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Economics of Wind Turbines



June 20, 2014 – Comments (1)

Board: Macro Economics

Author: jaagu

Researchers have carried out an environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines mooted for a large wind farm in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. They conclude that in terms of cumulative energy payback, or the time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation, a wind turbine with a working life of 20 years will offer a net benefit within five to eight months of being brought online.

Coupled lifecycle cost and environmental assessment in terms of energy use and emissions of manufacturing, installation, maintenance and turbine end-of-life processing seems to be limited in the discussions for and against these devices. "All forms of energy generation require the conversion of natural resource inputs, which are attendant with environmental impacts and costs that must be quantified to make appropriate energy system development decisions," explain Karl Haapala ... of Oregon State University, in Corvallis

... the payback for the associated energy use is within about 6 months ... even in a worst case scenario, lifetime energy requirements for each turbine will be subsumed by the first year of active use. Thus, for the 19 subsequent years, each turbine will, in effect, power over 500 households without consuming electricity generated using conventional energy sources.



1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM, jck101 (84.36) wrote:

This article is meaningless without a comparison to payback for other types of power.  

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