Should I invest in a wind turbine for my home?

You need to ask yourself a few questions before flying down the path of wind turbine ownership.  

Do I have the correct geographically location?  Most homes have the ability to install solar panels in some manner on the home.  The sun is going to hit your home eventually unless you are deeply covered with trees.  Wind on the other hand is not going to be good for every home type.  If you do live in a mature neighborhood, trees can play a factor in how much wind is flowing around you home.  If you live in a wide open area you have a better chance for longer more frequent bursts of wind.


Will my investment payoff?  The U.S. Department of Energy has surveyed the entire United States with averages available for your geographical area.  The surveys are done at an 80-meter height.  On average the state of Florida generates 6.0 m/s, which converts to 160 kW.  Utility bills are measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).  The wind turbines are also calculated by size in kW.  In Florida you would not need a turbine larger than 10 kW.   Companies and industry groups state the average power usage for a home is about 10,000 kWh.  If we use the Florida daily average of 160 kW, times 365 days a year, the calculated output is 58,400 kW per year.  These numbers look good, but this is assuming that you are having 6.0 m/s winds for everyday of the year.   There are so many factors to consider if your system is actually going to sustain the full daily average.  There is also power that is lost with in the system during conversion.   The costs of home wind turbine systems have been reducing every year.  The average system can be bought for under $15,000 per turbine.  Currently The U.S. government provides a 30% rebate on installed systems.


At this point or in the future the cost of these systems will keep decreasing and your return on investment will payoff that much sooner.  If you meet the geographical, financial, and finally the NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) factor of your neighbors or homeowners association I think it is becoming a viable option for alternative energy for the average residential home.

-Mr. Green