Buffett’s massive order shows wind energy becoming cheaper

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News


A drop in wind-power equipment costs is making that type of renewable energy more competitive with the fossil-fuel kind, with Warren Buffett’s massive order of wind turbines the latest example, a recent Bloomberg News article said.

Turbine prices have fallen 26% since the first half of 2009, the article said. That brings wind power within 5.5% of the cost of electricity from coal, it added, citing Bloomberg data.

Siemens said Monday the order fromMidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., the power unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., was its largest onshore wind-turbine order ever and also the single largest order for onshore wind power in the history of the industry.

MidAmerican will buy 448 turbines, worth more than $1 billion, to install in five projects in Iowa. The turbines combined have a total capacity of 1,050 megawatts, or roughly the equivalent of one nuclear reactor.

The deal also indicates turbines are becoming profitable without subsidies, a boost for Siemens and other suppliers such as General Electric Co. and Vestas Wind Systems A/S.

MidAmerica told Bloomberg it will close down some coal-fueled plants in 2015 as the price of wind generation and development continues to decrease.

The article also cited a wind analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance saying that wind power will also have a leg up on natural gas. Wind power is now cheaper than power from newly built natural-gas power plants, said Amy Grace with BNEF.

Follow Claudia Assis on Twitter @ClaudiaAssisMW

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