Compared to other renewable energies for domestic or business use, wind turbine costs vary considerably between manufacturers and installers. Our advice, first of all, is to make sure that this is the right technology for you.
Your site should:
- Have a wind speed minimum of 5 metres per second (to test, you can install an anemometer).
- Ensure there are no obstructions (e.g., other houses, trees) that could cause turbulence.
- Make sure your building is not listed or has any restrictions imposed on it if you are thinking of installing a roof mounted system.
- Decide if you have enough land for foundations if you are installing a free standing wind turbine.
- Check whether you need planning permission to install a wind turbine.
Discover more about whether your site is suitable for a wind turbine.
In general, free standing wind turbines are more expensive but more productive than roof mounted arrays.
Roof Mounted Wind Turbines
If you have a high roof that gets enough wind speed on a regular basis then you may well consider installing a roof mounted wind turbine. They vary in power from about 0.5 kW to 2.5 kW and can be used to supplement your electricity supply. Before you take the option of getting a roof mounted turbine you need to understand that it will probably not provide all the electricity you need (though it may well take the edge of increasing fuel bills over the next 20 years). It almost certainly will not provide you with enough energy to profit from the Feed in Tariff.
The average cost of a roof mounted wind turbine is around £2,000 which will also need to be maintained (The Energy Savings Trust estimate that this could cost £100 to £200 per year).
Find our list of roof mounted turbine manufacturers here.
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Free-Standing Wind Turbines
For those that are serious about using wind as a means of providing renewable energy for a local source and perhaps benefitting from the Feed in Tariff, free-standing wind turbines offer a much more effective option. They are also more expensive to install.
Cost depends on the size and the output that is desired. A 1.5 kW turbine would cost approximately £7,000 and deliver around 2,600 kW over a year depending on your location and wind speeds. A larger array that has a 15 kW capability would cost in the region of £70,000 and return approximately 36,000 kW of energy over a year.
You can find a list of smaller wind turbine manufacturers (up to 100 kW) here.
For all wind turbine systems you also need to take into account the maintenance costs and the price that needs to paid if you have to apply for planning permission. A wind turbine is built to last over 20-25 years but a number of important parts may need replacing before that date such as batteries or the inverter that converts your DC current to AC.
Financing for Wind Turbines
Finding the initial outlay for your wind turbine development can often be a problem. There are a number of financial institutions and grants available that you can now take advantage of if you are serious about using wind to power your house and the surrounding grid. Find out more about finance for wind turbines here.
The Feed in Tariff for Wind Turbines
One of the attractive things about installing a renewable energy source is the chance it gives you to sell your excess electricity to the power companies and make a decent return on investment. The Feed in Tariff for wind turbines varies according to the size of the array and how much power it produces. A 1.5 kW turbine would attract a Feed in Tariff of 8.53 pence per kWh whilst one that produced over 50kW but less than 100kW would earn you 8.53 pence per kWh and for 100kW to 1.5MW 5.46p and for over 1.5MW its only 0.86p.
You can see the current Feed-in Tariff table from the ofgem website here: CLICK TO VIEW (8 Feb-31 March2016)
Generation tariffs from 8 February 2016 for installations with an eligibility date between 15 January 2016 and 31 March 2016
Generation tariffs from 1 April 2016 for installations with an eligibility date between 1 April 2016 and 30 June 2016
|(if UNAFFECTED by a deployment cap)||(if AFFECTED by a deployment cap|
|Technology||Capacity||Higher rate tariff p/kWh
|Higher rate tariff p/kWh||Higher rate tariff p/kWh|
Find out more about how much wind turbines can earn you.
The Energy Levy Exemption Certificate
If you are a business you may have to pay a levy or tax on the energy such as gas, electricity or coal that you is used in the day to day running of your company. If you install a renewable energy source then you may be eligible for an Energy Levy Exemption Certificate which could save you more money after your initial investment for the installation of a wind turbine.
Impact on Property Price
One other thing that you will need to take into account before installing a wind turbine on your premises is the effect that it may have on the property price. There is not much evidence currently available that having one installed with have a large adverse effect but a lot may depend on how efficient your system is. Of course, it will also depend on your location. If your wind turbine is on farmland and producing a good return on the Feed in Tariff it is more likely to add value to any sale. If you have a roof mounted system that simply takes the edge off your energy bills, you might find that aesthetic principles come into play.
Find out more about the impact of wind turbines on property prices here.
The table below gives you a rough idea of the initial costs of domestic wind turbine systems:
|System size||Indicative system cost (incl. VAT @5%)||Approx. yearly system output*|
*We have assumed the average UK wind speed of 5.6m/s for the sake of illustration. The actual system output is predicated upon a large range of factors. Larger, higher output turbines also tend to be mounted at greater heights, where wind speeds are higher.
Depending on the type and size of the turbine, there are also annual system maintenance costs which one must bear in mind, though these tend to be relatively small. Since they rely on relatively simple mechanical processes, the turbines themselves tend to have a long life, and typically come with a service warranty period of 10-20 years. If the wind turbine system contains batteries for the storage of the electricity generated, these will probably need to be replaced around every 5 to 10 years.
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Offshore Wind Turbines – A financial cash cow or a political real world energy solution.
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