Siemens Proves Wind Energy’s “Outstanding” Potential

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Siemens has conducted a review of its wind turbine technology to determine the actual environmental impact of wind energy, from manufacturing through construction and operation. The company’s study found that both onshore and offshore “showed outstanding results.

In a post on its website, Germany multinational Siemens announced the results of a “detailed ecological review of its wind turbines.” The study was the result of efforts to maintain “a high degree of transparency” for its customers and the authorities, and was aimed at reviewing “the actual benefits of green power for the environment.” Many critics of wind energy (of which there are not many) often attempt to highlight supposed inadequacies in the manufacturing process which they say belittles the supposed environmental benefits resulting from the operation of wind turbines. Siemens study, however, puts the lie to this suggestion.

The study investigated two offshore wind farms comprising 80 turbines, and two onshore wind projects comprising 40 turbines.

The initial findings are that land-based wind farms pay off faster than their more powerful-yet-construction-intensive offshore cousins.

Specifically, offshore wind farms with 80 turbines produces 53 million MWh of electricity during its intended 25-year lifespan. Said wind farm emits seven grams of CO2 per KWh, whereas, in comparison, fossil fuel energy sources produce an average of 865 CO2 per KWh, leaving wind farms saving an average of 45 million tonnes of CO2. To absorb that much CO2, you would subsequently need approximately 1,286 square kilometres of forest in Central Europe.

Siemens-2In terms of how long it takes for an onshore wind farm to account for the volume of energy it consumes over its lifespan, Siemens study found that at an average wind speed of 8.5 metres per second, it would only take between 4.5 and 5.5 months. What’s most impressive about this figure is that it takes into account materials, production, construction, operation, maintenance, dismantling, and recycling into account — which is to say, every feasible aspect of a wind farms lifespan is accounted for in under 6 months.

Offshore wind farms take a little longer … between 9.5 and 10.5 months.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill

20 thoughts on “Siemens Proves Wind Energy’s “Outstanding” Potential

  • The infographic of the forest is spectacularly bad.

  • “average of 865 CO2 per KWh”

    The weight unit is missing.

    • I betcha it’s grams…

      • It IS grams. Doesn’t change that it’s missing tho.

        • How do we know it’s grams if it’s missing?

          • If it’s easily discerned from common sense, then why do we bother to point out it’s missing. LOL!

          • Are you serious?
            So we should leave everything out that’s common sense?

            Common sense maybe wasn’t the best phrasing since quite a few people probably aren’t that much into physics/clean technology to know such a thing. Excuse me for not being a native speaker.

            P.S.: lol at you back for not even checking the source that is provided in the article.

          • You’re taking my response seriously. LOL! And yes you’re right, a lot of folks don’t understand about stuff like science, units and clean tech. So for them – 865 is way bigger!

            By the way, for a nonnative speaker, you are doing fantastically well!

          • Yes partly I do, because common sense was indeed wrong phrasing on my part.

            It’s also kinda confusing to post an allegedly ironic comment without smileys or similar pointers between serious comments and then just expect people to know you were just joking.

          • No worries. I actually set you up with the way I phrased it. If you did not say common sense, the ruse wouldn’t work.

            Just joking around over Joshua leaving out the units, sorry if you felt it was mean and confusing at your expense. I only meant it to be confusing 🙂

            Certainly not doubly confusing for someone who is not a native speaker, and Philip, I hope you have a great day!

  • Now that would be life cycle cost.
    It does not take into account removal after lifespan of product.
    Now do the same life cycle cost for FF energy production!
    And add the removal of FF production into account
    How would this look for Nukes? Power that is.

    • “dismantling, and recycling into account”
      I believe it does take removal into account, yes?

      • Yes I missed that.
        Still would be interesting to get the same cost for all the other ones, clean energy/Re and FF systems!

        • I think there are studies. As I recall, wind comes out really well on LCA and LCOE. Better than just about everything.

  • Many critics of wind energy (of which there are not many)
    While it’s an impressive article, that sentence just does not stand up, George Moinibot and Christopher Booker are just two that immediately come to mind!
    Apologies, if my irony detector isn’t working here.

  • That’s an EROEI of 55-66 for conventional, ground based onshore wind.

  • Great article. Thanks Joshua, Nuclear with low grade uranium ore has a big carbon footprint due to energy costs of mining, Decommissioning a nuclear plant and handling the waste also is carbon intensive. Wind also has a much lower carbon footprint than PV cells (hopefully this will go down with tech advances and use of renewable energy in PV manufacture). Wind’s high life-cycle net energy production make it a first energy choice where sufficient wind resources are present. Also wind is great as a hybrid component of solar!!

  • Yes. Many of those “externalities” are ignored in some pro nuclear sources. EROI is notoriously variable because of this. Much like FF ignore externalities.

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