Wind Turbines Essay

949 Words 4 Pages
With so much emphasis on investing into alternative energies, it’s worth taking a look at the financial feasibility of them. Can wind energy compete with oil in terms of profit? How much electricity do wind turbines produce and how much do they cost to produce it? How do wind turbines work? Electricity from wind turbines is produced when wind turbine blades are pushed by the wind. The moving blades are connected to a generator and when moved, the generator creates electricity. The electricity is transferred across power lines and distributed to homes. If there is not enough wind to supply the needed electrical power, a backup power plant provides the remaining necessary electricity. The average cost for industrial wind turbines is estimated …show more content…
An industrial turbine can generally produce between 700kWh and 1.65 megawatt hours, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day assuming that they were running at full capacity (which they aren’t, it depends on how much wind they receive and the amount of wind varies depending on location). But to give a number to think about, if a household were consuming one megawatt of electricity at a rate of $0.15/kWh, then it would be spending $150 per hour. Now let’s compa re the cost of wind turbines to the cost of electricity generation from oil. How much does it cost to get a megawatt of electricity out of oil? This question is surprisingly difficult to answer. First of all, there are a large number of steps involved in order to extract oil out of the ground. To list a few, there are the researching costs for choosing oil wells to drill, the machinery to dig, the refining process, the transportation costs, the costs of transforming the oil into electricity and the distribution of electricity to your house. All of these steps have various costs that could change for any number of reasons. So for simplicity (at the risk of oversimplifying), we’ll assume the cost of production is summed up …show more content…
The price of a barrel of oil fluctuates constantly, but at the time of writing the price tag for a barrel of oil is $70. A barrel of oil produces approximately 1,700 kilowatt hours of energy. If we think back to the cost of wind earlier, we can get between 700 kilowatts and 1.65 megawatts per hour at the cost of approximately $149 an hour. In other words, generating electricity from oil is roughly half the cost of operating a wind turbine There are a number of other reasons why wind turbines are lagging far behind oil production costs. First the installation of wind turbines is no easy feat. The cost of $149 per kilowatt hour is an average cost over the 20-30-year lifespan of the wind turbine. The amount includes the total operating cost of wind turbines and dividing it up into an hourly consumption. The cost of the mechanical parts running a wind turbine per hour is $48 to

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