Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pennies in the wind

Interesting report from the New Economics Foundation on renewable energy sources. Advocates have often claimed that all the world's energy needs can potentially be sourced from renewable sources - wind, solar, geothermal, etc. The UK is particularly well placed for wind power, both offshore and on. Small wind farms are an established feature of the Pennines along the Yorkshire-Lancs border, a graceful addition to the moorland landscape of old mills and viaducts. I use a renewables electricity suppler at home, so it's fair to say that all my writing is wind-powered (including the odd feature on this very subject).

The NEF report largely focuses on micro-generation - household or community scale generation, such as small wind or solar projects, or CHP boilers. Key to the spread of these technologies is the simple fact that they can pay for themselves in a few years, and then be cash-generative as you sell excess generation back to the grid.

The case is charmingly illustrated by the islanders of Gigha, who bought their island in 2002 and have now installed three second-hand wind turbines named Faith, Hope and Charity. The Guardian report quotes the no-less-charmingly named spokesman, Willie McSporran: "You just hear a little swish as the blade passes overhead. You can speak beside them as you would normally ... . When you hear the noise, it's saying pennies, pennies. It's making money for the community all the time."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home