Lack of wind, low electricity prices hit wind turbine owners

Wind turbines close to the beach at Velsen Noord. Photo:

A lack of wind and low electricity prices hit wind turbine owners hard last year, according to new figures from wind power cooperative Windunie.

In total, the amount of electricity generated by wind power fell by 20% last year, Windunie said.

‘It’s a risk,’ director Axel Posthumus, told the Volkskrant. ‘You have bad years. However, the low energy prices (down to 2004 levels) have delivered a second blow.’

Some of the 400 turbine owners in the cooperative actually made a loss last year, Posthumus said.

In particular, old, maintenance-intensive turbines which are no longer eligible for subsidies are proving a drain on their owners. They also produce less power than modern turbines, the paper said.

Despite the lack of wind, figures from national statistics office CBS show that the amount of energy generated by wind turbines has almost tripled since 2006. This is mainly due to the development of larger, more efficient turbines.