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Geography should not be a barrier to harnessing green electricity from your own small turbine

Gerry Lalonde, CEO, Orenda Energy Solutions, tells PES how he feels wind energy could be exchanged from one location to another. This is certainly food for thought and could make a big difference to small turbine owners, or perspective owners with no space near their current location.

One of the chief concerns facing the small/medium wind energy industry is a geographical one, based purely on supply and demand.

Imagine a business located in the middle of an urban area that wishes to be self-sustaining with its own ‘green’ electricity supply. If the business is located in an area where there is little or no wind and local planning laws preclude them from siting a small turbine on the property, is there not a conversation to be had with Government, which leads to a relaxing of the rules whereby any business can buy and erect a turbine on a ‘wind-friendly’ landscape, in another part of the country and have access to the equivalent amount of generated energy by these turbines from the grid?

Is this not a classic case of supply not being efficiently matched to demand?

Current legislation prohibits an energy consumer based on the South Coast of England, to purchase a wind turbine and locate it hundreds of miles away in the North of Scotland, export energy to the grid and use the same generated amount of electricity albeit from the grid where they are located.

The situation differs for a large utility company that might own a mega-watt wind farm. It may have the resources to become a re-seller. However, for an individual who owns one or two small turbines, this is currently very hard to achieve.

I believe the UK government needs to facilitate a change in legislation which harmonises the rules for everyone. If a company based hundreds of miles away from its turbine location can generate vast amounts of energy within that location, then what should stop them from drawing the same level of local ‘green’ electricity from the grid? Is this not appropriate and fair?

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