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Wind farms could have life spans of just ten years

Published: 8 Jan 2013 09:300 comments

A REPORT published by the Renewable Energy Foundation has revealed that the economic life spans of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years, and not the 20 to 25 years predicted by the renewable energy industry.

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A REPORT published by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) has revealed that the economic life spans of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years, and not the 20 to 25 years predicted by the renewable energy industry. The research was conducted by a leading professor at the University of Edinburgh and looked at wind farm performance in the UK and Denmark.

It suggests that after ten years turbines can lose a third of their generating capacity due to wear and tear, making them no longer economically viable.

John Lamont MSP said: "This report makes worrying predictions about the future of wind farms in the UK. That their life span could be as short as just ten years before they are no longer economically viable is concerning, and could mean that we are left with hundreds of useless turbines in the Borders.

"Many local residents will not only be concerned at the number of wind farms cropping up in the Borders, but also that in a few years they could be rendered obsolete. We only need to look across to the large wind farms in California where there are thousands of rotting turbines that are no longer any use, to see the dangers.

"This report shouldn't come as a surprise to the Scottish Government however. The high rates of wear on wind farms have been known for a long time and it calls into question the SNP's determined pursuit to site as many wind farms as possible.

John Lamont continued: "With a life span of just ten years the Scottish Government must surely reconsider the place of wind farms in our energy provision. There are already serious questions over their cost, efficiency and placement, and the SNP must finally see sense and stop their obsession with wind energy over other forms of renewable energy."

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