Understanding Wind Turbine Cost

How much does a wind turbine cost? How to chose residential wind turbine correctly? Buying a wind turbine is not just your bid to protect the environment, it is also a considerable investment. First step is to learn from your state or national environment authority or similar agency accurate average annual (yearly) wind speed for your property. Looking at the table below you will see that each average yearly wind speed has a corresponding diagram of wind speeds: taking for example the world's most common wind speed of 6 meters per second we will find that number is made from a sub-set of different wind speeds lasting different total amount of time over the year. 3 m/s wind speed would be maintained for 963 hours, wind speed of 4 m/s would last 1097 hours, while wind speed of 16 m/second would add up to only 26 hours. See below rows 1 and 3:

The next step is to know productivity of your turbine at various wind speeds (see row 2 of the table above), and then calculate amount of electricity your chosen wind turbine can supply at each of the given wind speeds, as shown in row 4 of the table. Now we can calculate that a total production of ANew-S1 wind turbine over a period of a year at average wind speed of 6 m/s would equal ~45,317 kWh.

The true cost of wind turbine depends on the current cost of electricity in the country where a wind turbine is placed. We believe best way to consider a long terms cost of a wind turbine is to count the number of years it takes for the turbine to pay for itself and start generating profit by feeding excess energy into the grid. Let's consider the example of an ANew-S1 wind turbine placed in EU, USA or Australia:

Knowing that an average cost of 1kWh in EU for 2012 was 0.194 euro, or 0.258 $US, we can calculate that in one calendar year ANew-S1 turbine placed in an average EU country can generate 11`692 $US worth of electricity (45`317 kWh × 0.258 $).

It is also known that an average price of 1kWh of in USA in 2012 (average over 52 states) was 0.1245 $US. In one calendar year an average ANew-S1 located in USA state can generate 5`642 $US worth of electricity (45`317 kWh × 0.1245 $). And in Australia in 2012 average cost of electricity for 1 kWh was 0.18 A$ or 0.19 $US. In one calendar year an average ANew-S1 located in Australia can generate 8`610 $US worth of electricity (45`317 kWh × 0.19 $). Taking starting ANew-S1 wind turbine price of 97`000 $US, we can estimate that in EU our wind turbine will pay for itself in ~8.3 years, in USA in ~17.2 years, and in Australia in ~11.25 years.

It is worth noting that calculations above do not include inflation or potential rises in electricity prices. Over the long term, both of these factors could work in favor of wind turbine investment, as both inflation and increases in prices of oil or gas will bring forward the date when a wind turbine pays for itself and starts generating "electricity profit".