Friday, December 01, 2006

Rooftop Wind Turbines Create a Stir in Britain

Those who say that wind power should play a prominent role in replacing fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions probably do not have in mind the type of small wind turbines that have recently been appearing on rooftops in British cities. An article in The Christian Science Monitor focuses on the first such device to be installed on a roof in the city of Brighton. The owner paid $3,900 to have his miniature windmill. While the reporter was present the device was generating 0.8 kilowatts, enough to run only a small electrical appliance. No wonder questions have been raised in Britain about whether these rooftop wind turbines can ever save enough money to pay for the original installation. Nevertheless, among urban dwellers in Britain who are very environmentally conscious these devices have become very popular. Whether this miniature windmill craze is simply folly, the latest symbol of environmentalism, or actually an important step in combating global warming has become a subject of debate among the British. From this side of the Atlantic it appears to me that the rooftop wind tubines are a positive development.

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