i23: Installation of publicly owned vertical axis wind turbines designed for urban spaces

4 supporter

 Wind turbines are one of the main renewable electricity sources in the UK, however, most are large conventional wind turbines off the shore or in the countryside. However, there have been recent innovations in designing wind turbines that can be installed within cities to generate renewable energy, e.g. vertical axis wind turbines (see here for instance https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/these-creative-wind-turbines-will-have-you-rethinking-what-you-know-about-wind-power-180957767/ and here https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/vertical-axis-wind-turbine ). We suggest installing a network of such urban design wind turbines across Bradford. We moreover suggest that this enterprise should be cooperatively owned by the city’s citizens, a good example where this has worked very well is the Danish Island Samsø (see here: https://www.rapidtransition.org/stories/the-worlds-first-renewable-island-when-a-community-embraces-wind-power/).

 

Rationale:

Wind energy can and should be harnessed in an urban setting to generate renewable energy for citizens. Various designs are now available that are both efficient in generating energy and aesthetically appealing. For energy storage on less windy days one could potentially combine wind energy with a hydropower plant. The suggestion for cooperative ownership stems from the fact that this allows to get people onboard. The principle that was put into practice in Samsø was that if you could see a turbine from your window, you could sign on as a co-investor. The fact that so much of the island’s community have a direct stake in the wind turbines helped to build the near unanimous consensus that the transition to self-generated renewable energy was a good thing. As the Samsø community is now selling excess energy into the national grid, people actually make substantial money with their investment as well.

Suggestions for improvement (1)

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Technology in Development

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As seen in your referenced articles, this tehnology is still in the development stage, and urban wind may not be enough to generate serious amounts of electricity at this time. However, supporting urban wind turbine technology with investment and focus on producing turbines less harmful to migrating animals, less of an eye/ear sore for humans, and more efficient is a great idea. So I would suggest a shift in thought pattern: away from trying to generate money from selling excess energy, and more towards encouraging research into turbine design and testing, maybe with local businesses, schools and individuals competeing, or cooperating to improve and innovate from existing designs. The winning/best developed model(s) can then be commisioned for production based on local investment by local people to own the 'working art' to be placed in their district [Bradford Centre and/or Bradford Suburbs].

Issue #23

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