Wind Power Number of the Day: 59.3%

Wind Turbine photo

59.3% -- Albert Betz calculated in the early 20th century that the maximum theoretical efficiency of a wind turbine is 59.3%.

50% -- Currently, modern wind turbines are efficient at about 50%, a very impressive number.

15% -- According to GE, when it entered the wind turbine market in 2002, the average wind turbine was out of commission about 15% of the time.

3% -- Nowadays, wind turbines are down only about 3% of the time. That helps drive the cost of wind power down and get the most out of each turbine. Uptimes can probably be improved even further.

8 -- Electricity produced by a modern wind turbine costs about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Wind Power Turbine Offshore photo

5 -- Electricity produced by coal power plants costs about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, but that is without counting the cost of "externalities" (air pollution, global warming, coal mining, mercury emissions, etc). According to a study by MIT, coal-produced electricity would cost about 8 cents kwh with a carbon tax of $30/tonne.

30% --Worldwide wind power capacity is growing at about %30 per year, and it should pass 100 gigawatts this year.

10,000 -- A farmer from Iowa who gives up 1/10 of an hectare for a wind turbine could earn about $10,000 per year, compared with about $300 for the same area if he/she grew corn for ethanol.

Wind Power
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Source: The Economist.

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