27 Jun '12, 6pm

The Bigger, the Greener? Considering the Size of Wind Turbines

The Bigger, the Greener? Considering the Size of Wind Turbines

The answer is yes, the bigger the turbine the greener the energy, according to Marloes Caduff and her colleagues at the Institute for Environmental Engineering in Zurich who published a study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. But the answer is complex. It may seem odd to question the eco-friendliness of a renewable energy source. But Caduff and her team determined that if the production, transport, and retirement of bigger turbines is too environmentally-taxing, the trend towards larger ones won’t be good for the environment. So the researchers devised a method to calculate the technology’s “global warming potential.” To do this, the team borrowed the economic concept of progress rates. In an email interview, Caduff noted that, “if the progress rate is 100 percent, no learning takes place, hence no cost reduction is observed. So the lower the progress ra...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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