Micro wind places #76 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. If its share of global electricity generation increases to 1%, it could eliminate 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a cost of $US36.1 billion, against savings of $19.9 billion.
The capacity of micro wind turbines may be small, at 100 kilowatts or less, but they have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide much-needed electricity to rural areas, Drawdown explains. In developing regions such as rural Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, micro wind can generate electricity to support routine, daily activities like cooking dinner. In higher-income countries, it can be paired with utility-scale renewables to boost overall production.
Micro wind also addresses many of the controversies associated with larger wind developments: The smaller turbines are less likely to block views, and create less noise. And even though they’re located off-grid, owners can also connect them to the centralized system and receive a financial return through net metering. Perhaps most important, micro wind generates electricity without producing greenhouse gas emissions.
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Drawdown estimates that more than a million micro wind turbines are in operation around the globe. But their cost will have to come own before they can attract more market share and become accessible to consumers. Currently, “acquiring micro wind technology is beyond the reach of many,” Drawdown acknowledges, although tax credits, subsidies, and net metering can help shift that picture.
Another way to encourage micro wind is by incorporating the turbines into tall buildings like skyscrapers, or even the Eiffel Tower, which uses small turbines to bring electricity to its shops and restaurants. With more incentives and inventive ways to incorporate micro wind in different settings, this small-scale energy creator can increase its potential to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.