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Turbine tribulations


It was disappointing to read (NCE 8 February) that 'the future of micro-generation has been thrown into question' and that a turbine will 'take 2,457 years to pay for itself', all based on a mere three weeks of data.

The view of the turbine in the article also appears to show a low mast in a wooded area.

If this is the case, I fear that this and other cases of poor siting combined with tabloid style journalism are giving microgeneration an undeserved bad name.

Although it is unacceptable that taxpayers' money be wasted on grants for poorly performing schemes, the well sited larger free standing small-scale turbines can make a signicant contribution to reducing carbon footprint at reasonable cost.

Even my Proven Energy 6kW turbine on an exposed hilltop in Scotland produced virtually no energy for two windless weeks after commissioning last December. It has now produced 3.5MWh in two months, earning about £300 in a combination of Renewable Obligation Certicates (ROCs) and electricity bill savings.

The capital costs of domestic turbines are still a little too high and not everyone lives on a Scottish hilltop facing southwest. The likes of Large are to be commended for at least wading through the bureaucratic forms and trying to reverse the adverse impact of our activities. I hope their turbine's productivity improves.

Mine cost about £22,000 and qualied for a 30% grant which was capped at £5,000. It should easily pay off in decades rather than millennia.w.

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