Home-scale small wind turbines are showing up on more rooftops and flagpoles across America, ushering in a cleaner energy future. More homeowners are enjoying greater self-reliance and contributing to clearer air.
As the New York Times points out, part of the reason for the rise in 'propeller' popularity is improving technology, as well as greater awareness and various government incentives.
Not only does turbine efficiency keep improving, but it is now easier to wire units into the existing grid, so you don't need expensive batteries. Overall cost is also falling, and wind turbines are becoming more "plug and play."
With many states following net metering, if you don't need all the power you are producing, you can sell it back to the grid, spinning your meter backwards. Beware though that it can take several years to earn your investment back on a turbine, even as many as 20.
The technology is becoming especially popular in California (big surprise) and the Northeast. However, some neighborhood associations are still opposing it on various grounds, especially viewshed (newer equipment is less likely to chop up birds, as the old fear goes). But for many homeowners part of their energy future is blowing in the wind.
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