Onshore Wind

Scottish Renewables responds to REF report on wind farm economic lifespan

19 December 2012

Scottish Renewables responds to a Renewable Energy Foundation report written by Prof Gordon Hughes, University of Edinburgh, on the economic lifespan of onshore wind farms.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables, said: 

“Our oldest commercial wind farms in Scotland are around 16 years old and none of them have been decommissioned or repowered.

“Technology is advancing all the time and wind farms are no different. Everyone who drives a car understands parts will need to be replaced and there will also come a time when you want to trade in for a better, more suitable model. It’s not much different for wind farm operators. It makes simple economic sense to replace older machines with new, more efficient ones that produce more power from the same site.

“Let’s also remember that Gordon Hughes’ previous research on wind energy has been described by the UK Energy Research Council’s Dr Robert Gross and others at Imperial College, London as “economically irrational, a nonsense scenario” and “economically absurd, spurious and misleading”.