Are Wind Turbines Cost-Effective?

  • By: Preetam
  • Date: May 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Wind energy has been a complete game-changer in the renewable energy industry! 

These expensive, high-tech machines can be cost-effective in the long run. This may be the reason wind turbines are commonly referred to as long-term investments. 

We have looked at all factors to determine if wind turbines are truly cost-effective. 

Starting with the cost of both small and commercial wind turbines, including the maintenance requirement, the lifespan of wind turbines, and If you can make a profit from wind turbines. 

Here is what you need to know about the cost-effectiveness of wind turbines.

Cost of wind turbines 

Generally, wind turbines for small farms and homes cost less in the long run, even though the per kilowatt of energy production capacity is more expensive for residential wind turbines. 

A wind turbine that can be enough to power a home will need a 10-kilowatt machine. The installation cost of this ranges from $50,000 to $80,000. 

There are taxes and other incentives that decrease the cost of wind energy schemes. 

The cost of an average-sized commercial wind turbine in 2021 ranges between $2.6 million to $4 million. 

Generally, the cost per megawatt (MW) producing capacity is $1.3 million. 

The size of the majority of commercial wind turbines is between 2 to 3 MW but can be as large as 12 MW. 

The larger the size of the turbine is, the more expensive it will be; however, the larger size of wind turbines could mean fewer wind turbines will be required. 

Factors to consider in order to work out the installation cost of commercial wind turbines includes:

  • Number of wind turbines required
  • Location of wind farm 
  • Construction costs
  • The time of wind turbine purchasing conducted 

Are wind turbines expensive to maintain?

After installing a wind turbine, this does not mean that the cost of expenses for this machine is over. 

Maintenance fees of a wind turbine will be an ongoing expense. 

Considering wind turbines are a long-term investment, this will outweigh their maintenance costs. 

A kilowatt per hour costs approximately 1 to 2 cents, this totals between $42,000 to $48,000 a year. Maintenance and operation cost of wind turbines includes: 

  • Insurance fees
  • Electricity 
  • Regular maintenance 
  • Repair costs 
  • Replacement parts 
  • Administration

Are small wind turbines cost-effective? 

Small wind turbines can be cost-effective only if you live in an area with consistent and good wind resources. 

Wind energy is much more cost-effective compared to more traditional sources of energy. 

Wind energy can be one of the best renewable energy sources for your home.

If you get a small wind turbine for your home, you will only have to pay for the cost of installation and maintenance. 

The energy generated by your small wind turbine will not be an extra cost for you.

Having renewable wind energy will mean that your home will have an uninterrupted energy supply. This is great, especially when utility shortages happen.

By switching to wind energy, your electrical bills may decrease by 50% to 80%, a huge cost saver. If you live in a remote location, you will not have to pay for the costs of extended utility power lines once you switch to wind energy. 

How long does it take for a wind turbine to pay for itself?

As we mentioned earlier, wind turbines are a long-term investment, and this is why. A wind turbine may take approximately 5 to 15 years to pay for itself. 

This is dependent on the size and capacity of the machine. 

Wind turbine owners may generate a profit within the first year of owning a wind turbine, which offers net benefits approximately five months after installation. 

This may vary depending on different wind turbines as well as the location of the wind turbine itself. 

What is the lifespan of a wind turbine?

The general lifespan of a good-quality wind turbine is approximately 20 years. The lifespan may extend up to 25 years.

For a wind turbine to function for this long, it will need consistent maintenance. 

The cost of maintenance will increase as the wind turbines get older. 

Environmental factors will also influence the lifespan of a wind turbine. 

The blades are what will be most affected by environmental factors over the years. 

This can be due to objects hitting the blades, such as birds or even lightning. 

Extending the lifespan of a wind turbine is possible, but it will need monitoring and maintenance. 

After assessing whether the operation of the wind turbine will be attainable. 

The wind turbine owner will receive a status report that will outline the maintenance requirements and the costs.

How much money do wind turbines make? 

Even though wind turbines are costly machines to buy. 

You can make a profit by making use of tax credit incentives. 

Wind turbine farm owners will receive payments from the utility companies. 

These payments will be from the consumers of their energy.

The owner of five wind turbines will approximately make an annual salary of $15,000 to $40,000, with the wind turbine’s life expectancy of 25 years and the machine to be paid for within the first five years. Wind turbine owners can expect a profit for approximately ten years. 

In conclusion

Wind turbines are a renewable source of energy that is cost-effective. 

If you are considering purchasing a small wind turbine or even looking into entering the wind energy industry. 

This may be an excellent investment for you. 

Wind turbines end up paying for themselves. 

They reduce the cost of your utility bills and can even turn a profit in a few years. 

There are important factors that will determine if the wind turbine will be cost-effective for you.