The Null Device
Wind turbines a lot of hot air
Roof-mounted wind turbines are becoming the Hummers of environmental consciousness: they're big, unmistakeably conspicuous and demonstrate without question the owner's green credentials and general Guardian-reading smugness. It's a pity, then, that they don't actually do much for the environment
Green campaigners warn that rooftop windmills do little to cut greenhouse gases, may annoy your neighbours, cause vibrations that could damage your home and produce only enough electricity to power a hairdryer.
Friends of the Earth said homeowners would only save tiny amounts of electricity by investing in turbines. 'For householders the idea of a turbine is very sexy because it's an exciting piece of kit. It's making a very visible statement to the effect that, "I'm doing my bit",' said Nick Rau, a campaigner at the group. 'It's glamorous to put something on your roof. But if energy efficiency is the top priority, there are many other, much more straightforward things you could do that are much more cost effective, and more beneficial for the environment, like insulating your loft thoroughly.'
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