i7: Installation of publicly owned vertical axis wind turbines designed for urban spaces

5 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 Leeds. 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.

Response to Suggestions

  • Efficiency: Yes, efficiency is important. From what I know studies have suggested that although vertical axis wind turbines are not as efficient as the conventional design in generating energy, this efficiency loss is usually fully compensated by the fact that they can be placed closer/denser together. The efficiency is obviously also dependent on the specific model used, as there are a range of vertical axis wind turbine designs. I agree that before implementation a thorough assessment should be made to identify the most efficient design for the respective spatial urban context 

Suggestions for improvement (1)

written and rated by the supportes of this initiative to improve the proposal and its reasons


Efficiency comparison

collective rating: 
| implemented: 
I think that there should be a formal comparison of the efficiency of generating electricity with vertical turbines on site versus generating with standard wind turbines and transmitting via the grid (accounting for plausible increases in efficiency as the vertical turbines improve). We shouldn't return to wind power as an inefficient novelty rather than a cost-effective competitor to fossil fuels.

Issue #7

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