Believe it or not setting up wind power in a windy garden can be quite lucrative. This is because all electricity produced by a registered wind turbine is classed as green energy and, whether you use this electricity for your own home or pass it on to the utility company, it will make a few bob via a scheme put in place by the government in order to encourage the production of green energy. What a great idea if you have a windswept garden.

This scheme is known as the Renewable Obligation Certificates scheme and utility companies will fork out a payment of up to 23p per kWh. all of which has to be quite useful for those intending to install wind turbines on their land.

Wind Power is pure and renewable and should be considered an important component of any long-term energy strategy, because in particular wind power generation uses a natural and virtually inexhaustible source of power to produce electricity. This alone makes it a much better option than power plants that rely on fossil fuels, in addition wind power generation is clean as it doesn’t cause air, soil or water pollution. That’s an important difference between wind power and some other renewable energy sources, such as nuclear power, which produces lots of hard-to-manage waste.

Once you have produced your wind powered electricity you can either use it yourself or sell it on to a utility company. If you use it personally you obviously don’t have to pay anyone for this utility but if you can’t use it all the excess can be sold on and make a very satisfying small profit. It may sound too good to be true, but for once going green can actually earn you money.

The joy of wind is that it is completely free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation you can cut your electricity bills since you are able to store electricity for a calm day and if you live in a truly remote and windy, area where your home isn’t connected to the National Grid you can store excess electricity in batteries to use when you need it.

So what are wind turbines and what do they do?

Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and use it to generate electricity. Small systems known as “microwind” turbines can produce enough electricity for all the lights and electrical appliances in an average home. Wind turbines use large blades to catch the wind and as the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind obviously the more electricity is produced.

Is wind power a suitable energy source for my home?

Small domestic wind systems are particularly suitable for use in remote locations where mains electricity is unavailable. If you are not sure whether a small scale domestic wind turbine is right for you, ask yourself if you live in a windy area with an average windspeed of at least 5m/s and whether there any large obstacles like buildings, trees or hills near your home. Small domestic wind turbines work best in exposed locations, without turbulence which could be caused by these type of obstacles.

Do I need planning permission for a wind turbine?

Small domestic wind systems normally do require permission from your local authority, so do check before you install a system. However the good news is that you would be seen to be cutting your carbon footprint as wind electricity is green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants and you may be eligible for a grant.