Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Surprise - wind energy costs even more than previously thought

From the EU Referendum blog:

"According to the independent business intelligence service Wind Energy Update, wind turbine operation and maintenance (O&M) costs are increasing sharply, rising to two or three times more than first projected and causing a 21 percent decrease in returns on investments.

O&M costs were found to be especially high in the United States, now the world's largest wind power market, but the even the average world costs are coming out at 27 US cents per kilowatt hour, compared with the 20 cents earned in the US through production credits.

The report says that while close to 80 percent of the world's wind turbines are still under warranty, "this is about to change." R&D is focusing especially on gearbox reliability. Many gearboxes, designed for a 20-year life, are failing after six to eight years of operation, the report finds."

Don't forget, O&M costs are just to run the wind generators - the construction costs are on top of that.

So instead of the inexpensive, reliable power we've enjoyed in the past, politicians are making sure that in the future we'll have the benefit of expensive, unreliable power. Just what one would expect.

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