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Energy Balance Analysis

The energy balance is an assessment of the relation between the energy consumption of the product and the energy production throughout the lifetime. The energy balance analysis in the case of the Vestas V90 3.0 MW shows that, for an offshore wind turbine 0.57 years (6.8 months) of expected average energy production are necessary to recover all the energy consumed for manufacturing, operation, transport, dismantling and disposal.

As far as an onshore wind turbine is concerned, the energy balance is similar but shorter than the offshore one, with only 0.55 years (6.6 months) needed to recover the energy spent in all the phases of the life cycle. This difference is due to a larger grid transmission and steel consumption for the foundations in an offshore scheme.

The V80 2 MW turbines installed in Horns Rev only needed 0.26 years (3.1 months) to recover the energy spent in the offshore installation. The same turbines installed in the Tjaereborg onshore wind farm had an energy payback period of about 0.27 years (3.2 months).

>> Comparative benefits with conventional and renewable technologies systems

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