Soaring world oil prices coupled with the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US makes it little wonder that home owners are looking for financial relief in the form of renewable energy. Residential Wind Power has surged in popularity over the last 12 months with demand for the earth friendly power almost tripling according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The number of residential installations of wind turbines in the United States rose from 400 to 1,200 units in the past year. Supplying that tiny but red-hot market are dozens of new companies that have popped up since 2000. Though a half-dozen companies dominate the market, AWEA tracks about 45 US manufacturers. With demand strong overseas, too, the US is the world leader in wind power systems, exporting more than half of what it sells.
Wind power can be expensive. Small wind turbines for homes and farms run in the 2 to 10 kilowatt range. A smaller wind turbine can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $60,000 installed. A rule of thumb: Turbine systems cost about $6 to $8 per watt (1 kilowatt = 1,000 watts), installed.
The driving factor in the growth of residential wind power is the link to the power grid which is also helping buyers overcome the initial cost. While wind power has long been popular for “off the grid” homes miles from power lines, growth in residential “grid tied” homes lagged until “net metering” laws were passed. Net metering means a utility must buy back extra power produced by a wind turbine – yes the power company pays you!
Better wind technology has helped, too. Lighter magnets in the generators, blades that adjust to wind conditions, and units that wireless report how much power they’re making (along with global-warming concerns) are creating a perfect storm of interest in suburban, even urban residential wind power.
If you are handy on the tools, want to get some great wind turbine plans or simply want to learn more about residential wind power then i suggest you have a look at out top 3 home made wind turbines.