Sustainable energy is becoming increasingly important and technologies such as solar power and wind power are attractive and realistic propositions for more and more households. The costs of installing these renewable technologies have dropped over the past few years, making them more affordable than ever.
A wind turbine is one of the simplest kinds of renewable energy. Wind causes the fan blades to rotate which drives a generator that converts the rotational energy into electricity; supplementing the mains supply.
Is a Wind Turbine Suitable For Me?
There are a few important factors to consider before you can proceed with the installation of a wind turbine. These include, but are not limited to, location, wind speed and planning permission.
Firstly and probably most importantly is the wind speed as this will help determine if it’s worth installing a wind turbine where you live. The Government has created the NOABL wind speed model which provides an indication of the expected wind speeds in your area so this is a great tool to use as an indication. You can access the wind speed database here. You need to be looking at an average wind speed of around 5m/s or more remembering that the higher up the turbine is installed the greater the speed.
There are 2 types of turbines, pole mounted and roof mounted – the type you choose will affect the location of a wind turbine on your property. A pole mounted turbine, also called mast mounted, will be free standing and can produce the most energy. The roof mounted alternative are smaller in size and produce less energy but can be mounted on a building.
Planning Permission for a Wind Turbine
You will likely need planning permission when it comes to installing a wind turbine. We recommend getting in touch with your local authority to find out more before making any commitments.
How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?
Prices can vary greatly depending on the size of the turbine and the way it is mounted. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that for a turbine and installation you would be looking at up to £3,000 for a roof mounted 1kW micro wind system. For pole mounted turbines prices come in higher at with a 2.5kW costing between £9,900 and £19,000 and a 6kW system between £21,000 and £30,000.
Grants and Schemes for Wind Turbines
Your wind turbine installation may be eligible to earn regular payments from the Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT). For more information visit our guide to the Feed-in Tariff