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How 'green' is wind power? - 30th March

How green is wind?

A recent study set up by Siemens has reviewed the performance of onshore and offshore wind in achieving its green credentials. The development of wind farms is complicated and energy – intensive, so how long does it take for wind farms to generate the amount of energy expended during development and disposal.

The results show that onshore wind farms pay off their ‘energy debt’ faster than their offshore counterparts. But both scored excellent results in the study.

For onshore wind farms the amortization period (time taken to produce the expended energy) is approximately 4.5 to 5.5 months, at an average wind speed of 8.5 m/s. This figure takes into account all aspects of the development including; materials, construction, production, operation, maintenance, dismantling and recycling. Offshore wind takes approximately double the time to offset their emissions taking 9.5 to 10.5 months to achieve the amortization rate.

Although wind farms are deemed to be very energy intensive to set up, they are able to offset this energy production in a matter of months, and when considering that the service life of wind turbines is around 25 years this technology can be considered to be very green.

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