According to the principle of enerconics, the price of a commodity is a good proxy for energy used in securing that commodity. (http://scottishsceptic.uk/2013/10/18/enerconics-the-relationship-between-energy-and-gdp/
To illustrate this, let’s imagine a perfect electricity power store which costs nothing to build and can collect energy from the grid and supply it back at no cost. We charge the “battery” at the average price of electricity and then we supply the electricity back to the grid distributed at the same price slots as the charging so there is no net benefit to the grid and the average price of electricity for that supplied is the same as that when charged.
It is easy to see that this theoretical device in the long run neither consumes nor creates energy and neither consumes nor creates “profit/loss”.
So, let us now replace this theoretical device with a wind machine. This wind machine lasts for a finite time. It takes a certain amount of energy to produce this machine and so money and in the time that it is running it delivers precisely the same energy to the grid as was originally used in its construction. It also costs nothing to run and the only costs are those in the original manufacture and these are entirely energy costs from electricity at an average electricity price and the only income is from energy at that same price.
It is therefore easy to see that this device over its life time neither produces energy nor consumes it. And (allowing for inflation), this device neither makes a loss nor a profit.
Now let’s suppose this device produces 10% more over its lifetime than it takes to produce. It is easy to see that over the lifetime (ignoring inflation) the profit will be 10%. However let us suppose one of these monstrous machines were to fail having only produced 90% of the energy used in installation – then it is easy to see that it will make a 10% loss.
Now let’s suppose that we produce a machine that whilst it alone is not a net consumer or producer of electricity, that it consumes energy when the price is low and it delivers it back when the price is high. By this means it makes the rest of the system more efficient and it is not too difficult to see that the profit this machine will make is not because it produces energy but because of the energy costs it saves for others.
Therefore, one can conclude that for a single energy source, companies make money when their machines increase energy availability or reduce energy consumption providing energy. And by extension, companies make a loss when they reduce energy availability.
So a good rule of thumb is that if an energy source is cheaper than carbon alternatives then the total energy used in securing that source (most of it from carbon sources) is less than the energy it produces. In other words using that energy source reduces CO2 output (e.g. Hydro in Scotland). Or to be more specific, if an energy source needs subsidising, it is very likely it actually increases energy consumption and increases “CO2 emissions”.
This means that in an economy where most energy comes from carbon sources, that the total carbon-based energy used in creating the energy source is less than the carbon based energy it replaces.
If however the cost is higher than carbon alternatives, then it is likely that the sum total cost of energy used in securing that energy source is higher than the carbon-based energy it produces.
That means that if the cost is higher MORE CO2 IS PRODUCED using that energy source.
In other words, wind “energy” isn’t so much a form of energy production, but is instead rather like a battery – the energy is not “free”, but instead energy appears to be “free” but we only have it because more energy goes into producing wind power through the steel work in the machinery and the concrete in the foundations and the transport – and the energy costs of having all those sales-people and consultants.
But like all this non-science, you will never find research into the total energy costs of wind because that doesn’t suit anyone benefiting from this scam.