“At the rate the WT6500 [off-grid wind turbine] is delivering power at our test site, it would take several millennia for the product to pay for itself in savings—not the 56 years it would take even with the 1,155 kWh quote we received.” – ConsumerReports.com
Is there a role for new renewables, specifically wind and solar PV in our electricity generation portfolio? And if not at the industrial-scale, grid-feeding level, what about at the micro-turbine level for local electricity use? This Consumer Reports (CR) study answers just this question.
Before examining the verdict, CR’s claim that wind power is the fastest growing source of new electric power deserves a critical comment. “Fast growing” from a small base too often is hype over substance.
Take the example of the lemonade stand of a little girl on our street, Suzie, just this summer. She sold one glass the first day, four the second, and 15 on the third. I’ll bet she is the fastest growing soft- beverage maker on the planet, but the big soft drink industry is not much concerned. I know this is a very simple comparison, but the lesson should be clear.
As far as having stand-alone wind turbines to meet energy needs is concerned, and basically this is what we are talking about here, is there a role? Well yes and no. It sort of depends.