Broken Wind Turbines

I fear that in a few years, when the reality (as opposed to the idealism) of wind turbines sets in, the Great Plains will be littered with broken down, rusting wind turbines.

This is already the reality in California as documented by my friend Anthony Watts.


  1. It's called maintenance.
    It's fairly common in the energy industry.

  2. interesting... pictures of abandoned oil derricks on spent oil wells come to mind ;)

    I like the notion of wind power helping communities and farmers.
    here's a nice video highlighting that a bit, without resorting to political bs > science.

  3. Wow, wind power hatred is so tired. They're only getting bigger, better, and further offshore. Maybe some of the really early turbines built in Cali when wind power was just budding will go offline, but they're being replaced with the newer models offered by GE, Siemens, & Vestas. And it's California for god's sake, those turbines will most likely get recycled, haha!

  4. Yes, I have to agree with "Windy." Those broken down turbines are very old models, they were built before engineers had made big breakthroughs in wind turbine efficiency. (Although those old models were instrumental in testing the technology and advancing it to where it is today.) These new models can generate over a MW per turbine, so don't expect the owners/utilities to just let them fall into disarray anytime soon. That's valuable clean energy right there!

  5. Thanks for the comments.

    That said, I see EXACTLY the same thing with the brand new wind farms in Kansas. At any given time 10-20% of the turbines are not turning and this is true of all four of the wind farms I observe.

    "I like the notion of wind power helping communities and farmers," I agree that it is a nice notion, but I believe it will end badly.

    The four of you have inspired me to do a post about the economics of wind power, which I will have up after midnight. I believe it will open your eyes about this issue.

    Again, I welcome differing views and thank you for posting.

  6. Yes, even the newer wind turbines don't turn when the wind isn't blowing, go figure. But that's common for turbines to operate at certain percentages of time. It doesn't mean they are being neglected or are in disrepair.

    Inconsistencies are a concern when harnessing intermittent energy sources, because obviously sometimes the wind doesn't blow and the sun goes down at night. This issue has created a new race to develop the first large scale, grid-enabled battery, whether it's molten salt, lithium-ion, sodium-sulfur, compressed air, or whatever our scientists and engineers can come up with. There's a lot of innovative ideas emerging in the greentech industry right now. I find that very exciting.


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