Backyard wind turbines

globeandmail.com: The beauty of the backyard turbine.

I would love to have something like a backyard wind turbine if it were less than $100 to set up.  Obviously, it seems to cost more than that to set something like that up in one’s backyard.

Mr. Whittaker estimates that a backyard residential turbine costing about $5,000 will probably produce electricity at about 20 to 25 cents a kilowatt hour, or more than double typical utility rates. (One kilowatt hour is the amount of juice that would keep a light bulb rated 100 watts running for 10 hours.)

$5,000 would not pay itself off in a reasonable time frame.  I may have moved somewhere after a decade.  That’s probably when the system would pay itself off.  It really sounds like a labour of love and a way to make one self feel good about the environment.

However, I have seen a neat set up one time of a Honda Insight hooked up to a tiny wind turbine to help charge the battery at night.  It makes me wonder if solar and wind energy were built into new developments, whether it would be worth the cost and investment?  With plug-in hybrids on the horizon, built-in solar or wind options could really help to reduce environmental footprints faster.

Another tip is that it is almost always cheaper to save electricity than to generate it, so anyone thinking of installing a turbine for a home or business should first try to cut power consumption through conservation measures.

That’s a good tip.  We can probably do more by conserving than expending unneeded energy.  The irony of it all, though, is that I’m typing this in my T-shirt in January.  Mind you, I think it is a little chilly right now because I did turn down the energy a little.  Just to lazy to throw on a sweater or jacket.

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