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Study Says Home Wind Turbines Are Often Useless

Before buying a small wind turbine for your roof, consider this: a recent British study claims that many home turbines generate only a fraction of what manufacturers promise, and some don’t even generate enough power to run their own electronics. The study, which was funded by the British Wind Energy Association, looked at turbines in four rural, 10 suburban, and 12 urban sites over the course of a year.

Many of the turbines in the study generated on average only 214 watt hours per day— less than five percent of a household’s electricity.

Unfortunately for many homeowners, obstructions like trees and buildings often get in the way of accessing substantial wind power. Turbines installed on buildings in exposed positions obviously have the best results.

Of course, there are still plenty of options for homeowners hoping to invest in renewable energy, including solar panels, which usually reap better results than home turbines.

Photo Credit: NREL

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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