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Description of small wind


Small wind � wind-powered electric systems sized for homes, farms, and small businesses � as an industry has experienced major growth in the past decade. These turbines, which are defined as 100 kilowatts in capacity and below, have seen their market grow significantly and the industry has set ambitious growth targets continuing at 18-20% through 2011. The U.S. is the leading world producer of small wind turbines, the vast majority of which are manufactured on U.S. soil. These machines are used by individuals to lower their electric bills, become independent of their electric grid, and to avoid the unpredictability of traditional energy prices.

Benefits:

    • Wind is a clean fuel source.

    • Wind energy doesn't pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. Wind turbines don't produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gasses.

    • Wind supply is abundant.

    • There is sufficient winds as per the NERL to produce over 40,000 megawatts of power.

    • Wind is a renewable energy.

    • Wind is actually a form of solar energy; winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the earth's surface irregularities.

    • Wind turbines help the Rural economy.

  • High first cost along with creating jobs benefiting the economy in rural areas, Wind power plant owners make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land. Farmers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the available space.

Concerns:

    • High first cost

      • Wind power must compete with conventional generation sources on a cost. Here in Indiana we have one of the lowest costs for energy in the country. This competition between High first cost free wind and low first cost electricity means a high return on investment is difficult without subsidies.

      • The wind is intermittent

        • The supply of wind and the demand for electricity in your business will not be in perfectly matched. Since wind energy cannot be stored (unless batteries are used) it is critical to have a good partnership with your local utility.

        • Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly positioning of the wind turbines. Distance from the turbine is important for this concern.

    Source AWEA

    | TOP |  

    Key to good performance is the height and position of tower


    Putting your turbine on a short tower is like putting a
    solar panel in the shade


    Source DOE 2007 small wind guide

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