Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 8
An analysis of 3000 wind turbines in the United Kingdom and Denmark shows the average lifespans of the turbines are significantly shorter than originally predicted, and that the capacity factor (aka load factor) greatly declines over a turbine's life.

The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines — the biggest study of its kind —warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.

[The usual lifespans quoted by the manufacturers are 20 to 25 years.- Pete]

Also from the Telegraph-
The report’s author, Prof Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and a former energy adviser to the World Bank, discovered that the "load factor" — the efficiency rating of a turbine based on the percentage of electricity it actually produces compared with its theoretical maximum — is reduced from 24 per cent in the first 12 months of operation to just 11 per cent after 15 years.

The decline in the output of offshore wind farms, based on a study of Danish wind farms, appears even more dramatic. The load factor for turbines built on platforms in the sea is reduced from 39 per cent to 15 per cent after 10 years.

More information here, including a pdf link to the full report.

The new nuclear power plants are designed to last 60 years, and the existing plants have already demonstrated the ability to operate past 40 years. With a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, they would need to replace the wind turbines three or more times.

- Pete
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.