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Domestic wind turbines

13 May 2020

  • Renewable energy

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Wind turbines are often thought of in terms of the huge wind farms you see spread across the countryside and even dotted around our seas, however it is possible to have your own personal wind turbine help with your energy requirements.

First of all, how do wind turbines work? Well simply put they “catch” the wind with large blades, which in turn drive a turbine and generate electricity. Domestic-sized turbines come in two types: pole mounted and free standing or building mounted. The former has a far greater generation capacity but requires much more space, whereas the building mounted turbine becomes part of the dwelling itself. Both can contribute to your electricity supply and are an interesting option to consider. It is also possible to have a domestic wind turbine fall under permitted developments, meaning you do not have to seek planning permission prior to installation. However, the requirements are many and so it is worth speaking to your local council prior to installation.

So, if you did decide to install a wind turbine, what are the benefits? The first selling point of wind turbines is that they can help cut your electricity bills. The financial implications are coupled with other benefits, the obvious and greatest one being the reduction of your carbon footprint. Wind power is totally renewable and doesn’t release any harmful pollutants. Anyone making the decision to install a domestic wind turbine is most likely to be doing it for this reason. The final benefit to consider is the ability to store excess electricity in a battery, creating a system that is able to cover for days without lots of wind, and thus making it a more all-round opportunity for energy provision.

Sadly, if we return to the financial implications of a domestic wind turbine, the benefit of saving on your electricity bills is offset by some significant financial downsides. From the initial installation costs to the long-term maintenance cost, it is certain to be an expensive commitment. Domestic wind turbines are certainly an interesting technology to investigate but the reality is that they are rarely a viable choice, and other renewable options (such as solar PV) are far more practical.