The True Cost of Energy: Windby Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University (July 2015)

This report explores the true cost of producing electricity from wind power. Rather than creating a new cost estimate, we analyze the findings of prominent cost studies by experts in the energy field. Each study includes different factors in its estimate of the cost of wind power. We break down each of these factors and explain the significance of each. These factors include: capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, capacity factor, transmission costs, baseload cycling, social and environmental costs, and the cost of government subsidies. Other factors are more difficult to quantify, but nevertheless add to the true cost of wind power. Such factors include: opportunity cost of taxpayer dollars, reduced reliability of the grid, and higher electricity prices. We conclude that, when estimating the true cost of wind power, all of these factors should be  included.

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