From: Tina Casey, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published November 1, 2012 07:33 AM

Economics of Coal Power and Wind are shifting in favor of Wind

While the cost of wind power has been dropping, a fascinating article in The Washington Post describes how coal mining is becoming more difficult and expensive. The coal industry cites environmental regulations as the main source of upward pressure on costs but WaPo writer Steven Mufson makes a convincing case that factors within the coal fields themselves are the main culprit.

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Mufson is careful to note that the trend varies from one coal field to another, but it is occurring in the key coal-producing region of Appalachia among others. Against the backdrop of falling wind prices, the rising cost of coal provides businesses with yet another incentive to explore ways of tapping the wind to power their operations.

As described by Mufson, the problem is mainly geological. In some regions the "easy" coal is being tapped out, and the remaining reserves are thinner and more difficult to mine efficiently.

In contrast to coal's troubles, the average cost of wind power has been on a long term, downward spiral. It has dropped 90 percent since 1980 according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Wind turbines via Shutterstock.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, TriplePundit.

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