Wind Energy, is it Worth it?


Since the latter half of the last century scientists and researchers have been actively trying to explore alternative energy sources to address concerns over the continued use of traditional energy sources such as fossil fuels. Many people use solar energy, both individually and collectively across regions and even entire countries. First installed in the early 70s, wind turbines were intially high maintenance and noisy, whilst being at the same time incapable of producing the amount of electricity expected.

However, technology has advanced now and alternative energy sources are destined to become mainstream due to reality of finite fossil fuel resources and, if you subscribe to it, global warming. As a homeowner, you might be thinking about ways to reduce your bill and possibly get off the grid. Apart from solar energy, another natural source, although hard to harness, is wind.

Wind turbines are generally suitable for areas spread over more than an acre because they are large. You would want your turbine to be at least 50 metres or so from your property since modern turbines, although quiet, are not silent. The visual impact of the tower also gets diminished by the installation of wind turbines. In order to work well, wind turbines should be installed at least 20 metres off the ground. Clearly then you need a fair amount of space for this venture!

These wind turbines are not suitable for densely populated urban and suburban areas because of aesthetic concerns and noise. Wind turbine towers are prohibited within half a kilometre of an airport because of concerns over their height. Some wind turbines are installed on top of urban buildings but since they are not installed high enough to rise above air turbulence, too often these turbines do not operate effectively.

Residential dwellings are limited to a maximum height of 10 metres in most municipalities. Unless your state or region has adopted residential wind turbine legislation, which most of them have not, you will have to get a variance. If you are the first one in your town to request one, this can be a frustrating and time consuming process.

Installing a wind turbine is expensive and it would cost you more than £8000.Wind turbines generally cut down electricity bills to half or often as much as 90% once they are installed. Wind turbines pay for themselves in six to fifteen years because of these savings, and with relatively low maintenance, are designed to last for at least 20 years. If you can afford the initial outlay they can be a great investment.

Keeping all these factors in mind, wind energy is not the best option if you live in the heart of a city but if you have sufficient space around your home, you can surely go for it.

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