A new study from the U.K.-based Renewable Energy Foundation has determined that wear and tear takes a toll on wind turbines more quickly than the wind-energy industry has let on.
The report says that while the industry and government projections put the lifespan of wind farms at 20 to 25 years, the length of the farms’ economic viability is more in the 10- to 15-year range.
At that point, the researchers concluded, the need for replacement equipment begins to drag down profitability.
The study included about 3,000 wind turbines in the U.K. and Denmark.
If similar wear and tear is to be expected on wind farms in the U.S., their effects would be felt in Kansas, where the wind-energy sector has been gaining momentum.
And with the recent continuation of the production tax credit for the wind-energy industry, 2013 could be another busy year for it in the Sunflower State.
But if wind farms don’t last as long as they’re supposed to – as much as a decade less – one has to think the investment strategies driving wind-farm development would have to change.
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