Tech

This wind turbine will pay for itself in 452 years, generates $8 a month

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Government bureaucrats have just been given a sobering reminder that you can’t place a wind turbine just anywhere. Welsh officials have been chastised for building a wind turbine in a calm area that will only generate about $8 of electricity per month — a 452-year payback period.

The Welsh government claims that the turbine is generating a low return because of mechanical problems, reports the Daily Express, but the company that built it says it’s the poor location that’s causing the turbine to underperform.

“The problem is quite simple — it’s been put in the wrong place,” said Paul Burrell, a wind turbine expert. “It’s very important with any wind turbine to ensure it’s in the most exposed location possible. They need unobstructed access to wind from all directions.

“Unfortunately the Welsh Government’s one is located in a valley two miles from the sea and has quite a short tower,” he added.

The wind turbine was built near the headquarters of the Labour Party-controlled Welsh government in 2009, but it’s performance was not monitored until a year ago. The turbine has only generated 33 kilowatts of power per month in that year, meaning it only generates about $8 worth of electricity per month.

Even if the turbine is repaired, it will still not run at full capacity and won’t generate much more electricity.

“If this project had been started when Elizabeth I was on the throne, it would only be reaching break-even point now, sixty years into the reign of Elizabeth II,” said Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. “It would seem that the turbine’s installation was nothing more than an obscenely expensive vanity project, with unwitting taxpayers footing the bill.

The company that installed the turbine, Quiet Revolution, said that it was skeptical of the location where the government wanted to build the wind turbine.

The Welsh Labour government says that the turbine is part of their strategy to curb carbon dioxide emissions and fight global warming.

“We have an ambitious carbon management strategy for the whole of our estate which includes a wide range of activities aimed at reducing CO2 emissions,” said a Welsh government spokesperson.

“Regardless of the mechanical problems experienced so far, this turbine will never achieve value for taxpayers’ money and whoever took the decision to install it should be held to account for approving such egregious waste,” Isaby said.

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