New ideas for renewable energy generation have enjoyed prominence in the press over the last year. A wind energy collection turbine was one student’s idea which captured peoples imagination, with a structure supporting two wind turbines arching over the full width of a highway. The idea is that the turbine collects energy from the moving cars and converts this energy into electricity.

Other ideas have included a renewable “wind energy ball” which aims to capture wind energy without long blades. Dutch company Home Energy claims its wind ball can provide around 15% of the needs of an average home – however figures like this can vary dramatically depending on factors such as the location of the house.

New ideas for renewable technology- particularly for micro-renewable energy are great and very much needed. Companies and individuals do however need to be wary of buying into products without thoroughly checking them out. Renewable energy devices need to be technically proven, commercially sensible and appropriate for their host location to be bought by the masses.

At the moment, when it comes to wind energy nothing beats the commercial scale 2-3MW two or three bladed horizontal axis wind turbine for renewable and sustainable electricity production in the UK, many parts of Europe and the US.

The turbulence caused by buildings in towns and smaller scale nature of most urban turbines mean that electricity production in urban areas is not as attractive. Conversely there are benefits to being close to the point of demand. The ideal solution is an open windy site close to a town, however as most really windy sites are in very rural areas, a balance needs to be struck.

So, what if you want something for your own domestic use? For home produced electricity, wind energy may not be the best solution and research into different technologies is essential. Contact organisations such as the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, Solar Trade Association and the relevant wind energy association using the links from my resources page to investigate what is best for you.

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