The price of energy from my wind turbine

These are only preliminary figures, but they won't be far out...

My turbine is 1.4m in diameter and delivers about 30W on average, at times when the wind is blowing, which means 90W for an eight-hour day assuming 100% battery efficiency; enough for my computer and some lighting.

Turbines of this size usually cost about 1000, with another 1000 for the inverter, electronics and fitting, according to a recent report on the BBC.

The energy produced in a year will be:

30W x 24hrs x 365 = 262,800 Watt-hours

or 262 kWh.

At 15p a unit, that's about 39.

If the turbine lasts 20 years, each unit of electricity will have cost me about 50p, if I ignore the interest I could have had on the 2000 (60 per year at 3%). If I include the interest it will have cost me about 80p per unit.

On the other hand - I will have been independent of the Grid for office work, and won't have been affected by power cuts, which are likely to get much more frequent...

It's interesting to compare these figures with some of the claims made on pro-wind-energy websites.

I'm pro-wind-energy too, but I object to people being cheated out of their hard-earned cash. We need truthfulness when discussing energy, and at the time of writing, especially on certain energy-based websites, it is in short supply.

ND/Jun 2006

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