Company: Southwest Windpower
Source: USA Today
A growing number of people are investing in small electricity generating wind turbines for residential use, despite the bad economy, and backers of wind power say they expect advances in technology and manufacturing to make them even more popular.
Nearly 10,000 units were sold nationally in 2009, the latest available data, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In 2001, only 2,100 units were sold.
Advocates of small wind turbines say they can be an important source of clean energy in windy parts of the country. Key hurdles to widespread use rest with local governments, their zoning ordinances and public acceptance.
“Zoning and permitting is a big issue in small wind,” says Larry Flowers, the deputy director for distributed and community wind for the American Wind Energy Association.
“There’s progress being made in some places and struggles in others,” he says.