Establishing wind power as a major source of electricity can be costly and can have many disadvantages; however, there are many important advantages that can come from wind power as well.
Buying and installing a wind turbine is expensive. The cost to install a small “household-single turbine” can be up to thirteen thousand, five hundred dollars! One popular home wind turbine is the Skystream. With this turbine, home owners would need to make thirty-five cents to forty cents per kilowatt-hour in order to make the amount of money it cost to purchase this turbine within the first ten years of owning the turbine that is estimated to last for roughly twenty years. The smaller the turbine, the more it will cost. Small turbines can cost between five thousand to fifteen thousand dollars whereas a larger turbine will cost between one thousand, five hundred dollars to about two thousand dollars, and a commercial turbine will only cost about five hundred to seven hundred dollars. This is because small turbines are more likely to break and do not generate as much electricity as larger turbines (Gipe 125-128). Even though smaller turbines cost more, larger turbines cost more to install. A two megawatt turbine that is thirty stories high can cost about 3.5 million dollars to install (Alina-Florentine 66). Buying and installing a turbine are not the only costs that potential buyers must prepare for; the cost for maintaining a turbine can be steep as well.
Wind turbines are like cars, it can be costly to maintain them. The total “reoccurring costs” every year, for items such as maintenance, insurance, and repairs can be around four percent of the cost to install the turbine. For the Skystream turbine, it has been estimated that the “annual reoccurring costs” can be up to five hundred and forty dollars a year (Gipe 126). For companies looking to set up a wind farm (which is a large cluster of wind turbines in one area), these reoccurring costs are not the only things they have to think about. In many cases, the land that can be the most profitable for wind energy is already owned by someone else. So these companies face having to pay a royalty fee for the use of the land or a lease agreement fee (Smith 50). In Minnesota, for each one hundred megawatts of wind electricity made, approximately one million a year went to the state in property tax revenue and nearly two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars was collected for lease payments (Alina-Florentine 63).
One of the major...