Paul Gipe reports further embarrassing mis-use of small wind turbines in the city…

Reno Nevada Proves -Again that Small Urban Wind Produces Poor Results.

“The City paid more than $20,000 for a Helix turbine, famous for other “worst turbine install in history” accomplishments, that generated an incredible 34 kWh in the two years since it was installed on a parking garage.

One of Cascade Engineering’s Swift turbines generated all of 129 kWh in its first year.

The Windspire turbine has generated 166 kWh in more than one year of operation.

On the other hand, the Gaia wind turbine outside of town exceeded it’s projections of 10,500 kWh per year-almost half the total generated by all the turbines in the program.”


(This photo shows a Gaia wind turbine for contrast.  It’s just an example of a well designed and properly sited small wind turbine that can make economic sense, unlike the rooftop blunders that give wind energy a bad name.)


About hugh

I live off-grid in NW Scotland and have spent my life playing with wind turbines. I also love small hydros. Hands on renewable energy is my thing and I like to learn and to share my experiences.
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8 Responses to Paul Gipe reports further embarrassing mis-use of small wind turbines in the city…

  1. mike says:

    thats all well and good for the gaia producing that kind of power when it must be a higher kw machine than the rest. maybe whoever put up the other turbines could only get planning permission for that certain system and i suppose its what they could afford too. no matter what, if you install any wind turbine it will start reducing ur bills.

    • admin says:

      hi Mike,

      You may reduce your bills but the question is whether it will ever pay back the cost to you, or the cost to the planet, of installing the equipment. In most cases these rooftop systems will never repay the energy that went into their manufacture or installation. The point I am trying to make is that they are a poorly thought out idea that has proved to be a waste of resources on so many occasions and yet people keep on making this mistake.

      Study the energy production figures!


  2. Roger Brown says:

    Judging from my contacts in the energy business, most non-alternative energy types are looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, like we had with fossil fuels.

    Anything less will get written off until fossil fuels get way more expensive.

  3. Roger Brown says:

    I suspect though that subtle variations in efficiency that wind energy folks consider significant won’t mean much to someone who’s not in the alternative energy space.

    They consider all alternative energy a joke because it doesn’t completely solve the broader problems caused by increasing prices of fossil fuel.

  4. David Simms says:

    Yea, Paul likes windmills (and so do I). He likes to see them used properly (and, so do I ) But, overall, his emphasis is a bit off-track, methinks.
    We don’t need to become a society of energy producers, primarily. That’s dead wrong.
    We, first and most emphatically, need to become conservers. We need to distinguish between wants and needs. We need to get rid of the crap…the energy hogs and the stuff with no real purpose. Then, we need to seek out, and invent, if need be, contraptions that do the job with the least amount of energy. Lastly, use energy when it becomes available not necessarily when it suits us.
    I admit to feeling somewhat curmudgeonly today.

    • admin says:

      I don’t see Paul encouraging wasteful use of energy here. If you study his work you will find that he campaigns for energy efficiency and puts it into practice in his life.

      But Paul is one of the few lone voices speaking out against the ‘greenwash’ end of the small wind turbine industry. Marketing people have identified that people will buy stuff that goes on the roof and makes bold claims for energy production. And is spite of all the mounting body of evidence that rooftop wind does not and cannot work properly, they go on profiting from this scam.


  5. admin says:

    It’s embarrassing because it gives renewable energy a bad image. It ‘demonstrates’ that the technology is over-priced and ineffective. This is due to ignorance (city installation which does not work) but it leads to public misconception that wind energy is a joke, and not worthy of serious attention or support.

    It’s bad news for the renewable energy business and ‘movement’ if you like. And the sad thing is that is that they do it ‘to be green’. Or to be seen to be green. When they end up looking like fools.

  6. Roger Brown says:

    embarrassing or just less efficient?

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