The benefits of wind power
In the right situation micro-wind turbines are a very effective energy solution and could contribute up to £3,200 per year to your energy costs.
- Harness a plentiful energy source: In the UK we have 40% of Europe's total wind energy.
- Cut your carbon footprint: Wind electricity is a low carbon, renewable energy source and doesn't produce any pollutants. A well sited 6kW system can save around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
- Cut your electricity bills: The wind is free, which means that after the system has paid for itself your electricity costs will be reduced.
- Store electricity for a calm day: If you don't connect your turbine to the National Grid you can store surplus electricity in batteries and use it when there is no wind.
- Quick payback: A large system typically pays for itself in 7 years or less under current tariff rates.
- Receive FIT payments: You can be paid for any electricity you generate using your turbine and any electricity you don’t use which can be exported back to the Grid. This adds up to around £2,800 a year.
Selling your own electricity
Savings with a typical system
Studies looking at a number of different of microwind systems indicate that a well situated 6kW turbine could generate:
- Around 10,000 kWh of electricity per year
- Savings of around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
- Around £3,200 a year in Feed-in-Tariff payments and bill savings for 20 years.
What to do next?
- How do I find out if my site is windy enough for a wind turbine?
- Our survey takes into account the average wind speed in your area, so should give you a broad indication of whether your location is suitable for a wind turbine. We do recommend that you measure the average wind speeds in the turbine locations you're considering for at least a year before committing to an installation. You can measure your wind speed using an anemometer (wind meter). A good anemometer will record your specific wind profile (e.g. average wind speeds, wind spikes, changes in wind direction) which will help you select the most appropriate wind turbine for the wind characteristics of your site. The Power Predictor anemometer from www.bettergeneration.co.uk is a good choice for a domestic installation.
- How tall are domestic wind turbines?
- The height of a domestic turbine will vary according to manufacturer and model, but generally it varies from 6 to 15 meters (for a roof mounted system) up to 24 meters for a freestanding turbine. In general, the higher up the blades are, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience, giving you a more efficient system. The rotor diameter of domestic wind turbines ranges from 2 meters for a roof mounted turbine, up to around 7 meters for a freestanding turbine, again depending on the model.
- 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.
- How much of the time do wind turbines produce electricity?
- Wind turbines produce electricity 70-85% of the time, but they generate different outputs dependent on the local wind speed. Over the course of a year, a small wind turbine in the UK will generate about 7.5% (for roof mounted turbines) to 30% (for larger turbines) of the amount it would generate in a constant strong wind. This is known as its 'load factor' (or 'capacity factor').
- 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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