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Traded in for a younger model: When should wind farms be replaced?

Richard Green, Imperial College Business School, London

Wednesday 30 April 2014, 1500-1600
Lecture Theatre 4, Management School Building

When does it make sense to replace an old wind turbine with a better one? With most of Europe constrained for space, firms face a choice between developing new wind farms at poor sites (if the best have already been exploited) or repowering an existing site with better wind conditions. The disadvantage of the second option is that it sacrifices the output that the existing turbines could have produced. We use a large wind speed data set to assess the productivity of wind farms in the UK, isolating the effects of different sites, different vintages and ageing. This allows us to calculate which vintages of wind farms could profitably be replaced with state-of-the-art machines, and when this should happen.