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Most home turbines not worth having: new study

A new study by the British Wind Energy Association has found that wind turbines fitted to people's homes may not be generating enough energy to power a light bulb. The report found that homeowners may have been misled by inaccurate official windspeed estimates, which may be up to a third slower than predicted. This leads to a halving of the energy produced by a turbine.

Our own turbine had similar results. We found that the habitat21 turbine (diameter 1.4m) was unable to keep a 30 watt light bulb alight continuously. In calm periods, the buffer battery ran down after a couple of days. The device was little more than an expensive ornament.

Returning to the report: a wind turbine may take 15 years to generate enough energy to compensate for its manufacture. The study was based on the output of 24 sites around the country, with a total of 64,000 turbine-hours and supported by the Government and the industry body, the British Wind Association.

David Cameron had a 3,000 turbine fitted to his home in London but it has now been removed.

Encraft, an environmental consultancy running the project, said that wind turbines perform worst in urban areas and suburban areas, but do better where the windspeed is higher, such as on the coast.

What a surprise.

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