Home Turbines Flawed


By Alexander Lawrie 

HOME turbines which generate eco-friendly electricity are fundamentally flawed, a new study claims.

The much-publicised green appliances are said to produce much less power than the manufacturers say they do.

And the results have been backed by the Green Party who admit “micro-wind turbines aren’t the right answer”.

The findings of the comprehensive study show the worst performers only provide enough daily energy to power a light bulb for just one hour.

The power produced, just 41 watt-hours a day, is thought to be less than enough to power the turbine’s own electronics.

Award-winning actor Pete Postlethwaite is one high-profile name thought to have installed wind turbines in his Shropshire home.

And Conservative leader David Cameron is currently waiting on permission to install the turbines in his west London home.

But contrary to earlier reports, Scots novelist Iain Banks has vetoed the idea of installing wind turbines in his home in North Queensferry, Fife.

Mr Banks, 54, said: “Technically, it’s true that I did own a wind turbine for a while, but after being refused planning permission by the council and also looking into the actual benefits of the turbines I changed my mind.

“I’m still to be convinced of their actual worth. But I do still have green plans for the house, and instead of a wind turbine I’m looking into the possibility of replacing my roof tiles with electric tiles that will heat all my water.”

The study on home turbines was carried out by consultants Encraft, with funding by the British Wind Energy Association.

Matthew Rhodes, Encraft’s Managing Director, said: “Sadly, an average semi-detached house, like the areas where most people live, where there are obstructions like trees and buildings, are poor locations.”

He also added most consumers of home turbines have been poorly advised by the manufacturers.

Green MSP Robin Harper said: “We’ve long argued that for many householders, micro-wind turbines aren’t the right answer.

“In the right location, as the study shows, they can be very effective, but for most households getting their insulation right will be the best advice, both for their own budget and for the environment, and it gives the quickest return on investment for any home eco-friendly work.

“That’s why we’re asking the Scottish government to step up to this challenge and pledge loft and cavity insulation free for everyone.”