The Wind Industry: Grinding to an Early Halt


DSCN0644 Suzlon S88 Gearbox adopts ‘early retirement’ plan at Jamestown, SA.


Among the grab bag of lies pedalled by wind power outfits, and especially fan makers, is that these things will run on the smell of an oily rag, without the need of so much as a shifting spanner, for more than 25 years.

The pitch is made to beguile the gullible (read, ‘planning authorities’, ‘politicians’, ‘bankers’ and ‘investors’) into believing that the costs associated with operating these things, can be readily covered out of petty cash – which fits with the other great line about there being nothing as ‘free’ as the wind.

Mechanical wear and tear, including bearing failure is one of the most common reasons for turbines to be put out of action; and is one of the key factors that accounts for the fact that the ‘economic’ life of wind turbines is 10-12 years, which runs…

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