Wind is big business and getting bigger. Siemens (not a mom and pop operation) just landed the world's largest onshore wind power order from Buffett's Iowa utility (also not a mom and pop operation).
Buffett's utility ordered 1,050 megawatts of wind capacity that will be provided by more than 400 turbines manufactured by Siemens. The value of the contract is about $1 billion. Most of the turbines will be operating by 2014 and all by 2015.
A major competitive advantage of wind power is that it goes from order to operation faster than any other power alternative, with the possible exception of solar.
Now $1 billion orders of any type are a big deal in any industry. Siemens has landed a big one for sure. But the $1 billion total of the order is big but the unit price is small. And that makes the Siemens-Buffett deal even more important.
Buffett's utility is getting 1 megawatt of wind generation for $1 million. That is astonishingly low! Not long ago, the capital costs of wind generation were over $2 million per megawatt.
The crashing capital costs of wind power, combined with its impossible to beat fuel cost, is making wind power the lowest cost source of new generation in substantial parts of America. Right now. And that is yet another reason why the EIA's just released 2040 projection that renewable energy's generation market share will increase just 2 percentage points over the next 27 years is close to silly.