America’s 72,000 Wind Turbines Don’t Always Work

There are over 72,000 wind turbines in America, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The studies made by the USGS are extraordinary. They show each turbine within 10 meters of its location due to complex imaging systems. Wind turbines are meant to be part of the US green energy initiative, but the wind turbine business is in trouble.

According to Reuters

A perfect storm of supply chain delays, design flaws and higher costs in the offshore wind industry has put dozens of projects at risk of not being delivered in time for countries to meet climate goals, industry executives, investors and analysts said.

Getting green with new technologies is often more difficult than is forecast. Not only is the turbine business less financially successful than hoped, but failures of the turbines have given the fossil fuel sector a financial reprieve. Even as they shrink, companies that rely on gas, coal, and oil get to hold their market share a little longer. 

The cost of wind turbines is high and has been estimated at as much as $4 million to build one. Maintenance costs per year can be as much as $45,000 a year. And many are not reliable sources of energy due to several challenges. Birds, lightning, blade detachment, and corrosion are among them. Evgenia Golysheva, vice president of strategy and marketing at ONYX Insight told CNBC, “We have been aware for some time that turbine failure rates across the industry can — and should — be more widely understood.”

The offshore part of the wind turbine industry has challenges of its own. According to the FT, “rising interest rates, along with higher prices for many of the materials…” have made making profits challenging. This is a problem around the world, and not just in America.

Estimates of broken turbines are rarely if ever, considered when the cost estimates of wind power are published. However, due to the multitude of challenges, they should be.

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