WIND TURBINES – GENERATING YOUR OWN POWER


Generating your own energy is probably the way of the future and you can start doing it now.

There are 7 key options: wind turbines, solar water heating and solar electricity, ground source and air source heat pumps, wood fuelled heating and hydro power.

We’re taking a look at Wind Turbines in more detail.


WIND TURBINES harness the power of the wind using it to generate electricity. Small systems called “microwind” or “small-wind” turbines can produce electricity to help power lights and electrical appliances in a typical home.
Its worth noting that 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.

Wind turbines use large blades to catch the wind. When the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced.


There are two types of domestic-sized wind turbine:
• Mast mounted: these are free standing and are erected in a suitably exposed position, often around 2.5kW to 6kW
• Roof mounted: these are smaller than mast mounted systems and can be installed on the roof of a home where there is a suitable wind resource. Often these are around 1kW to 2kW in size.
If your small wind system is connected to the National Grid then you can make money by selling any generated electricity to an electricity supply company.

If the turbine is not connected to the electricity grid then unused electricity can be stored in a battery for use when there is no wind.

There are a number of benefits of wind generated electricity;

• Harnessing a plentiful energy source
• Cutting your carbon footprint: wind electricity is green, renewable and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants
• Cutting your electricity bills: wind is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced
• Store electricity for a calm day: if your home isn’t connected to the National Grid you can store excess electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.

Various grants of up to £2500 are also available to encourage home owners to generate their own power.

If generating your own power is something you’d like to explore further then The Energy Saving Trust website (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk) has a simple questionnaire to help you narrow down your options.

And you can hear more interviews about renewables on this site. Type “energy” into the search box at the top right of this page.

About the Author: Chantal Cooke is co-founder of PASSION for the PLANET and a London Leader in Sustainability.
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