To quote Joe Biden this is a “big f’n deal.” Prices of wind energy generation have come down so much in the last 4 years that it is now within 5.5% of coal, but without the sad externalities of coal that include acid rain and emphysema. Wind is now so close to a sure thing as an investment that Warren Buffett’s energy utility company is putting down a $1 billion investment in wind turbines for a project in Iowa.
Wind is the cheapest source of power in Iowa, and the deal indicates that turbines are becoming profitable without subsidies, according to Tom Kiernan, chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association trade group. That’s a boost for suppliers including Siemens, General Electric Co. (GE) and Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), and a threat to coal miners such as Peabody Energy Corp.
“If Congress were to remove all the subsidies from every energy source, the wind industry can compete on its own,” Kiernan said at a press conference at a Siemens factory in Fort Madison, Iowa, yesterday, when the order was announced.
Every coal fired plant that is retired results in thousands of healthier lungs, hearts and lakes.