Breaking into Wind in the U.K.

I have this fantasy of super efficient micro turbines on my roof, whirring away at the slightest breeze, allowing me to jack the electric company for monthly checks made out to me.  I envision tiny little turbines in cylindrical housings, exquisitely sensitive to even the most wafting of air currents, spinning at stirrings of air that you or I would barely feel soaking wet.  Combined with my (imagined) photovoltaic roof shingles and windows, I would be totally energy self-sufficient — no, more — I would be energy productive, feeding the grid, a man and citizen in whole.

But I wish for my neighbors to also be fully energy enfranchised, and the whole neighborhood, the city, the state, yes, the entire blessed country.  Every home its own energy source — that’s my dream.

So what brought this to mind was this in the Christian Science Monitor.  I am surprised that England has so few rooftop wind turbines, only 650 in the whole country.  You would think the border country and Scotland had wind enough to make even today’s primitive turbines cost effective.

What I find really interesting, however, is the U.K’s 30% tax credit for wind turbines and 50% credit for solar.  In the states, tax credits produced a solar boom in the 1970’s — and, unfortunately, a boom in fraudulent self-styled “solar contractors” as well. They behaved so badly, and were so ubiquitous,  that the solar industry is just now regaining respectability. I hope the U.K. avoids that experience.


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