Wind energy is an affordable source of new electricity – costs are declining while efficiency is increasing.
Wind energy has successfully moved from a marginal alternative to among the lowest cost options for new electricity generation. Wind energy is now more cost-competitive than new coal, hydro and nuclear power. A 2014 report from the US investment firm Lazard found that wind energy is the lowest cost option for any new supply without any subsidies.
The fuel that turns the turbine blades is free; this means that once a wind farm is built, the price of electricity it produces is set and remains at that level for the entire life of the wind farm.
Traditional sources of energy are open to extreme price volatility, so the long-term cost-certainty and stabilizing effect of electricity rates from wind farms provide important protection for consumers.
The cost to build wind energy continues to decline, with dramatic drops over the past three years while significant efficiency gains are being realized in modern technology and siting.
Wind projects have very short construction periods and can be deployed quickly with positive impacts delivered to local communities.
Amazing facts about the affordability of wind energy
There is an urgent need to invest in new electricity generation and infrastructure after decades of underinvestment. According to the Conference Board of Canada, $347 billion in investment in Canada’s electricity system is required between now and 2030 – and all of these costs will be passed on to consumers.
According to the Ontario Energy Board, 45 per cent of the increase in Ontario's global adjustment since 2006 is due to nuclear power, while only 6 per cent of the increase is due to renewable energy.
Wind energy is now the lowest-cost option for new electricity supply in most Canadian provinces. For example, contracts awarded in Hydro-Quebec’s most recent request for wind proposals, set a new low average price for wind in Canada of 6.3¢/kWh
Your Home Electricity Bill: A Study on the Costs in Ontario - A study on the costs in Ontario shows that renewable energy accounts for a relatively small part of residential electricity bills. The study includes new data that calculates the role renewable energy plays in electricity bills in Ontario today, and in 2024.
A report by Pembina Behind the Switch: Pricing Ontario Electricity Options finds that Ontario consumers would see virtually no relief from high electricity prices if the province cancelled its support for renewable energy under the Green Energy Act. In fact, the study indicates that investing in renewable energy today is likely to save Ontario ratepayers money within the next 15 years, as natural gas prices are forecast to start to rise. (Executive Summary P. IV- VII)
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario: The True Cost of Renewable Energy and Conservation, puts the true cost of renewable energy and conservation in perspective – the cost of conservation and all the renewable subsidies in 2010 amounted to 0.4 cents of the 13 cents we paid for a kWh in our homes.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance "Onshore wind energy to reach parity with fossil-fuel electricity by 2016" predicts that the average wind farm will be fully competitive with all other generation sources by 2016 “the cost of electricity from onshore wind turbines will drop 12 per cent in the next five years thanks to a mix of lower-cost equipment and gains in output efficiency”.