A real-world test performed by the Dutch province of Zeeland (a very windy place) confirms that small windmills are a fundamentally flawed technology. Twelve wind turbines were placed in a row on an open plain. Their energy yield was measured over a period of one year (April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009). The average wind velocity during these 12 months was 3.8 meters per second (slightly higher than average). Three windmills broke.
The others produced some energy. But at outrageous costs compared with traditional methods of power production.
Financial payback time is much longer than their life expectancy and in urban areas they will not even deliver as much energy as was needed to produce them.
I’m sure larger wind turbines have the same fundamental flaws – high cost, high breakdown rates, energy used to produce, install and maintain them is out of proportion to the energy they produce, and other methods of energy production need to built anyway, because wind power cannot be relied on for consistent supply.
Via Small Dead Animals.