World’s Largest Wind Turbines: Is Bigger Always Better?
Today National Geographic News published a story by Victoria Markovitz on the size and relative greeness of wind turbines. In it, she summarizes a new study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Those researchers did an energy accounting of commercial-scale wind turbines in Europe, taking into account the energy they produce as well as the energy required to build, transport, maintain, and dispose of them. They found that overall, the turbines were getting more favorable in terms of energy balance as time went on, because they were producing more energy while not taking substantially more energy to produce. The researchers attributed this largely to the fact that turbine size went steadily up.
The study noted that over the