in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

There has been some debate about whether wind turbines have a more limited shelf life than other energy technologies. However, a new study suggests that wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, making wind farms an attractive long-term choice for energy investors.

Conducted by researchers at the U.K.-based Imperial College Business School, the study notes that the U.K. has a target of generating 15% of the nation's energy from renewable resources by 2020. There are currently 4,246 individual wind turbines in the region across 531 projects, generating 7.5% of the nation's electricity.

The report says a previous study used a statistical model to estimate that electricity output from wind turbines declines by a third after only 10 years of operation. Some opponents of wind power have argued that aging turbine technology could need replacing en masse after as little as 10 years, which would make it an unattractive option in economic terms, the report adds.

But through a nationwide analysis of the U.K. fleet of wind turbines, using local wind speed data from NASA, the researchers found that the turbines will last their full life of about 25 years before they need to be upgraded.

In fact, the research found that some of the U.K.'s earliest turbines, built in the 1990s, are still producing three-quarters of their original output after 19 years of operation, nearly twice the amount previously claimed, and will operate effectively up to 25 years. According to the study, this is comparable to the performance of gas turbines used in power stations.

The study also found that more recent turbines are performing even better than the earliest models, suggesting they could have a longer lifespan. The team says this makes a strong business case for further investment in the wind farm industry.

"There have been concerns about the costs of maintaining aging wind farms and whether they are worth investing in,” comments Professor Richard Green, co-author and head of the Department of Management at Imperial College Business School. “This study gives a 'thumbs up' to the technology and shows that renewable energy is an asset for the long term."



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Alberta Breaks Wind Power Record, Then Does It Again

Last week, the Alberta Electric System Operator recorded new wind production peaks in the Canadian province - highlighting how well the grid integrated the renewable energy.


Federal Appeals Court Finds Obama's Wind Farm Decision Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. government violated the constitutional rights of Chinese-owned Ralls Corp. when ordering the divestment of four Oregon wind farms.


Renewables Make Up Over 50% Of New U.S. Power In First Half Of 2014

According to a recent government report, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, continue to dominate new electric generating capacity.


Suzlon Facility Lends Key Assist In Developing 'The Wind Technicians Of Tomorrow'

The turbine manufacturer’s Elgin, Ill.-based training facility is the culmination of a program that puts a new twist on a proven method of instruction.


Having Their Say: CanWEA Clarifies True Source Of Canadian Wind Success

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) takes issue with a recent report summary regarding various renewable energy policies in North America.

Renewable NRG_id1934
Canwea_id1984
Navigant_id1983