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"Recouping cost of wind turbine may take more than a lifetime" (Consumer Reports confirms micro-wind diseconomies)

By Kent Hawkins -- August 14, 2012

“At the rate the WT6500 [off-grid wind turbine] is delivering power at our test site, it would take several millennia for the product to pay for itself in savings—not the 56 years it would take even with the 1,155 kWh quote we received.”

– ConsumerReports.com

Is there a role for new renewables, specifically wind and solar PV in our electricity generation portfolio? And if not at the industrial-scale, grid-feeding level, what about at the micro-turbine level for local electricity use? This Consumer Reports (CR) study answers just this question.

Before examining the verdict, CR’s claim that wind power is the fastest growing source of new electric power deserves a critical comment. “Fast growing” from a small base too often is hype over substance.

Take the example of the lemonade stand of a little girl on our street, Suzie, just this summer.