Home wind turbines under fresh attack

Study claims some use more electricity than they generate

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It seems that the idea of having a home wind turbine to generate eco-friendly electricity to power your gadgets is fundamentally flawed.

A new study claims that home wind turbines generate a fraction of the power that manufacturers say they do.

"The results of what is thought to be the most comprehensive study undertaken of the industry show the worst performers provided just 41 watt-hours a day - less than the energy needed for a conventional lightbulb for an hour, or even to power the turbine's own electronics," reads a shocking report in the Guardian.

Rush to embrace eco-friendly power

The study on home turbines was carried out by consultants Encraft. It would seem that the rush to embrace 'green' technologies is leading a number of home turbine manufacturers and high-profile consumers to get a little ahead of themselves.

The Guardian report adds that: "Trendsetters included the actor Pete Postlethwaite at his country house in Shropshire and novelist Iain Banks at his home near Edinburgh. Opposition leader David Cameron applied for permission for a turbine on his west London home."

Matthew Rhodes, Encraft's MD, added that: "Sadly, an average semi-detached house, like the areas where most people live, where there are obstructions like trees and buildings, are poor locations," adding that most consumers of home turbines have been poorly advised by the manufacturers to date.

The latest study was funded by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA).