In relatively windy Germany many people think wind turbines are a reliable investment. After all, especially near the North and Baltic seas, the wind blows almost all the time, and surely wind energy is competitive, even when generated onshore.
But that’s proving to be a total myth, so reports Germany’s leftist-greenie daily, TAZ.
According to the TAZ, wind energy investors were misled by exaggerated projections from the wind industry. Many wind parks in Germany are now struggling to break even. The TAZ writes:
Many years wind energy has been considerably exaggerated. Hardly a wind park has produced the earnings that had been promised to private investors. […]. This the result that accountant Werner Daldorf of Kassel has come with after evaluating more than 1150 year-end financial statements from the year 2000 to 2011 coming from 175 wind parks. All the wind parks that were examined were installed before 2006.”
The TAZ adds that the wind parks reached only 86% of their projected turnover. The TAZ quotes Daldorf:
About half of all onshore wind parks are running so poorly that the investors can be happy to get back their limited partnership capital in 20 years.“
That’s a long time. Sounds like it’s much safer to put your money in CDs (certificates of deposits) at your local savings bank. The TAZ continues:
37 percent of the year-end financial statements even showed a negative cash-flow – the repayment of the loan was higher than what the wind park brought in.”
I know the problem with my home solar system. Even with the high rates the power company is forced to pay me, I’m just barely breaking even. As I wrote earlier here, I’ll be happy to see my money back in 12+ years. And after that I’ll probably make enough money to pay for the disposal costs at the end of the system’s lifetime (20 years).
Meteorological wind models were inflated
The TAZ writes that the disappointing results are mostly due to the “over-estimation of wind income potential“. Wind models exaggerated wind projections. The TAZ adds:
In the earlier times a wind index – as would be evident later– was anticipated that was noticeably higher than the actually observed meteorological conditions.”
Sound familiar? In fact the entire green industry was spurred on by an anticipated temperature index – as would be shown later– that was noticeably higher than the actually observed meteorological conditions.
Has the wind-power promotion industry corrected their models? The TAZ has the answer:
The so-called BDB, or also the Keiler-Häuser Index, on which the wind experts rely on, were corrected downwards multiple times, the last time in December 2011. ‘In the view of the BWE German Wind Energy Association expert, it is now correct,’ says association spokesman Matthias Hochstätter.”
Gee, I’m sure all the people who invested years ago all feel a whole lot better about that now.
Note that all this disappointment is happening in Germany, a country that gets a rather healthy dose of wind. So when you look at wind parks being installed onshore in other dubious places, like my home state of Vermont, or Ontario, Canada, or wherever, many such places rarely see strong winds – often seeing days or even weeks of doldrums – and thus we can expect they will have even far greater trouble getting a return on their investments.
My prediction? In 20 years we should expect to see a landscape blighted by rusty, old, broken-down wind towers. All monuments commemorating a period environmental madness that had emanated from Al Gore’s brain and swept across the world like a global pandemic.