Ageing wind farms are not a bad investment as wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, it was claimed this week.
Photographs of rusting, static wind turbines from some farms in the United States have in the past stoked fears they don’t have a good shelf life.
Previous studies estimated electricity output from wind turbines declines by a third after only ten years.
Imperial College Business School research found the UK’s earliest turbines built in the 1990s are still producing three-quarters of their original output after 19 years of operation.
Researchers said they should operate effectively up to 25 years while newer turbines appeared to be faring even better.
Professor Richard Green, co-author and Head of the Department of Management at Imperial College Business School said: “There have been concerns about the costs of maintaining ageing wind farms and whether they are worth investing in. This study gives a ‘thumbs up’ to the technology and shows that renewable energy is an asset for the long term.”
The analysis covered the UK fleet of wind turbines, using local wind speed data from NASA.