Which is the environmental impact and payback of a wind turbine in its life cycle?

A 2 MW wind turbine with a working life of 20 years, even producing energy with no emissions, has an environmental impact associated with its life cycle. Manufacturing stage accounts for 78% of impacts. A wind turbine will offer a net benefit within five to eight months of being brought online.

Even if wind turbines produce energy with virtually no emissions, there are environmental impacts associated with their life cycle assessment (LCA) which takes into account sourcing of key raw materials (steel, copper, fiberglass, plastics, concrete, and other materials), transport, manufacturing, installation of the turbine, ongoing maintenance through its anticipated two decades of useful life and, finally, the impacts of recycling and disposal at end-of-life.

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