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Wind Energy Operations & Maintenance Report  

Author:  | Americas, Economics, Europe, Safety, Technology, U.S.

This new report – available only by purchase – was prepared by independent experts Peter Asmus and Matthew Seitzler and incorporates strategies and data from over 100 operators and component providers. Data from sources around the world have been compiled to show trends of wind turbine component and sub-assembly failure rates and their subsequent downtimes.

Here are a few of the primary data findings published in this report:

  • 79% of wind turbines are still under warranty. This is about to change.
  • O&M costs for wind power are double or triple the figures originally projected, they are particularly high in the U.S. – which is now the world’s largest wind power market.
  • Europe has a 2% to 5% advantage over the U.S. if resource factors are accounted for.
  • There’s a −21% change in wind farm return on investment. This underperformance of wind assets is most likely attributable to both differences in power production and O&M costs over original estimates.
  • $0.027/kWh or €0.019/kWh is the average value of O&M costs obtained from report surveys. This compares to early estimates by one of the world’s dominant turbine suppliers of $0.005/kWh.
  • A significant amount of R&D is currently going into gearbox reliability. Many gearboxes, designed for a 20-year life, are failing after 6 to 8 years of operation.
  • At more than 2 cents/kWh, O&M costs exceed the federal production tax credit offered in the U.S. as a subsidy to make energy competitive.


See also “Reliability Data Field Study in the Reliawind Project”.

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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