Sunday, 9 December 2018


Decommissioning (removing) wind turbines is enormously difficult and hugely expensive. Natural gas plants have 30-40 year lifetimes; nuclear plants can operate for 60 years or more. Wind turbines last 15-20 years, and often far less for offshore leviathans. Off Virginia, salt corrosion is compounded by 50-80 foot storm waves and category 1-3 hurricanes.
Maintenance and removal require huge derrick barges and can be done only during near-perfect weather, with minimal wave height. Actual removal costs depend on the size and type of project, distance from shore, whether monopolies and electrical cables must be fully removed, and whether the seabed must be returned to its original condition.
The cost of removing any industrial-scale “wind farm” could run into the billions, and could double the cost of wind power.
Oil, mining, logging, construction and other projects are typically required to post sizable bonds, before they are permitted to operate. Wind turbine projects are generally exempt. That means billion-dollar decommissioning costs will likely bring corporate insolvency - and state taxpayers and ratepayers will get stuck with the bills.
Demolition has begun for one of Europe’s earliest offshore wind projects, off Denmark. The blades, nacelle and tower must be dismantled and individually removed by big mobile cranes on enormous barges. The concrete foundations must be dismantled on-site by hydraulic demolition shears, then hauled ashore.
By 2023 more than 10,000 of Germany’s 28,000 wind turbines must be decommissioned. Their concrete and rebar bases can be 100 feet in the ground. Rotor blades are fiberglass, carbon fibers and petroleum resins; burning them releases dust and toxic gases, and thus is prohibited. Nor can they be recycled. The same facts apply to U.S. turbines.
Imagine putting 115-foot turbine blades in landfills - or 245-foot blades from the new monster turbines. One study estimates that it will cost $565,000 per megawatt to decommission Europe’s offshore turbines - or about $3.4 million for each new generation 6-MW turbine.
From an economic, environmental or energy perspective, this is simply unsustainable. And it’s all being justified by climate change hyperbole and hysteria. 


Anonymous said...

"From an economic, environmental or energy perspective, this is simply unsustainable. And it’s all being justified by climate change hyperbole and hysteria. "

And it's being justified in the name of "sustainability."

Here's an interesting study of the "true cost" of wind power.

I could nowhere find the costs of decommissioning in that study, but did find this in the conclusions.
"When weighing the costs and benefits of wind power, not including all of the hidden costs makes wind power appear to be a more attractive option than it actually is. Energy policy decisions, however, should be based on a more complete estimate of the cost of wind energy. " And, since before concluding that wind is about 48% more costly than estimated without consideration of decommissioning, I see no justification for those monsters at all.

A good video by the same fellow.

Derek Tipp said...

Thank you for a very interesting comment.