Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
  1. wind is a low-density source. It's not surprising that it costs more per MW; but ultimately it is irrelevant (just as the 20 or 25 lifespan is irrelevant as long as the price per MWh or actual electricity works, and it does.

  2. no, the feed-in tariff is required to provide a revenue to wind producers in a market environment where, as I explain, wind drags prices down for everybody. If you are in an integrated utility model where the utility can include wind power at its average cost over the long run (ie, the utility effectively internalises the feed-in regime), then you don't need a feed-in tariff, but until we do, it's required.

2bis) as noted in my text, wind is already cost-competitive with other technologies; it is its high fixed cost, lower marginal cost which makes it require a feed-in tariff, not its lack of competitivity. But there is no subsidy per se: as I note, the overall effect of the feed-in tariff is to lower the price paid by the rate payers who are bearing that tariff.

  1. everything is driven by political considerations. Are you saying that the coal industry's priorities are more legitimate just because they've been imposed on us, politically, for much longer?

  2. that's just not true. Wind wend from 0 to 10% of net generation in Germany and Spain without a crash programme. If wind was given the kind of political attention given to Russia or to nukes, it could go to 50% in surprisingly fast time. Again, it's technologically, economically and physically easy; it's the political will that's missing.

  3. as you know, BruceMcF has been calling neolib economics "marginalist" economics. Repudiating these in the energy sector (which is what this debate is all about: wind is NOT a marginalist technology, thus its difficulty to be accepted by the incumbents and the ideologues) would go a long way towards defining new economics that make more sense.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 11:21:19 AM EST
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