I recently saw some youtube videos of an abandoned windfarm I am familiar with South of Guymon Oklahoma. This facility was built in 2011 and now is in ruins. I suppose this is probably a worst case situation but I watch the windfarms in my area pretty closely and I see major repairs frequently.
The only numbers for financial return that I have seen that didn't come from a windmill promoter call for a 3% annual return. Using a simple rule of 72 calculation, I get 24 years to pay for the windmill that has a 20-25 year lifespan (unless they are built in Texas County Oklahoma where, apparently, they only last 10 years).
I have seen several windmill leases and they are easily the worst and most one-sided leases I have run across in over 40 years of writing and negotiating leases. The landowner gets paid on a "net profits" basis rather than gross sales and the landowners I have talked to are not overjoyed with the financial results.
Doesn't this all sound like a Permian basin horizontal fracking proposition to you ? Or maybe a cat and rat ranch, I heard they work pretty well. I suspect that we are headed for a wreck in renewable energy that will dwarf the Permian fiasco. I would love to hear from all you folks who can correct my thinking and put my mind at rest.