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Solar and wind: reality shock

This week Xcel. Energy, based in the state of Colorado, announced a deal regarding renewable energy.


The closed price, which includes storage via batteries, was - roundly - USD 20/MWh for wind power and USD 30/MWh for solar. 

These prices will enable the closure of coal-fired power plants owned by Xcel Energy! 

Here in Brazil, the prices of these types of energy are much higher. Double or triple! 

While in developed countries thermal power plants are being replaced by renewable energy, here renewable energy justifies the increase of thermal sources - much more expensive - in our power matrix. 

We urgently need to wake up for the competition. Our regulatory model of the electric sector is cumbersome, complicated and most importantly, costly - it does not present competitive parity. Bluntly: we are on the wrong track.

Content Discussion

Roger Clarke-Johnson's picture
Roger Clarke-Johnson

Mr. Herzberg,the true 'reality shock' is that those prices reflect the heavy government subsidies (paid by taxpayers) that wind and solar producers receive.  The true costs is much higher, but with government subsidies the 'apparent cost' can be much less. Brasil's government may not be able to collect enough taxes from enough people to achieve comparable prices. Brasil is not the only country where political games abound. In the US, we have a lot of political games around energy, especially when it comes to 'encouraging' the 'right' type of energy generation.

william harris payne's picture
william harris payne

Public Service Company of New Mexico engineers collected data from New Mexico Wind Energy Center, Red Mesa Wind farm and its solar sites. PNM IRPengineers posted this erratic, intermittent, low capacity factor wind turbine/utility-scale solar data in .xls spreadsheet format. July 27, 2016. https://www.pnm.com/2017-irp-meetings  Wind/solar scam/fraud?