Professional Engineers Of North Carolina

FALL 2014

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19 Fall 2014 the Professional Engineer Te average contract price for new wind projects in 2013 was 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, easily competitive with any other generation technology, including fossil fuels. And since the "fuel" is free, those costs can be locked in over the long term, providing a fnancial hedge against rising or volatile fossil fuel prices. In short, low-cost energy, no emissions and long-term stable pricing have combined to create a recipe for serious growth. Wind energy growth in the United States Nationally, wind energy has been on quite a run. Te U.S. industry ended 2013 with 61,110 megawatts, delivering more than 4 percent of U.S. electricity generation for the year — by far the largest nonhydro renewable resource. And that is just the beginning. Already, wind provides more than 10 percent of electricity generation in nine states. Two states, Iowa and South Dakota, get more than 25 percent of their electricity from wind without grid reliability issues. Over the last fve years, only natural gas has rivaled wind in total generation capacity additions nationwide. (See charts this page.) And in regions like the Northwest, Midwest and Plains, more than 60 percent of capacity additions have been from wind energy. (See charts this page.) Tat hasn't happened everywhere. While the Southeast has been a notable exception to this trend, that could be changing soon. Opening up the Southeast Te wind over land in the Southeast is not as strong as the "wind-belt" states in the central United States. Tere, I said it. Surprised? Don't be — it's no secret. Historically, turbine manufacturers have designed their machines for the most energetic sites U.S. annual power capacity additions by region thousands Percent denotes the market share of wind for all capacity installed 2011-2013. 12 9 6 3 0 Northwest Midwest New England New York Mid-Atlantic California Plains Texas Southeast Mountain West Alaska and Hawaii 20% 34% 59% 25% 27% 38% 66% 69% 41% 0% California Alaska/Hawaii Mid-Atlantic Midwest Mountain West New England New York Northwest Plains Southeast Texas Other Nonrenewable Oil Coal Geothermal Water Biomass Solar Coal Wind Gas Internal Combustion/Turbine Gas combined cycle Source: AWEA, EIA, SNL Natural Gas 39.7% Wind 31.4% Coal 14.6% Petroleum 1.1% Other Renewables 13.1% Other Nonrenewables 0.1% U.S. annual power capacity additions 5-year average, 2009-2013 Source: AWEA, EIA, SNL

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