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Windmills
12.13.02
Science and Health:
Wind Power Now
More on This Story:
Wind Power Stats

According to the Department of Energy, Renewable energy consumption declined more than 12 percent in 2001 to just 5.7 quadrillion Btu, its lowest level in over 12 years and renewable energy's share of U.S. energy consumption dropped to 6 percent. Consumption of all principal renewable energy resources decreased in 2001, except for wind.

Wind Power in the U.S.

1997: U.S. wind-energy consumption in quadrillion Btu:  0.034
1998: U.S. wind-energy consumption in quadrillion Btu.  0.031
1999: U.S. wind-energy consumption in quadrillion Btu:  0.046
2000: U.S. wind-energy consumption in quadrillion Btu:  0.057
2001: U.S. wind-energy consumption in quadrillion Btu:  0.059
Source: The Energy Information Administration "Renewable Energy Annual 2001"

Wind Power in the World

Top wind producers in the world:  Germany, United States, Spain, Denmark and India
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  United States: 84.1
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  Germany: 17.6
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  Canada: 9.2
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  Spain: 6.1
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  Japan: 18.5
Net Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Wood and Waste Electric Power Consumption 2000 (Billion Kilowatthours):  Brazil: 12.8
Sources: International Energy Agency: KEY WORLD ENERGY STATISTICS, 2001;

It should be noted that pricing of energy technologies varies greatly over time due to financial technological and environmental conditions. Wind speeds directly effect the price at which electricity can be produced — the same plant may produce electricity at rates between 4.8 cents in 16 mph winds and at 2.6 cents in 21 mph winds. Also, the size of the wind farm, inital captial costs, interest rates and special financing programs will affect overall costs.

Comparative Electricity Costs 1996

Coal: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour:  4.8-5.5 cents
Gas: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour:  3.9-4.4 cents
Hydro: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour:  5.1-11.3 cents
Biomass: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour:  5.8-11.6 centrs
Nuclear: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour::  11.1-14.5 cents
Wind: Levelized costs per kilowatt hour:  4.0-60 cents

Sources: National Wind Technology Center; American Wind Energy Association

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