ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Urban Wind Energy

Updated on April 2, 2011

Urban Wind

Life off the grid, no longer dependent upon the power company to supply you with the juice you need to turn on the lights and so many other items.

Fifty years ago this was a dream that many followed; a dream that has been recently reborn. However, not everyone can leave the city, and not everyone wants to; in fact over the past decade people have been moving into town, in record numbers.

Fortunately, it is still possible to follow the dream of getting off the grid and remaining in town. The journey to be completely off grid may be a gradual one phased in over several years or you may stay partly connected.

There have been a number of advancements in renewable energy over the past ten years. About six years ago I was a member of a wind energy cooperative; our focus was on the big turbines and getting installed in our area. The turbines would be owned by the cooperative.

It was during this period that I was introduced to the idea of community energy. Basically individuals would generate their own energy and not be tied into the grid or at the mercy of a large corporation to get their juice.

My focus has changed from the big machine to small machines that could fit into an urban centre. The interest in community energy and getting off the grid while living in the city remains strong.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs), spin around a vertical axis instead of the traditional horizontal axis. VAWTs are omni-directional which means they can instantaneously accept wind from any direction

Manufacturers and supporters claim VAWTs have the following advantages, they:

 can be mounted directly on a rooftop, doing away with the tower and associated guy lines

 spin at slower speeds than horizontal turbines, decreasing the risk of injuring birds and also decreasing noise levels

 start producing power at slower wind speeds than horizontal turbines

The two most frequent objections to VAWTs in the urban setting are in reference to roof mounted turbines. People express their concerns about vibrations and the impact this would have on the structure. If you are planning to invest in a roof top model VAWT be sure to investigate this.

The second concern applies to wind turbines in general and that is the issue of noise, while manufacturers and supporters all say the machines being sold today are quiet, what is quiet to one person is not quiet to another. Again check this out before installing.

If the claims in favour of the VAWT are supportable then these turbines may well be ideal for urban energy use and could play an important role in the development of a community energy system.

Now is the time to take renewable energy seriously, hopefully it is not too late.


courtesy flickr/libbydorazione
courtesy flickr/libbydorazione


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    "Community responses would be more favorable if everyone agreed that this needs to be done, not just thought about" This is indeed the first hurdle getting everyone to agree and then act.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I do not like to quote prices as they can vary from location to location and system to system.

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


    8 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    A hub the entire USA should read. This is a challenge due to the rise in power costs. Ghost32 here in hub pages has effectively taken himself entirely off the grid and has written many hubs about how to do it.

    Community responses would be more favorable if everyone agreed that this needs to be done, not just thought about

    Wonderful hub!!

  • James L profile image

    James L 

    8 years ago from Canada

    There are a few people near where I live that have had the really big traditional windmills installed on their property and it is a very expensive process but also generates enough electricity to make it worth while. Do you know what the cost of a VAWT installation would be?

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Solar is a good system, however, the source for local power needs to be based upon what works best in that community for some wind is better. Having said that a combination of both solar and wind is likely best.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    To my non-existing knowledge of anything like that is why don't they use the solar panels? To me it is the best but as I said I have no idea. One thing they have less an impact on the surrounding as these windmills and I am sure they produce the same energie as these windmill. They should fit every house with it and most it would just as cheap if not cheaper.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    That is the first step.

  • rpalulis profile image


    8 years ago from NY

    I want to be off the grid.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Dobson, you are welcome, both Canada and The USA need to do much more when I come to renewable energy.

  • Dobson profile image


    8 years ago from Virginia

    I have quite an interest in this Bob. I saw a NOVA article on PBS talking about the commitment the German government has made to renewable energy and wish the USA would do something similar.

    Thanks for sharing this information about VAWT.

  • msorensson profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks, Bob. All you need is a small group to start with. Best wishes on the project.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    A small group of us are taking a serious look at a VAWT project and talking with a few others. I have read a bit about methane and energy production, thanks for commenting.

  • msorensson profile image


    8 years ago

    I agree with you...we need to reexamine them..the renewable energy sources.

    Have you ever implemented any of it in your community? I am just curious.

    Some people in Oregon have already been using fermentation technology for generating methane from farm wastes.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)