The Performance of U.S. Wind and Solar Generating Units

48 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2013

See all articles by Richard Schmalensee

Richard Schmalensee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

Government subsidies have driven rapid growth in U.S. wind and solar generation. Using data on hourly outputs and prices for 25 wind and nine solar generating plants, some results of those subsidies are studied in detail: the value of these plants' outputs, the variability of output at plant and regional levels, and the variation in performance among plants and regions. Output from solar plants was about 32% more valuable on average than output from wind plants. Output variability differs substantially among plants and, on some dimensions, among regions. Policy implications of high generation when prices are negative and dramatic differences in capacity factors are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Schmalensee, Richard, The Performance of U.S. Wind and Solar Generating Units (October 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19509. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336374

Richard Schmalensee (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

Room E62-525
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-2957 (Phone)
617-258-6617 (Fax)

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