LONDON Many wind turbines mounted on homes in
British cities are contributing to global warming, not fighting
it, according to a new study.
And although many environmentally-friendly homeowners also
hope to cut their bills by generating their own power, most
micro-turbines will never save as much money as the equipment
costs, according to the study by the Building Research
"In large urban areas such as Manchester, even with very
favorable assumptions about efficiency, lifetime and
maintenance, micro-wind turbines may never pay back their
carbon emissions," the report says.
"Even in the most favorable location considered in the
study, there is no financial payback within the expected life
of the systems, with the current system and electricity costs."
The study analyzed the likely performance of three of the
most common household wind turbines in Manchester and
Portsmouth in England and Wick in Scotland.
In many cases -- and across most of Manchester -- more
climate-warming carbon dioxide is produced in the manufacture,
installation and maintenance of the turbines than they save by
generating "green" power over their expected lifetime.
"These studies have shown a large variation in the expected
CO2 payback periods from a few months in good locations to
situations where they never pay back, in poor locations," the
Only those climate-conscious homeowners in the best
locations in the two smaller cities studied can expect to save
more carbon dioxide than their turbines are responsible for
(Reporting by Daniel Fineren; editing by James Jukwey)