The average wind turbine operates at just 30% efficiency – and sometimes only around 7%, according to a recent study.
Similar studies in Denmark and other European countries with long histories of wind generation came to the same conclusion, with the Danish study concluding that wind turbines suffer from “insufficient energy production and high production costs,” contrary to the low-cost energy envisioned by supporters. Multiple studies indicate that today’s turbines are less dependable at producing energy and require more maintenance than originally anticipated.
However, technological improvements may soon make the expensive technology more dependable and economically viable. For example, GE recently introduced a new line of windmill turbines that are taller, lighter, require less maintenance, have longer blades, and produce more energy consistently.
The study was produced by Stuart Young Consulting in the UK and supported by the John Muir Trust for Wild Land and Wild Places.