Wind Power

You can generate electricity at home with small-scale wind turbines.

Domestic wind turbines, known as microwind or small-wind turbines, capture the power of the wind and use it to produce electricity to power the lights and electrical appliances in your home. The UK is the ideal country for small domestic turbines with 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blowing over it.

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The Basics

Whenever the wind blows over your domestic wind turbine it will use this energy to generate electricity. This electricity can be used to power your home’s appliances and lighting, and because this electricity is free to you this will reduce your electricity bills. If you qualify for the government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme you can receive payments for every unit of electricity you generate, as well as for any units you generate but don’t use, as they can then be exported back to the Grid.

You can fit a roof mounted or mast mounted (freestanding) microwind turbine depending on what the best way to capture wind power is in your area. Find out more about Installation of Wind Turbines here.

A well sited 6kW turbine could generate around 10,000kWh per year which is equivalent to around 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. A system this size could generate income and savings of around £3,200 a year when eligible for the Feed-In Tariff” (Energy Saving Trust)

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FAQs

Do wind turbines cause bird-strike?
It isn't likely that birds will collide with your turbine.. There are several websites, including RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) which provide additional background on this matter. Their view is that 'climate change is the most serious long-term threat to wildlife in the UK and globally and, therefore, the RSPB supports the Government's target to source 15% of electricity from renewables by 2015.'
How much do wind turbines cost?
A typical 1kW roof-mounted wind turbine will cost around £2,000, with larger 2.5kW and 6kW freestanding (pole-mounted) systems costing around £15,000 and £22,500 respectively.
What maintenance or servicing is required for a wind turbine?
You should get your turbine checked by your installer or another accredited technician every year, which should cost between £100 and £200. Your inverter may need to be replaced once during the turbine's 20 year lifetime - this costs between £1000-£2000 for a large freestanding system. Turbines with batteries (off-grid systems) will need their batteries replaced every 6-10 years.
Can I connect my wind turbine to the grid?
Most areas of the UK are connected to the Grid, and if you are, you can connect your turbine to it too. This will allow you to qualify for the Export Tariff as part of the Feed-in-Tariff scheme, which pays you acsecond payment on top of the Generation Tariff for any electricity that you generate but don't use. The surplus electricity is automatically exported to Grid.
Can an installed wind turbine be re-sited?
Yes, provided the new site is suitable. However, substantial costs will be incurred to dismantle the turbine, transport it to the new site and re-install it, so ideally in the first place you should spend time selecting the most suitable site before you install it for the first time. If you do need to re-site the turbine, make sure you get multiple quotes from accredited installers for the moving work.
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