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U.S. wind power prices have reached an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report, which details trends seen in the U.S. wind industry last year, says the national average levelized price of wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed in 2013 fell to around $25/MWh. That's a new record well below the $70/MWh high seen in 2009. Notably, the report says the average price stream of wind PPAs executed last year also compares favorably to a range of projections of the fuel costs of gas-fired generation extending out through 2040.

The report attributes the drop in wind power costs to several factors, including new advances in turbine technology, cheaper components and the aid of federal tax credits.

In a press release announcing the report, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz says, "As a readily expandable, domestic source of clean, renewable energy, wind power is paving the way to a low-carbon future that protects our air and water while providing affordable, renewable electricity to American families and businesses.

"However, the continued success of the U.S. wind industry highlights the importance of policies like the production tax credit that provide a solid framework for America to lead the world in clean energy innovation while also keeping wind manufacturing and jobs in the U.S."

After modest growth in 2013, total installed wind power capacity in the U.S. now stands at 61 GW, representing about 4.5% of the nation's electricity demand. Significant new builds are anticipated in 2014 and 2015.






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