In fact, a wind turbine can generate much more energy during its service life than the energy required to build it. According to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a wind turbine generates more energy than that required to build it after only 0.1 to 1.5 years of operation.
By comparison, the energy required to build a hydropower generating station is also far less than the energy generated over its service life. After 0.1 to 3.5 years of operation, such a generating station has already produced more energy than that required for construction, again according to the IPCC, which assumes a service life of 70 years. In reality, the service life of a hydropower generating station is much longer than this: over 100 years, as compared to 25 years for a wind turbine. We wish to remind you that Hydro-Québec doesn’t generate any wind power. Rather, the company purchases wind power from private producers, in accordance with decrees issued by the Québec government. Hydro-Québec generates 99% of its electricity from water.