A recent report based on wind farm performance data in the United Kingdom and Denmark stated that the economic life of onshore wind turbines could be much shorter than the industry has predicted.
The Courier reported the study, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Foundation, showed that outputs from wind turbines declines substantially as they get older. By the time the turbines are 10 years old, the amount of wind energy they are able to provide falls by a third, according to the report. Researchers said, based on the findings, it could be "uneconomic" to operate wind farms for more than 12 to 15 years. The industry has previously said wind farms should be able to operate effectively for 20 to 25 years.
The Daily Mail reported that the study included about 3,000 wind turbines. The predicted lifespan of the machines have been used by the government to calculate subsidies. The British government has planned to increase the number of turbines from the current 3,783 to 10,000 over the next 10 years.