Why are wind turbines so ridiculously expensive?
Posted by David Hunt on 18 December 2012 at 3:22 pm
Q: For £5,995+VAT (advert NFU Farmer & Grower page 69 July 2012) I can buy a 34kW diesel generator (four cylinder Cummins diesel engine, Stamford alternator, diesel tank, radiator, frame, controls etc) whereas a 6kW wind turbine costs >£20k. Why are wind turbines so expensive - the mast? - the blades? Surely a 6kW alternator is cheaper than a 34kW alternator? I await your advice with interest. Thank you.
A: You won't get a 6kw Turbine installed for £20k, it will be closer to £30k!
This is a question to throw at a manufacturer really. The £20k or more of the installation is material cost, (plus another chunk for groundworks/civils).
Diesel turbines are an established and high volume piece of kit. Wind turbines are a newer technology with lower volumes built and much R&D cost. But I agree the material costs are high!!
Having said that a Cummins Diesel generator won't pay you feed-in tariffs for 20 years.
About the author: David Hunt was Head of Commercial for Renewable Solutions UK Ltd. He no longer works in the renewable energy sector.
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