Global wind energy capacity grew by 28.8% last year, even higher than the average over the past decade, to reach total global installations of more than 120.8 GW [260 TWh/year] at the end of 2008, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. More than 27 GW of new wind power generation capacity came online in 2008, 36% more than in 2007. $46.8 billion was spent on wind turbines in 2008, which does not include the costs for site work and grid upgrades to install the wind power. $46.8 billion to get 58 TWh/year of more power, which does not include the non-turbine costs. A ballpark estimate is to double the cost of the turbines to get to the full installed cost.
Global electricity generation for 2007 was 19,895 TWh. The 2008 wind power would be 1.3% of that total.
World nuclear power generation is about 2600 TWh/year from 372 GWe Another 43 reactors that would generate 38 GW is under construction now. The reactors under construction would add about 260-310 TWh/year in power as they are completed over the next 1-6 years. 7-8 GW of nuclear power would equal the 27 GW of wind.
To equal the 2008 wind power costs, would be $6 billion for the straight nuclear plant costs for 8 GWe of nuclear power and $12 billion for the fully installed costs.
A 2008 levelized cost estimate for energy by Lazard
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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