Wind power needs subsidy to compete in US, says Siemens

The US wind power industry still needs subsidy to compete with fossil fuels, according to Germany’s Siemens, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers.
Lisa Davis, who took over in August as the head of Siemens’ global energy business, told the Financial Times that although wind power in the US was close to “grid parity” – the level at which it becomes competitive with other sources of electricity – “we’re not there yet”.
Her comments come as the US industry is urging Congress to reinstate the tax credit for wind generation, which expired at the end of last year. The American Wind Energy Association has warned that the industry could face falling investment and employment if the credit is not restored quickly.
Lazard, the investment bank, calculated recently that in parts of the US with strong wind, it could be a cheaper source of power than gas-fired generation, after steep declines in the cost of turbines.
However, Ms Davis argued that costs still needed to be cut further before wind could compete on equal terms with gas.
“We’ve not yet got to the point where it’s truly self-sustaining,” she said. “We’ve got to focus on cost competitiveness.”

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