Wind Energy Issues

Legal Issues
This section discusses utility interconnection, zoning, ordinances, building codes, land use and liability and insurance.

Important legal issues may determine the feasibility of installing or operating a wind energy system. The type and size of the machine chosen, the tower height and regulations in the city, town or neighborhood where the wind turbine will be located could legally prevent installation or operation, and may influence your decision whether to buy.

Social and Environmental Issues
This section discusses turbine aesthetics and visibility, noise, television interference and effects on wildlife.

Consider social and environmental issues when installing or operating a wind energy system.

Economic Issues
This section addresses economic questions and charts a course toward a well-informed investment decision.

The energy supply market is very competitive, led by utilities and fuel companies that meet nearly all our energy demands. Alternative energy sources like wind power provide new options and certain advantages, but to be truly competitive with conventional energy sources, they also must be economical.

Throughout their lives, people make informed decisions on major purchases and financial investments. In the case of home and car purchases, the decision is usually which one to buy, rather than whether to buy, because these items are considered necessities. Many sources of professional advice are available to assist the buyer in making a sound decision for these common types of investments. For wind turbines, where the choice to buy is voluntary, good advice can be hard to find.

How does the average homeowner, farmer or business person choose between wind energy and the energy source he or she now uses? A wind energy system requires a large initial capital outlay, but over its lifetime it will provide years of energy with no fuel cost while the costs of other sources of energy may escalate.

How much do wind turbines cost and will they eventually pay for themselves? Will utility rates change in the future and by how much? This information will prepare prospective buyers to determine the potential financial gain available from the wind system chosen to fit a particular energy profile.

Making a Decision
This section reviews nine points to consider when making a wind energy decision.

Should you invest in a wind turbine? The choice is ultimately yours and yours alone. A well informed decision will require much thought and personal research. We hope this site will provide enough information about wind energy to help you decide on your next step.

Plan to review other literature and contact a number of wind turbine dealers or consultants to answer questions specific to your site and application.

Information about wind turbine manufacturers, dealers and wind energy consultants to help you select the equipment best suited to your needs is avaiable in the Resources section.

Plan to visit a few installed wind machines near you. This is a good way to become familiar with local wind turbine dealers and their performance with clients.