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?
- What is the best wind turbine type and height for me?
- Factors such as whether you want a roof mounted or freestanding system, planning permission and any limitations to foundations may dictate the type and maximum tower height to be considered, but in general, the higher the tower, the higher the average wind speed that the turbine will experience. A taller tower should generate sufficient extra energy to justify any additional cost, especially if there is turbulence created by nearby trees or buildings that can be avoided with extra height.
- What size wind turbine will I need?
- The size of the turbine that's right for your property will depend on a few factors, including whether you want to have a roof mounted or freestanding system, your local wind speeds and the planning restrictions in your area, You should check with the Government's Planning Portal and with your installer when planning your turbine installation.
- 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').
- What happens to my electricity supply when the wind stops blowing?
- Without adequate wind blowing, the turbine will not turn and create electricity, therefore you will have to draw power from the grid. This will happen automatically as long as you are connected to the 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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