E&E news: Wind turbines generate prompt energy payback – study

The energy required to build a new commercial-scale wind turbine amounts to only a small amount of what the turbine will produce over a projected 20-year life span, according to a new life-cycle analysis of wind turbines performed by Oregon State University researchers.

The environmental analysis, published in the International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing, concludes that a 2-megawatt turbine built for a typical Pacific Northwest wind farm will pay back the energy used in its manufacture and installation within five to eight months of coming into service.

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