Small wind generation is not only good for the environment; it creates jobs too.
A few days ago we wrote about Sauer’s WindCharger, a new, small wind generation turbine that is attracting a great deal of interest from potential distributors.
Small wind is the equivalent of rooftop solar generation. Small turbines are designed be set up on top of office towers, airports, shopping malls as well as residences.
As interest in it grows, so does manufacturing of the nearly 8,000 small parts necessary to assemble a small wind turbine. This, in turn, creates manufacturing jobs.
Area Development magazine, a trade publication focused on site and facility planning, wrote that small wind turbine manufacturing is driving job creation in some areas of the United States.
“Manufacturers of small wind turbines are knocking some of the rust off the Rust Belt. For example, Windspire Energy, founded in 2005 as Mariah Power, is producing small, low-cost silent wind turbines in Manistee, Michigan, at a former automotive parts factory”, the publication wrote.
What’s more, besides the current 30 employees, there are plans to increase personnel to more than 120 people over the next three tears. Priority will be given to those made unemployed by the auto industry.
The article said that former auto plants in states such as Michigan, Indiana and Ohio are “prime candidates” to produce small wind turbine parts. Many other types of hardware industries such as iron foundries and control device makers will be able to supply wind turbine manufacturers as well.
This is good news for the country. Half of the components used to manufacture wind turbines in the U.S. are also made in the United States, up from 25 per cent in 2004.
Besides the Midwest, the article mentions manufacturing plants of small wind turbines in California (WePOWER and AeroVironment) and Colorado (New Millennium Wind Energy).
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.
Great article! Clean energy in general is creating more and better jobs and we need to spread the word. Check out my recent blog post on the same topic: http://www.energysage.com/blog/clean-energy-industry-key-american-economy-future-job-growth
Small wind can make sense in rural areas, especially for off-grid applications, however in the urban environment they almost never make sense. In the built environment the average wind speeds are low and the wind is very turbulent. Many producers of small wind turbines claim that their product is especially suited for these conditions, but in reality they (almost) never live up to expectations. Several field tests have shown that in many cases not even the embedded energy is recovered.
Like it or not: the future of wind energy is large scale.
You cannot tell the future of wind.
Small wind is able to produce more electricity on a per acre basis. VAWT’s are able be stacked more closely than large horizontal turbines.
With lower cut-in speeds and virtually no maximum speeds, these turbines are a fantastic, low-cost alternative.
I doubt your per acre statement: You might be right if you just count nominla power. However, large wind turbines are not only wide, they are also high, which means they experience much higher wind speeds than small wind turbines. Which in turn means they will have a higher production factor.
But even if it were true, it is hardly important. It is about the cost per produced kWh. And there large wind turbines definitely win. (Otherwise nobody would have bothered to up-scale the tiny midgets of the eighties to the mighty giants of today).
Various VAWT designs have propped up since the seventies. They had enthusiastic supporters and enough R&D money at their disposal. Nevertheless, they never broke through, for the simple reason that they just do not work as well as the HAWT’s that have been derived from the classic Danish concept.
There is another segment of wind power plant producers that are NOT mentioned here, those that live in “Do it yourself”, very rural locations. My sweetie pie and I built a 750 watt plant for our rural Far West Texas home, for a TOTAL outlay of 400 dollars, and that INCLUDES the load diverter / charge controller. Subsequent wind plants will be even MORE cost effective, as they can be wired into the existing electronics.
Comments are closed.