestic supply of fossil fuels in the United States have been successful in some ways. Oil and gas production in the United States has surpassed all other countries, and the country has become a net exporter of energy. Nevertheless, the Congressional Budget Office stated that fossil fuel tax incentives had only a marginal influence and that, in recent decades, tax subsidies had cost the United States significantly more than the value of the additional oil and gas produced. With regard to renewable energy, where the goal of subsidizing the industry was to encourage the development of technology and the expansion of the industry, “renewable energy has benefited greatly in terms of deployment and maturity, as well as cost reduction. from subsidies,” according to Steckler of Bloomberg News. Some technologies, notably wind-generated power, according to the Congressional Budget Office have shown “response to government subsidies.” A research by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine revealed that the expense of reducing one ton of CO2 by using tax credits was significantly greater than the gain that might be expected from doing so. However, how you define that advantage is equally important. As reported in Nature in 2017, experts believe that wind and solar energy might save us tens of billion dollars or more in terms of air quality and climate advantages. According to the National Academies report, energy subsidies can have a negative effect on the environment: When energy prices are lowered or energy efficiency is improved, this may actually stimulate higher energy use and emissions. Furthermore, according to the report, the growth of renewable energy “might have occurred regardless of governmental mandates.” In fact, Steckler argued that even governmental mandates might be counter-productive when it comes to reducing emissions. Suppose a state implements a renewable portfolio standard that is heavily focused on solar and wind, but fails to take advantage of a chance to achieve significant carbon reductions by switching from coal to gas-fired electricity generation. Alternatively, it might mean excluding a less expensive and more effective technology, such as renovating ancient dams to generate hydropower, from the market. After that, what? Even if the ultimate objective is to substantially reduce carbon emissions, the United States (and the rest of the globe) still confronts significant hurdles in achieving this. Despite the fact that solar and wind power are adding more megawatts to the electricity grid than other sources, all renewables combined — including hydropower and biomass — accounted for only 18 percent of total electricity generation in the United States and 10 percent of total energy consumption in the United States in 2017. Approximately 9% of total energy output comes from nuclear power. Natural gas, oil, and coal are the primary sources of energy, accounting for around 81 percent of total energy consumption worldwide. According to Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a member of the Earth Institute’s faculty, “the growth is going to keep increasing.” This will persist despite the policy reforms put in place by the current administration, because market forces are quite powerful. ” “Twenty years from now.they will still be a pretty minor component of the energy mix,” he continued. The transition to greener energy confronts significant challenges, including complicated price concerns, the need for improved storage technologies, and an insufficient system. Consider how we will transition from the current fuel that powers hundreds of millions of automobiles to a more sustainable fuel. According to the current situation, progress is not being made quickly enough to reach the climate targets established by the nations of the world at the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. Some argue that the only way to achieve these objectives is through the imposition of carbon taxes. Carbon-based fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas — would be subject to a levy if they are burned at the place of extraction or transit. In an attempt to represent the possible environmental cost of increasing CO2 emissions, the tax would be implemented. Producers would be allowed to pass along any of the cost to consumers, depending on the market conditions. Consumption costs may be compensated in part by tax rebates or reductions in other taxes. Following their respective analyses, both the National Academies of Science and the Congressional Budget Office have concluded that placing a price on fossil fuels that reflects the harm they cause is the most efficient method of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and achieving climate-change objectives. Following the passage of a comprehensive tax reform bill, Congress and the administration are unlikely to take up the topic of a carbon price any time in the immediate future. Furthermore, while people are concerned about climate change, it has not yet become a pressing issue for the majority of people living in the United States. In Bordoff’s opinion, “I believe this will change.” People will seek to policy solutions as the political need to address climate change becomes more acute, and the economic efficiency of cutting emissions. by pricing carbon will become more attractive as a result. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 3.8 miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and is the world’s first commercial offshore wind farm. It generates 30 megawatts of electricity. David Funkhouser_ provided the photograph. Additional reading and resources include the following: