Global Wind Turbine Shortage
According to the Guardian, there is a world shortage of wind turbines, which the paper is “blaming” on George Bush giving tax credits to stimulate the US wind industry. You will rarely hear me defend the current US Pres, but this must be one of those times. The shortage is pushing up prices (and threatening the viability of projects in the UK), but this can only be a good thing in the medium-long term as demand will increase supply – although there are worries that the tax credit scheme might not last for long.
Wind is currently the most cost effective form of renewable electricity generation, but will always be controversial due to the visual impact of turbines. There has been much debate over the years about their output and the length of time they take to generate more power than they consumed during their construction. Estimates for the latter range from 3 months to never. For a comparison a modern gas fired power station will take 7 years make up for their embedded energy. The problem for the wind industry is that output is highly dependent on location and weather, which doesn’t affect fossil fuel plants.
The energy market is so political that it is hard to determine who is telling the truth on these figures – you tend to find that research tends to back the interests of those who commissioned it.