Some campaigners oppose the idea of 'paying people off' to secure planning permission for windfarms. Photograph: Richard Osbourne/Blue Pearl Photographic/Alamy
Skjerka power station. Agder Energi’s vision is to be one of the leading companies in the Norwegian renewable energy sector.
Humans are navel-contemplating creatures. To Norwegians, Norway is the world’s navel.
Think wind power and you probably imagine multimegawatt-scale wind farms featuring gigantic turbines producing power for a few thousand homes. But a handful of companies in the United States would prefer to have each home powered by its own wind turbine. For years, residential wind power has been a niche business, mainly because the turbines designed for this market cost more than many consumers were willing to spend and the units were not efficient enough to match the cost of power from the grid. But now, one company has managed to break the cost barrier with an affordable turbine that matches the efficiency of commercial wind farm turbines and produces power at grid prices.
It’s an expert estimation that the total energy stored in wind is 100 times higher than actually needed by humans on this earth. The catch is that we have to learn and devise ways to trap this wind power blowing across the planet earth. Experts tell us one more thing that most of the wind energy is available at high altitude and we can’t manufacture turbines of that height.
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