Does a windmill produce enough value in electricity to pay for the uni itself and maintenance?
Generally speaking a residential windmill will not be a very good financial proposition. It will take significant tax credits, depreciation, and other incentives to even approach financial breakeven. In addition, a wind mill must be located in an area with proven prevailing and steady winds. Not always easy. For example, if it was your intent to provide for your personal needs of , say, 7500 KWh/year, the conventional wisdom advises that you would have to build three (3) plants of that size in different locations to account for the variability of the wind. Wind is not a particularly good base load generator.
This discussion doesn't even address space issues or noise, or maintenance. There are better options.
If you're talking about commercial-grade windmills: yes, they do. Commercial wind farms aren't built by charities. They're built by corporations that want to make money. Corporations don't invest the kind of money it takes to make a wind farm operational without an expectation of solid return.
Now, if you're talking about residential windmills, it's a little dicier. Commercial windmills are large enough to generate substantial energy; residential windmills are much less efficient at converting wind energy into electricity.
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