Wind Turbines Essay

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    According to the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company, “ hydropower is produced for an average of 0.85 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). This is about 50% the cost of nuclear, 40% the cost of fossil fuel, and 25% the cost of using natural gas,”. If one takes in to consideration that the Hoover Dam produces averagely 4.2 billion kilowatt hours, it acquires a lot of money. More than that though, although it is pricey to construct a hydropower plant, it pays…

    • 1021 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For years people have been subjected to the idea that normal lighting or an incandescent light bulb. They have used them for so long that they do not want to switch over to the light emitting diode(LED) because the LED has a bigger initial cost. LED’s in the long term, save more money than the normal light bulb. Normal incandescent light bulbs use 60 watts of energy while the LED only uses six to eight. That is over seven times more efficient than the normal light bulb.…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Solar Energy Case Study

    • 2127 Words
    • 9 Pages

    The price of furnace oil fluctuates. At 0.85US$/l, the cost of 100% of the daily consumption of furnace oil for Kombolcha textile factory is approximately US$ 9,500 resulting in a 47% saving on fuel cost. Revenue from CDM: Taking the Kombolcha case as an example, 100% fuel oil replacement would represent 47t of biomass fuel per day. Assuming the average cost of biomass briquettes to be 108US$/t, the total year biomass fuels cost would, therefore, be approximately US$ 5,030. The price of furnace oil fluctuates.…

    • 2127 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What Is Overconsumption?

    • 1239 Words
    • 5 Pages

    “People in rich countries consume up to 10 times more natural resources than those in the poorest countries. Humans today extract and use around 50% more natural resources than only 30 years ago, at about 60 billion tonnes of raw materials a year. Resource extraction is very unevenly distributed across the world. How many natural resources are extracted on a continent depends on several factors: the size of the continent, the availability of resources, the size of the population as well as the level of affluence. An average North American consumes around 90 kg per day.” (Overconsumption?…

    • 1239 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the US roughly 10 percent of the electrical needs are generated from renewable energy, compared to Germany 's 74 percent this is hardly anything! “Wind power reached record output levels last year producing a massive 25.2 GW (Gigawatts) and accounting for 39 percent of the electricity supply on a single day in December (Kroh). Learning from Germanys energy plan could greatly impact the US by increasing the percentage of power coming from renewable resources and therefore decreasing emissions. Many other countries in Europe such as Italy, which produced 40% of its energy from renewable energy its 2013, have been leaders across the globe in renewable energy pushes and have also been the center for new technological development as well in the field. Other countries have only recently begun to adopt renewable energy practices, such as japans renewable energy program which launched in 2011.…

    • 1171 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Wind Energy Advantages

    • 1278 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In some countries, although turbines make the wind power be uninterrupted, the energy consumption keeps increasing during the whole wind energy exchange process. As Udo (2013) points out, almost 10% of the total energy generated in 20 years by a wind turbine is spent on the building and operation of the machine itself in the Europe. It means maintaining wind power working will cost some energy consumption. However, this energy consumption will be higher because of the flexibility of grids. Grids are the system for every country to transport electricity through different areas.…

    • 1278 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    That is enough to power nearly a quarter million U.S. households annually. Now not all of that energy is able to be exploited: much of it is lost to other commercial interests and environmental concerns within the area. What can be harnessed, though, falls just short of ⅓ of the entire sum of energy used by the 318.9 million people living…

    • 1196 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The home in this situation was built in the 1990’s in Bellaire, Texas (Hope). This house was almost twice as big as the house from the previous analysis. It cost a total of $73,600 to install a Tesla Solar Roof composed of half solar tiles and half non-solar tiles (Hope). As the home was located in Texas, and therefore likely to have the air conditioning running most of the year, the home was given two Powerwall batteries, amounting to a cost of $12,500 (Hope). This house would not be able to make the money back in the allotted thirty year period.…

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Adams pointed out that finding solutions to these issues would substantially increase the value and effectiveness of wind energy (Crawford). According to Adams, there are is an insufficient number of locations on the power grid to connect wind turbines, and the longer distance that the harnessed energy has to travel, the more energy that is simply lost in transmission. The Department of Energy estimates that this unutilized electricity results in an annual cost of roughly $25 billion at the expense of consumers (Purdue Engineering Impact Magazine). The U.S. power grids were designed over a century ago, and the outdated technology and reach of the electric grid needs to be improved for the success of wind energy technologies. Maryam Saeedifard, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has taken a closer look at the electricity lost in transmission.…

    • 1061 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Wind Turbines

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The shaft is connected to a generator in which makes the electricity. (How Do Wind Turbines Work?) The turbines are connected to transmission grids in order to carry the electricity generated to the areas needed. (Block) Wind turbines come in multiple sizes that range from big commercial sizes to residential sizes. There are two different types of commercial wind turbines, vertical-axis and horizontal-axis.…

    • 948 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays