Michael Krüger of Readers Edition has a post on Germany’s first offshore Alpha Ventus windpark located in the North Sea, 30 miles from shore. Alpha Ventus has 12 5-MW wind generators. The electricity will have to cost 7 – 8 US-cents per kwh just to cover the construction costs. That’s about the price electricty is traded at on German commodity markets. But then you have to add the operating, maintenance and dismantling costs after the expected 20 years of operation. Also the added cost of expanding the electrical grid to accommodate the wind parks has to be added in.
In general windparks cannot compete against conventional power plants. That’s why the German government subsidizes windpark operators and guaratees them 19 US cents per kwh. The higher costs are of course borne by the consumers and industrial customers.
Contribution to “climate protection”. So what is the consumer getting for his money? Using IPCC data and forcings, Krüger calculated how much Alpha Ventus will help to reduce the global temperature:
Without the assumed positive feedbacks: 0.000001°C, with the assumed positive feedbacks 0.000005°C.
That’s right – a whopping few millionths of a degree! Boy can you feel it already?
Protest: The offshore windparks also kill a considerable number of migratory birds, and so environmentalists are already protesting the planned construction of 11 additional offshore parks. Indeed a Folks’ Initiative protest against wind energy is taking place in Berlin this coming weekend: http://www.volksinitiativewindrad.de/.