Green Business Bureau Blog
Let the Wind Blow through Your Air: Investing in Wind Farming
With alternative energy becoming all the rage, development in wind energy is gaining momentum. Solar energy is limited by having daylight to supply power, where wind energy can work 24 hours a day to produce electricity. Over the last twenty years, wind power has become the fastest growing alternative energy. Wind power can be scaled up or down to your needs and funding, and the government has different tax rebates available for certain applications, which can help save even more money. People have been using windmills for thousands of years to help pump water from wells. Only in the last few decades has technological advances allowed using windmills to produce electricity an effective alternative to power.
For the People
Before you run down to the local home improvement store to snatch up the latest windmill, research needs to be done to confirm that your local government will allow wind power. Many communities have a height restriction of 35 feet, which would include your wind mill standing on a pole. The United States Department of Energy has an excellent website to help you get started with finding out the information you need to know at www.energysavers.gov. This website has information on the average wind speed across the nation with an interactive map to find out if your area has enough wind to make installing a wind turbine worth the cost.
In general, the consensus is that your area should have an average of 6 to 8 meters per second of wind to be a good candidates for wind power. However, newer wind kits allow wind power to be used in areas with a lower wind average. Along with height restrictions, average wind, you will need to research zoning laws, building codes, easement requirements and noise abatements. Thankfully, the Department of Energy’s website has all the information and links to start with.
Wind Farming Opportunities
In addition to providing wind energy for eco-friendly electricity, investing in wind energy can also help you create money. One way to do this is to lease land to a wind farm. According to some sources, a landowner can earn as much as five thousand dollars per turbine each year just by giving a company permission to install wind turbines on their vacant land. Given the high cost of wind turbine installation, most of these leases last for ten to twenty-five years, giving wind farm leasing long term income potential.
Another way that a wind farm can be financially lucrative is when a farmer installs wind turbines in his land to power his own systems. If sufficient turbines are installed the electrical gain will be more than the farmer can use. This opens up investment opportunities. Farmers can then sell shares of their wind farm, providing electricity to those who buy into the farm.
One of the biggest problems with wind farming is that most of the best places to put wind turbines are far from population centers that need the electricity. However, companies who own large amounts of land in windy areas near population or manufacturing centers may be able to lease their land to wind farmers, buying back some of the electricity at a substantially reduced rate. For many companies and investors, buying into wind facilities near them can be an excellent investment.
Wind is the Best Choice
No matter if you decide on a large wind turbine to completely take you off the grid, or a smaller version to help supplement the electric bill and provide backup power, choosing to go with wind power is a smart choice. Wind power is a clean and never ending power source that will continue to be used more often in the decades to come. Advances and development will continue to make wind turbines more efficient and cost affective only adding to making wind the right choice in alternative fuel.