Wind turbines are rarely suitable for domestic applications due to a number of factors.
Output from a wind turbine is very site specific, so a good wind resource is essential. Proximity to buildings and trees will cause turbulence, so the best site might be the middle of a very exposed field. WREN can advise you as to whether or not you are likely to be able to install a machine, and will link you with appropriate commercial partners. Output from a wind turbine is currently subject to the Feed in Tariff at the rates shown in the table. These tariffs are currently more generous than those for PV, but the installation will be more expensive.
WREN is exploring local options for the installation of community scale wind capacity – 2 to 6MW - that will generate a useful, six figure, community benefit. No developments will be pursued without the support of the membership and the locality, so no surprises will be sprung. Viable projects will be presented publicly at an early stage. Watch this space.
Wind Turbine Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Wind turbines are an inefficient means of producing energy?
A. Wind turbines produce electricity 80-85% of the time with none of the power lost to thermal heat like in conventional fossil fuel power stations and are also using a free resource to do so.
Q2. Does it not take more energy to build a wind turbine than it actually generates?
A. The average wind turbine pays back the energy used in the whole lifecycle of the turbine within 3-6 months.
Q3. Why are we spending millions paying for wind turbines to be switched off?
A: To ensure the secure operation of the electricity system, National Grid takes over a thousand actions each day to balance supply and demand, including paying generators to alter their output. This is a normal part of our market system, and the arrangement existed long before wind farms were connected to the grid. National Grid is incentivised by Ofgem to ensure this is carried out in the most cost effective way. Less than 10% of all constraint payments are made to wind farms. Most are made to conventional generators such as coal and gas. The impact on a typical consumer bill of constraint payments to wind farms is no more than a few pence per year.
Q4. Will a wind turbine negatively affect the price of my property?
A. There has been a great deal of research into this area in both the UK and overseas. There is, as yet, no evidence that property prices drop once the wind farm has been developed.
Q5. Can shadow flicker affect the personal wellbeing of vulnerable residents nearby?
A. Shadow flicker is caused when the rotor blades cast a shadow on the observer or when each blade transits the sun resulting in a flicker effect. Shadow flicker is a quantifiable effect and when constructing a new commercial turbine flicker is kept to a safe threshold of less than 2 Hz.
Q6. Do wind turbines cause disproportionate harm to birds?
A. Wind turbines are responsible for 0.01% of human induced bird mortality. Buildings, power lines, vehicles and domestic cats are the greatest threats to birds. Even still, wind farms must produce comprehensive surveys to quantify their risks to local and migratory species, and sometimes produce environmental management plans to improve the local habitat.
Put together using sources from The Centre for Sustainable Energy, Communities for Renewables, DECC and The Energy Savings Trust.
Current wind Feed In Tariffs (FITS)
Proposed Tariffs From April 2014
|Wind||Up to 100kW||22.23 p||17.32 p|
|100-500kW||18.53 p||14.43 p|
|500kW-1.5MW||10.05 p||7.83 p|
|1.5-5MW||4.26 p||3.32 p|
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