Two years ago I highlighted an innovative, compact and efficient wind turbine (RidgeBlade) designed to be installed on roof-tops:
“The unique design means it can reliably produce electricity in low or variable wind conditions whilst creating very little visual impact. This means that it is suitable for locations including urban houses, rural buildings and environmentally-sensitive sites such as National Parks.”
Powering Up … Up on the Roof, January 2011
I predicted that, “technology is moving toward small, efficient power generators that create power where it’s needed, minimizing distribution costs and transmission losses”. Back then this turbine was in the development stage. I’m happy to say that these turbines are now being tested in “multiple locations around the world”. There are two versions, one designed for commercial flat roofs (RB2) and one for conventional, residential pitched roofs (RB1). The commercial RB2 turbine “has now finished testing and we are ready to supply selected customers with turbines for evaluation purposes, in advance of full production.” The residential version is expected to be available for sale in a year.
This is enormously good news because it makes health and environmental disputes over large-scale wind turbines irrelevant … “the RidgeBlade has been developed to be retrofitted into the existing built environment.” It potentially offers clean, affordable, renewable energy even to Canada’s most isolated northern communities. It also takes some of the wind out of Ontario’s Green Energy strategy, which aims to create a large-scale wind turbine manufacturing industry here. It makes smart grid upgrades all the more urgent to prepare for wide-spread, locally based, small-scale electric generation to the grid. RidgeBlade energy production would automatically scale to population growth and economic activity. Here’s some more information from the RidgeBlade web site:
Is it efficient?
“testing has shown that a 12m RB2 installation will produce in excess of 3,200 kwh per year in an average UK location”
Is it affordable?
“the unit has been designed to be low cost, in terms of manufacture, installation and maintenance.”
If there are about 12,000 residences in Innisfil and half of them installed a RidgeBlade system, let’s conservatively estimate that each one might produce 1,000 kwh/yr. That would be 6 million new kwh/yr of clean electricity. And that doesn’t include potential capacity on flat roof commercial and institutional buildings. So here’s another prediction: energy production, storage and distribution is about to be totally turned on its head! Imagine the implications for local and global economies!
Wind Turbine Debate Gusts, Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star, January 13, 2013
Wind Isn’t Perfect, But Let’s Be Truthful About Its Value, Tyler Hamilton, Toronto Star, Jan. 11, 2013