Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Journal of Business Ethics, September, 2015.

Abstract

In recent years, a growing number of small-to-medium-enterprises are embracing wind turbine projects not only as part of their cost reduction strategy but also to actively play their part in the global fight against climate change. However, it would appear there are currently limited empirical studies carried out in this emerging industry. This case study analyses the cost effectiveness of one such wind turbine initiative by a company in the Republic of Ireland, who invested in a 300 kW embedded wind turbine project at the end of 2013. The research methodology which is primarily a case study analysis included comparing historical electricity utility bills which allowed the 2013 quantity of electrical energy units imported, i.e. the year before the turbine was installed to be compared with the 2014 value, i.e. the year after the turbine was installed. Numerous site visits were undertaken over a four-year period, during which electric meter readings were recorded and stored. The findings of this piece of research indicate that the installation of the embedded wind turbine had minimal positive effect on the annual electricity costs for the company. Indeed the turbine appears to have significant negative effects such as a need for an increased maximum import capacity and also it appeared to contribute to a deteriorating utility power factor. While the aesthetic nature of the on-site turbine seemed to create a positive image of the company, it would appear that caution should be exercised when business owners select alternative energy providers who claim to be experts in the energy field but may have limited knowledge in this area of wind energy, which as of yet has minimal robust research into all aspects of its benefits/attributes.

DOI

10.1007/s10551-015-2837-4

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