written by:
January 1, 2009
Originally published in A New Shade of Green

When we think of alternative energy at home, our minds leap straight to solar panels, the most obvious symbol of a site-generated grid-free power source.

It’s less common to think of wind turbines for small-scale residential use, because most of us have only seen them by the hundreds along highways or on agricultural land. The power generated on those sprawling farms can be purchased for residential use through many energy providers, but it’s also possible to put a small turbine right on your property and get the same results with the added bonus of self-sufficiency. Residential wind turbines have been slower to hit the market than solar, largely because refining the design for home use has required a great deal of engineering (especially maximizing efficiency where wind currents don’t reach high intensities). However, a host of start-ups are rising to the challenge and the first residential turbines to hit the market are said to provide for up to 70 percent of a home’s energy needs.

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