Karl R. Haapala and Preedanood Prempreeda are two US researchers who conducted an environmental lifecycle assessment on wind turbines from the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, at Oregon State University. The results? They determined the energy payback of a wind turbine takes place within a year of operation.
Many naysayers of the wind energy industry say that the energy required to manufacture and install a wind turbine negates any of the benefits of operation and electricity generation. Study after study, including this new one, are proving the theory wrong.
A life cycle assessment typically includes a look at the net environmental impact from:
- Raw materials
- Maintenance; and
- Recycling after disposal.
The two major environmental impacts found by this most recent research were from materials production and manufacturing. However, these impacts were paid back within 6 months of operation, with the worst case scenario taking less than a year.
Do you think this will quiet the anti-wind lobbyists who keep trying to claim that wind turbines add to the carbon emissions problem? Leave a comment down below!