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Study questions the life span of wind turbines

A study by the Renewable Energy Foundation published in December 2012 questioned the economic life of wind turbines. The study was carried out by Professor Gordon Hughes, a University of Edinburgh economist. The study, based on British and Danish wind farms, found that a wind turbine’s economic life is closer to 10 to 15 years rather than 20 to 25 years.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) did not agree with the conclusion of the study. DECC commented “Our expectations of wind turbine lifetimes are based on rigorous analysis and evidence. Britain’s oldest commercial turbines at Delabole in Cornwall have only recently been replaced after 20 years of operation, and the technology has come on in leaps and bounds since that project started generating in 1991.”

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) also agreed with DECC. They pointed out that it is a well known fact that technology has improved over the years, and that older wind farms built 20 years ago would have less advanced technology when compared to the wind turbines currently being deployed.