Wind turbines- a guide for developers
General guidance on what you should consider when fitting wind turbines.
Home energy use is responsible for about 27% of all UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. By making your home more energy-efficient, you will help reduce these emissions, save energy, save money and help save the environment.
Since the 19th century our society has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. These fuels are finite and need to be conserved. Burning fossil fuels releases large amounts of CO2, a greenhouse gas, which is causing global warming.
Renewable energy is derived from natural forces that are continuously at work in the earth's environment and are not depleted by use. Renewable energy sources produce few or no greenhouse gases.
Is planning permission required?
You will need to apply for planning permission (and listed building consent) for wind turbines. If you live in a listed building or a conservation area.
Other things you should consider
Wind turbines are easiest to fit in a new-build development as part of an integrated design. They can be fitted to existing dwellings depending on their location and orientation. All renewable energy technologies have a higher initial cost than conventional building services. The first steps therefore should be to: install a condensing boiler; improve floor, roof and wall insulation; fit energy-saving light bulbs; upgrade and improve your fridge/freezer and other appliances; fit thermostatic radiator valves; and install double or triple glazing.
Only when energy-efficiency measures have been installed should you consider generating energy from renewable energy sources. By reducing your energy demand first you save money and reduce the size of the renewable energy installation required.
The UK has the largest potential wind resource in northern Europe. Wind turbines convert the power in the wind into electrical energy. Wind turbines can have outputs from a few watts (for battery charging), to several megawatts for the large offshore turbines. A number of companies have developed micro wind turbines for domestic purposes with low noise and vibration, which are suitable for roof mounting.
Submitting planning permission for a wind turbine
When you make a planning application, it is important that all the necessary information is also submitted. You will need to provide the application form and fee, as well as a site plan, details of the wind turbine proposed and a statement setting out why you consider the application is acceptable. You should consider these points in your statement:
- The turbine will be visible to a large number of people and this should be assessed
- It is important to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area
- Turbines will create noise which could lead to disturbance to residents. A noise assessment should accompany any planning application
- Where the turbine is going to be set in the countryside, the impact on the landscape will be important. A visual assessment of the site should accompany any planning application