When we drill a hole and pump oil or dig a hole and mine coal, the fossil fuels obtained result in a net profit to the energy companies. There is a profit because more energy is created than is used to obtain the fossil fuels. They make a profit because the consumer places a certain value on a gallon of gas. It is worthwhile for the consumer to pay $2.75 cents for the fuel to drive 20 miles, instead of walking, bicycling or riding a horse.
That is not the case for wind turbines. The energy they create does not even pay for the costs of obtaining that energy, therefore they do not create energy. Energy in our society is represented money. Each dollar represents a certain amount of energy.
A 2MW turbine costs $3.5 million dollars according to wind turbine sources, windustry.org/how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost seen on the right. The lifespan of turbines is estimated to be about 20 years. If you financed the entire $3.5 million at 7% it would be require a payment of $330,000 per year. This does not include the cost of maintenance, transmission line or back-up conventional power plants to balance the fluctuating output.
If we construct the 2MW turbines in a favorable position it will produce an output of 30% of 2MW or .6MW over the entire year. There are 8760hr in the year yielding a production of 5300 MWhours. Multiply by 1,000 to convert to kWh's and the yield is 5,300,00 kWhs.
Each kWh is worth about 5 cents wholesale for a total production of $262,000 per year, yet the owner will have a payment of $330,000 per year to cover capital costs. I give a rough estimate of at least another $70,000 per year to cover maintenance, landowner leases, local government kickbacks, transmission lines and extra costs of conventional power plants backup and "following". I know workers from a wind farm in my locale and there is approximately 1 full time worker for every 4 turbines. Even using the gross UNDERESTIMATION of $70,000 per year of ongoing costs the investors would need $400,000 per year to yield only $262,000 in electricity payments.
But obviously, the investors are making a profit somehow. With double-accelerated capital appreciation, Federal Production Tax Credits and various other Federal/State and Local tax credits and breaks we actually pay the Wind Farms to place these wheels up so we can watch them spin. Also they seriously harm the environment, our scenic beauty and residents in close proximity to the turbines.