It would seem only logical to put a windmill where there is plenty wind, but not for the Welsh government, which installed a $77,180 turbine in the wrong location.
The turbine, located outside the historic market town of Aberystwyth, Wales, sits two miles inland, between buildings that hinder the flow of wind, minimizing its output.
"Unfortunately the Welsh government's one [wind turbine] is located in a valley, two miles from the sea and has quite a short tower,” Paul Burrell, from Anemos, a company that installs small and medium-sized wind turbines, told BBC.
The Welsh Government admitted that between January of last year and July this year the turbine generated an average of just 33 kilowatts per month.
The government blamed the turbine’s low output on mechanical issues, while the manufacturer said the location was to blame.
Documents obtained by BBC showed that Quiet Revolution, the turbine manufacturer, wrote to the government before it was installed expressing doubt about the proposed location.
“It will be very patchy and lacking in potential, so the turbine won't get the chance to spin properly," Burrell said.
The Welsh government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020. The town includes a biomass heating system, solar panels and a wind turbine designed to power a small number of work stations.
“We have an ambitious carbon management strategy for the whole of our estate which includes a wide range of activities aimed at reducing CO2 emissions,” a Welsh government spokesperson said.
The turbine's output has been monitored officially since January last yea,r and figures suggest it could take hundreds of years for it to offset the cost of its purchase and installation.
David is a New York native and holds a MS from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He received his BA in government diplomacy, majoring in...