Wind and solar helping to keep prices down

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 11:12 AM
posted by rene5432

Electricity prices have been on the rise across the country for years, as demand continues to skyrocket and the cost of fuel goes up along with it. But a quick and dirty analysis of recent electricity rates in different states by's Brennan Louw suggests that renewable energy could offer an answer for that.

Louw notes that data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show electricity rates rose 4.1 percent around the country between 2005 and 2010, going up around 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour on average.

States with low investment in wind and solar nearly matched this growth, with the five states with the least solar and wind capacity rising 4 percent and 1.39 cents per kilowatt-hour.

On the other end of the spectrum, the five states with the most wind and solar capacity saw only 3.2 percent growth in prices, a rise of 1.35 cents per kilowatt-hour. Though Louw admits this is hardly definitive, it suggests renewable electricity could play a role in keeping prices low.

The EIA reports that the cost of coal and natural gas have risen substantially over the the past decade, rising 81 percent and 84 percent, respectively, in the ten years before 2009.


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