Mrs Green gets the wind in her sails
I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet at the moment about renewable energy.
I don’t know whether it’s the lovely weather that has sparked an interest in investing in more technology to run my home, or a feeling that we need to be more self-sufficient, but whatever it is, I’m an eager student of all the options out there.
We love our solar panels which we currently use for downstairs lighting, and at some point I want to get more panels but they’re not the be-all-and-end-all solution for us.
Let there be light
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels DO work during the winter without the heat of the sun, but when there is snow on the ground they don’t work. Solar panels don’t need heat, but they need light. And three inches of snow doesn’t let the light through!
Recently there have been a couple of maintenance jobs Mr Green has needed to do on our roof; jobs that require a windless, dry day. This got me thinking about harnessing wind to generate electricity.
Winds of change
Ploughcroft Wind Turbines say that with a domestic wind turbine you can produce your own green electricity, generate extra income and reduce your carbon footprint.
What’s not to love?
What’s more, they reckon payback can come in as little as 3 to 5 years which, from my experience, is much quicker than solar.
A grid connection system allows your appliances to use energy generated by the turbine before drawing any power from the grid. If you need more power than is being generated, any shortfall is taken from the grid. If you are generating surplus power, then it’s exported to the grid and you’re paid for it!
Our biggest challenge is that we live in a conservation area and, as planning permission is required for wind turbines, I’m not sure how we’d get on. Having said that, most local authority departments are very supportive and new guidelines obligate planners to encourage renewable applications wherever possible.
I know wind turbines can cause controversy; in our own green and pleasant area of Britain, opposition is mounting up for a nearby wind farm. Residents are throwing up their hands in horror at the thought of a wind farm near them, but I think they look rather graceful. I find them mesmerising and haven’t noticed much noise from them either.
Domestic wind turbines are, of course, much smaller than commercial ones; you can even buy ones that fit neatly on the side of your roof.
So at the moment I’m exploring harnessing wind to generate electricity.
What about you – is a wind turbine something you’d consider?