When considering switching to wind energy, many people wonder whether it’s expensive for their home or farm. While the word “expensive” is subjective, whether it’s a feasible energy source depends on one’s location, energy consumption, and budget.
The U.S. Department of Energy notes that wind energy’s cost-effectiveness depends on your situation, including your finances. Yet, it’s worth noting that switching to wind energy can be deducted from your taxes, and many states offer financial incentives.
Continue reading to learn more about whether wind energy could meet your home or farm’s needs. You can also consult the U.S. Department of Energy’s website for more information.
Whether Wind Energy Is Cost-Effective Depends on Many Factors
Who knew there were so many different factors involved in wind energy? When wondering whether wind energy is expensive for a home or farm, you should consider:
Your Property’s Location and Energy Needs
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that it costs one to two percent per kilowatt-hour. The average home uses 10,715 KW a month. So, it could cost a homeowner less than $110 a month to power every aspect of their residence.
Farms use much more energy than farms––especially those that raise livestock. According to Esource, each dairy cow needs 50 to 100-kilowatt hours to produce milk. If a farm has hundreds of cows, this could require hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours. Yet, it would still be cheaper than using other sources of energy, such as petroleum or natural gas.
Upfront Installation Costs
The cost of switching to wind power ultimately depends on your situation. If you live in a large home, you’ll probably spend $3,000 to $5,000 to install a small wind turbine, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). For larger properties, such as farms, that cost can quickly escalate, ranging between $15,000 to $75,000 for installation.
While these start-up costs seem like a lot, the cost you’ll save on energy, in the end, could be well worth it. Yet, with such a sizeable investment, when you’ll start saving money on energy depends on many factors.
The Property’s Location
Suppose you live in wind-rich energy, like Texas. It has more wind turbines than any other state because of its climate and terrain. A homeowner who installs a small wind turbine will 100 percent get a return on their investment since they’ll have plenty of renewable energy to work with.
Matters change if you live in another state, like Florida. Despite its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, this state is not known for being a solid source of wind energy. If you live in this state, you could spend thousands on a wind turbine and not see a return on your investment for years.
Challenges with Switching to Wind Energy––for Homes and Farms
To get a good idea about whether wind energy is cost-effective, one must also consider the challenges with making the switch. Some considerations include:
Other Energy Sources Might Be More Cost-Effective
Popular Science notes that solar and wind are the most cost-effective forms of energy. The publication notes that solar power generally costs $31 per megawatt-hour, and wind power costs $26 per megawatt-hour.
Let’s consider location again. If you live in Florida, you will save more money switching to solar power than wind power––simply because sunlight is more available (they call it the “Sunshine State” for a reason). Yet, consider another situation.
Suppose you live in Illinois. This would be a good state for solar panels––yet, during the fall and winter, property owners might struggle to maintain their energy levels. Matters change when it comes to wind power. The state has more than 2,800 wind turbines, making it one of the best states for this energy source.
Some Counties Will Not Approve Wind Turbines
Property owners can’t just build wind turbines on their land without asking their counties first. That’s because while wind turbines are great resources of energy, they make a lot of noise.
General Electric notes that a wind turbine produces 43 decibels. That’s about as much as an air conditioner or refrigerator. Yet, considering how large these turbines can be, it can bother the neighbors.
General Electric also notes that, in many states, you cannot have a wind turbine within 300 meters of your home. If your property is not that big, the county may deny your application to install a turbine.
Wind Turbines Can Endanger Animals
This challenge doesn’t really apply to homeowners. However, it does for those who manage farmland. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that wind turbines pose a significant risk to some animals, especially birds.
A farmer who raises free-range livestock should think twice about whether this energy source could pose a threat to their animals’ safety.
A Final Word
Whether wind energy is expensive depends on your circumstances, including where you live. If you live in an ideal location, wind energy could prove its value over time. If you don’t, however, you should consider other sources of renewable energy.