The concept of solar panels on your roof, generating electricity and feeding the surplus back into the grid, is now commonplace. And now increasingly, people are looking to the complementary technology of small wind energy turbines to achieve the same result. If you have about an acre of land, depending on local zoning codes, you can install a 5 kilowatt generating turbine which stands about twice the height of a telephone pole.
The cost of a small wind energy system designed to power an average home is around $30,000, and rebates and tax credit programs may be in place to your advantage. Any extra power generated goes back into the utility system, and when the wind is not blowing, the utility provides the electricity.
Community Wind Projects
Small wind energy turbines are becoming popular on ranches and farms, in small communities and local organizations such as schools and universities, churches, and rural electrical cooperatives. The concept of a community-owned wind project is increasingly attractive as people explore decentralized ownership models in preparation for a greener, cleaner energy future. The World Summit for Small-Scaled Wind was held in March 2010 in Husum, Germany. Billed as the most important international small wind energy turbine event of the year, it will bring further focus on the need for community rather than corporate control of the new energy paradigm.
Who Owns the Wind?
2010 is predicted to be a turning point year, when wind energy will be cheaper than fossil fuel produced power. It is estimated that the US spends $120 billion on fossil fuels a year plus the costs of damage to human health, pollution and climate change. Big Oil has realized that they must invest in renewable energies if they want to keep control of the energy market. But unlike oil, wind can’t be hoarded by power hungry cartels. In fact, enough of it exists to satisfy global demand seven times over, according to a Stanford University study. And unlike oil, there is no possibility of it running out.
Wind Power vs Corporate Power
From 2000 to 2007, the size of the wind power industry increased fivefold. Last year, records were shattered with $36 billion in total global wind investments in wind power and in the next ten years, the industry is expected to quadruple. With giant corporations influencing government policies on rebates, tax credits and subsidies for new small wind energy, it is even more important that small communities look at the alternatives to corporate power. Small wind energy has a big part to play in the transition toward a clean energy economy.