The size of wind turbines is increasing so dramatically that the industry faces the same issue solar farms have faced, where by the time construction is completed, the whole farm can already be obsolete.
The New York Times looks at a massive new GE Haliade-X turbine with a blade span of over 200 meters:
The prototype is the first of a generation of new machines that are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. As such, it is changing the business calculations of wind equipment makers, developers and investors.
The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.
The turbine, which is capable of producing as much thrust as the four engines of a Boeing 747 jet, according to G.E., will be deployed at sea, where developers have learned that they can plant larger and more numerous turbines than on land to capture breezes that are stronger and more reliable.
The race to build bigger turbines has moved faster than many industry figures foresaw. G.E.'s Haliade-X generates almost 30 times more electricity than the first offshore machines installed off Denmark in 1991.
Image: YouTube / Real Engineering