The amount of wind energy income available is slightly complicated. There are up two main components that make up the total value of electricity generated, namely:
- Export value
- Offset value for energy used on-site
Each of these components is described in more detail here along with information on how they can affect the overall value of the energy generated.
The greatest income can be achieved if the electricity generated is consumed on site rather than being exported to the grid. The greater proportion of energy consumed, the higher the income. This is because the value of electricity consumed on site (the imported electricity value) is typically 12 p/kWh, which is higher than the maximum value of electricity that can be exported to the national grid which is typically 6.5 p/kWh.
As an example, For wind turbine sites with an annual average wind speed ranging from 5 to 8.5 m/s, and 100% of electricity generated being used on site, with an assumed imported electricity price of 12 p/kWh, the resulting annual wind energy income is shown below.
For comparison, For wind turbine sites with an annual average wind speed ranging from 5 to 8.5 m/s, and 100% of electricity exported to the grid, the resulting wind energy income is shown below.
To see how this translates into a return on investment you need to consider what the project will cost and what wind turbines cost to operate, then the return on investment can be calculated. Obviously the big unknown is whether you will successfully obtain planning consent, and there is always a risk that you won’t after spending a substantial sum on the planning application. This is why a good quality wind feasibility study is required, which although it won’t remove the risk of an unsuccessful planning application entirely it will analyse the myriad issues in a structured way and enable you to make a well-informed decision on whether to commit to a planning application.
Want to install a wind turbine?
If you are in the UK then take our Wind Site Self-Assessment - The first step to provide information we need to complete a Windpower Feasibility Study. It takes about 20 minutes to work through the basic checks, including:
- Estimating wind speed
- Checking proximity of nearby properties
- Checking site access and approach roads
- Investigating connection with the grid