Wind Turbines – Good or Bad?

OK, so we’re here to make sure that everything goes green but we’re not here to push products for the sake of boosting so-called green credentials… so what of the home wind turbine for instance?
Well, there’s been a bit of press recently regarding the fad of the wind turbine with notable people such as David Cameron, Jamie Olive and the new Science Minister, Malcolm Wicks giving their endorsements.
The wind turbine has become a bit of a green fashion statement with only around 650 installed so far in this country and but with another 15,000 Windsave wind turbines in production for pre-Christmas delivery since B&Q offered the Windsave on their green promotion last month for under GBP1500.00 including installation.
Now, the important factor to note is this:
The average wind speed in the UK is 5.6 metres per second which is enough to generate around half a kilowatt of electricity. This would probably save the average household with its average windspeed around GBP100.00 a year in electricity bills.
Therefore: The wind turbine in this situation would take 15 years to pay for itself.
Now you could be in a below average windspeed area, for instance, in a city where tall buildings might block the wind flow.
On the other hand you could be on a hillside or high up and in an extremely windy are. It is this extreme where the marketing bumpf says you could save up to 30% of your annual electricity bill.
The not quite so cool green option is cavity wall insulation or loft insulation option which could save something like GBP150.00 off your annual fuel bill and would therefore only take 3 or 4 years to pay off. Then there's turning your thermostat down a notch. Even better, how about replacing your old lights with energy efficient bulbs or swapping those halogen spotlights for some cool LED lights?
So, the lesson: Before splashing out on your 1500 quid wind turbine, have you got your cavity wall insulation? Check if your local council has any grants or schemes to help out. Also – is your loft insulation up to scratch? It should be to a depth of 8†to sufficiently insulate your loft space and by using natural wool loft insulation you’ll be doing a much greener move – wool loft insulation (take a look at Thermafleece) is a bit more expensive but is completely natural and has better heat retaining properties than artificial insulation.
Conclusion: Do the math, have a site survey and THEN see if wind turbine installation is right for you. If not, there's plenty of other things you can do to go green.