Economics of Small Wind Power Plants in Urban Settings: An Empirical Investigation for Germany

FCN Working Paper No. 1/2013

41 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2013

See all articles by Benno Grieser

Benno Grieser

RWTH Aachen University

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Yasin Sunak

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the location-specific attractiveness of small wind turbines (SWT) for private households. In order to assess the economic viability of an investment in SWT, we analyze a set of scenarios that incorporate different types of SWT, various storage system options, support schemes, and specific urban surroundings for the case of Germany. As urban structures substantially influence local wind speeds, and hence the potential energy yield of a turbine, the potential location of the SWT in the urban area is crucial for the economic feasibility. We find that SWT today are only profitable under very favorable conditions, the most important parameters being prevailing wind speeds and the location’s degree of urbanization. In most cases, the coupling of the SWT to a storage system is crucial for cost-effectiveness. A feed-in tariff system specifically adapted to the SWT technology is found to be an important driver of diffusion. Further research needs are identified in the field of long-term performance and yield projections for SWT. Based on the findings from our study, significant SWT diffusion can be expected, if at all, only in coastal suburban and rural areas.

Keywords: small wind turbine, energy storage, urban environment, feed-in tariffs

JEL Classification: Q42, Q48, O18

Suggested Citation

Grieser, Benno and Madlener, Reinhard and Sunak, Yasin, Economics of Small Wind Power Plants in Urban Settings: An Empirical Investigation for Germany (January 1, 2013). FCN Working Paper No. 1/2013 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2294939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2294939

Benno Grieser

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen, 52056
Germany

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

Yasin Sunak (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University - E.ON Energy Research Center ( email )

Mathieustrasse 6
Aachen, 52074
Germany

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