Bad News for Wind Energy!

It’s generally been  recognized that using wind to generate electricity is inefficient, costly, and unreliable.

Now the news is getting out that it’s even worse than previously thought.

The report, The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark, issued by the Renewable Energy Foundation in London, established that capacity factors for on-shore wind farms decline from 24% in the first year of operation to 15% in year ten, and 11% in year 15.

These results are amazing, in that the literature usually indicates a consistent capacity factor of 30%, which is what financial projections are typically based on.

The report holds even worse news for off-shore wind farms.

In Denmark, output declined from 40% in the first year of operation to less than 15% in year 10.

Wind Turbines off-shore Copenhagen, Denmark. Picture by D. Dears


Another source indicates that capacity factors decline by 1 to 2% annually.

A report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said that because developers received grants, rather than tax credits for the amount of electricity produced, they built wind farms where wind conditions were less favorable.

Now a new report by Amanda S. Adams from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and David W. Keith from Harvard University, published in the journal “Environmental Research Letters”, indicates that the capacity of wind farms is overstated.

The report concludes that the shadowing effect of wind turbines on each other in a wind farm reduces the effective wind speed for turbines shadowed by other turbines.

The report suggests that wind power production is 25% to 50% of what has been previously assumed for wind farms of over 100 square kilometers. This is a huge reduction in what has been estimated for the potential electricity production from wind energy.

Smaller wind farms were also affected by the shadow effect.

One conclusion resulting from the decline in electricity production by wind farms came from a study done by Edinburgh University. Its study concluded it would be uneconomic to run wind turbines for more than 12 to 15 years, which is far less than the predicted life span of 20 to 25 years.

All of these studies bode ill for wind energy and the taxpayer dollars used to support their construction.


Read more of Donn’s columns at his blog, Power For USA.


  1. That is good news if it stops giving them our tax dollars so they become rich and want even more.

  2. There is a definite reason why private investors will not touch wind energy and the federal government must subsidize it. What is difficult to understand is that there are still idiots in state and local governments pushing this untenable technology.

  3. This while energy companies continue to expand wind production capacities financed by we the people that are clueless of real information, and our politicians continue to do what "feels good", to them and disregard the science or anyone that speaks out about the enormous waste to taxpayers.

  4. Junk Bin says:

    wind energy is an agenda not a power Source. It soak up valuable tax dollars are political gifts for political gifts. It is a scam on the public.
    Simple logic dictates that the wind turbine cannot run at 100 % 7/24. wind speed goes up, wind speed goes down, and wind speed stops. the only thing that never goes to zero is the rape of the taxpayer
    The ecotards cannot even agree on wind power and the rich liberals are for it except for the NIMBY clause

  5. SamandJoeysGrama says:

    While using alternate energy might be an attractive idea to many, people need to realize this is using our tax dollars to create Big Wind with all the same attitudes and control issues as Big Oil. You will still be required to hook into the grid and pay (often through the nose) for electricity that is inefficiently created. Wonder what the outcome would have been if all that money had been dedicated to individual small generators so you could invest once and then own it, putting you off the grid and in control of your own future.
    Just like the solar panel companies, the money was given to regime "buddies" who frequently were pushing outdated technology. Let us keep our tax dollars and experiment on our own. Socialism doesn't work.

  6. Frank D. Harrisson says:

    Wind Farms devastate migratory birds particularly during the fall and spring seasons. It is absolutely appauling to read about the thousands of dead geese found in the windmill fields. To think that I was restricted to two birds per day when hunting. I guess that the Green Energy folks trump the Wildlife Federation and Game Commissions.

  7. RustyBones says:

    It is another incontestable example of governmental greed and deliberate ignorance. They have access to infinite technology, engineers and scientists. Yet, they chose to ignore or distort expert recommendations and realities to forward their corrupted agendas. Governments worldwide have been through this renewable energy deception long before the U.S.A. jumped into the hyped energy cesspool. But, with every country that has tried, and failed, there are politicians, millionaires and billionaires at the top, like Al Gore, that get filthy rich on taxpayer dollars. There isn't any respect for hard-working taxpayers or taxpayer dollars anymore. We work our butts off so the idiots at the top can pluck the fruits from the trees until the trees inevitably die. It has been getting worse for decades but our poster-child President has strategically dragged the cart up the hill and is just a fraction away from pushing it over the crest…..and… it is all downward from here…in a bad way.

  8. Mitch A says:

    Let's summarize, the ecofreaks and climate geniuses want us to believe that they are smart enough to understand what drives climate change (man) but aren't smart enough to know that a structure will block the wind from the next downwind structure. Huh? Is this is what comes from never living anywhere other than in a city where there are structures everywhere?

  9. Portercase says:

    The results shown seem typical for Government Special Interest driven projects. All are knee jerk reactions to claims by splinter factions. They have no concept nor desire to research beyond current history. Geologic history via Ice Cores, Sea Bed Cores, and other geologic evidence go back millions of years and show that historically there are wide swings of modulating temperatures and air gas mixes and show that we are within those ranges. They say that life has restarted itself on earth over 20 times. Humans are a grain of sand in the hour glass of time. At some future time we will be replaced.

    The sun, meteorites, volcanoes, earth quakes, etc. have more powerful effects on earth's atmosphere than mankind could ever cause. Greed and ego appear to be man's strongest driving forces not carbon which is the basis of all life. CO2 is absorbed by plants and give off O2……'s a natural life cycle. Duh.

  10. I have discovered that excess EMF (electromagnetic fields) are more than likely affecting the earths atmosphere that any type of air pollution. The electronic age is totally out of control with no restrictions or monitoring of what the effect that the radiation is doing our bodies and our earth!

  11. iloatheovomit says:

    The government and especially the idiot in the white house are totally ignorant. The al gore scenario is another contrived debacle of science. I do believe that he or ovomit could lose a game of checkers to an Amoeba. Those of you that do not know much about an Amoeba, look it up. It does not have a brain!

  12. Please don't let Obama and his partners in crime read that report about how wind energy is a disaster or he will double down and increase the spread of the monstrosity windmills and increase the subsidies with our tax dollars. A disastrous alternative energy program is their specialty, or anything else to waste money and damage the economy to keep we peasants dependent on their whims.

  13. When the companies that are installing these whirly gigs, no longer get OUR tax money they abandon them. When that happens they are supposed to remove them and remove the concrete so many feet below the surface of the land. This is the next biggest fraud by crooks to rip the tax payers off. The first biggest fraud is sitting in the W. H. pretending to be president of the United States. When the real case is he is trying to destroy America. In the last election there was too much fraud and to many on the welfare gravey train that put him in the white house because of all the free things, Like the huge growth in food stamps.

  14. Instead you should read the official statistics published in Denmark. All data is publically available on-line. You get an entirely different view of the effectivity, actual production change over the years, lifetime of the windmills etc. Denmark is doing very, very well in their energy policy! Makes me believe that this article is written by some lobbyists.

  15. Florida Jim says:

    President Obama has praised the wind and solar efforts of Spain and Denmark both of whom have dropped the wind and solar wasted efforts . It is time the media tell the truth the only reason for green energy is to rid America of the dreaded gas and oil but green energy has only been saved by massive tax benefits and payoffs to the Obama campaign contributors like Solyndra,, Bright Source and 100 others…it is a scam recognized worldwide but only continued in America to waste, our tax dollars while China, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Saudi Arabia and 100 others use their oil and gas to remain wealthy while America with more oil and gas than anyone suffers because of OBAMA, and no other reason!

  16. Neen to set up a wind farm around the capital, lot of hot air there, they would be able to gen 24/7. hope the lies would not damage the blades.

  17. If they put a wind farm right outside Washington they could power the whole country for 10 years.

  18. Many countries are following the common core standards of education and many countries are just stay with their stupid traditional learning. They didn’t change the way of teaching in their schools.


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