Is Wind Energy More Efficient Than Conventional Energy?

Is wind energy more efficient than conventional energy? Wind turbines don't always operate at full production capacity, but on a kilowatt hour basis, wind energy has become more efficient than other power sources.

There is a term called "capacity factor," and that means that for every theoretical maximum electricity production, how much of it you actually produce of that wind power. In regard to that, it is not more efficient than conventional electricity because you get power when the wind blows, you are reliant on when that happens. So, our capacity factor numbers are definitely going up, but even the best capacity factor numbers will be in the 40 percent range. So, a lot of people when they hear that, they think that wind turbines are only producing power some 40 percent of the time. They are actually probably producing some power about 75 or 80 percent of the time, but it is just not maximum power. So, the average of the theoretical max to what they actually produce is in the low 40s. Whereas for conventional, it is probably more in the 70s.

But, if you compare these efficiencies of the today's turbines to even ten years ago, even five years ago, turbines are getting much more efficient.

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