The UK is a windy country and being an island, we get that wind from every direction. This keeps our weather rather unstable, but it also makes it perfect for using wind turbines to generate electricity. Most of us will be familiar with the huge wind farms and wind turbines which exist either off shore or in various places onshore. They are very efficient at producing energy and are quiet and easy to maintain. Wouldn't it be great if that efficiency could be translated into wind turbines which can be placed on your home? Well it is now possible to do just that.
Domestic wind turbines come in two main types:
Mast mounted – these stand in your garden and can generate anywhere between 2.5kW and 6kW. This depends on where in your garden it is placed. Obviously the windier the spot, the better.
Roof mounted: these are smaller than the mast mounted ones and usually have little resistance from other homes or trees. However they generate less energy at between 1kW and 2kW.
The best thing about generating your own electricity using wind turbines is that you can sell any excess energy back to the grid and make money via the feed-in-tariff. While the levels may not be huge, if you use this technology alongside solar panels you could easily generate enough money to pay for the system.
The following points should be kept in mind before you decide if wind energy is for you:
- you will need planning permission for a wind turbine and this is particularly true if you live in conservation area or have a listed home.
- You need to be sure your home is in a windy area. The wind speed should be no less than 5 m/s.
- If you home is surrounded by tall trees or other buildings you may find they block the wind and make it less viable to use this system.
- If you are unable to get electricity to your home and would normally rely on batteries or oil you may find this way of producing energy very helpful. It is great for holiday homes and remote areas.
A wind turbine will help you to save money on your electricity bills at all times of the day and night. It is even possible to save up the electricity in a battery for use on a less windy day. Once you have paid for the initial installation, the electricity generated is completely free and you could even make some money if you have electricity left over.
You can expect to pay around £2,000 for a roof mounted wind turbine system for your home, while larger mast system could cost as much as £20,000. However the savings and income which can be made from the larger system could be as much as £3,200 per year.
If your council is forward thinking and are willing to let you install a wind turbine you could be getting free energy in no time.