How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Installing a Small Wind Turbine


Installing a small wind turbine on your property is one of the most impactful steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Small wind turbines allow you to generate your own renewable electricity, reducing your reliance on fossil fuel-generated power from the grid. In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide on determining if a small wind turbine is right for you, choosing the best turbine, and installing and maintaining a wind turbine system.

What is a Small Wind Turbine?

A small wind turbine is a turbine with a rated capacity below 100 kilowatts that converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical energy. Small wind turbines can be divided into two main categories:

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines

Horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) have blades that spin around a horizontal shaft. Most commercial wind farms use HAWTs due to their high efficiency. However, their height makes them less suitable for residential use.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) have blades that spin around a vertical shaft. VAWTs tend to be shorter and more compact than HAWTs, making them better suited for urban and residential settings. Common VAWT designs include Darrieus turbines and Savonius turbines.

Benefits of Installing a Small Wind Turbine

Installing a small wind turbine can provide the following benefits:

Determining if a Wind Turbine is Right for You

There are several key factors to consider when determining if a wind turbine is right for your location:

Sufficient Wind Resource

Adequate Lot Size and Clearances

Zoning and Permitting

Grid Interconnection

Choosing the Best Wind Turbine

Here are key factors to consider when selecting the right wind turbine model:

Rated Power Output

Design Type

Safety Certification

Noise Output


Permitting and Installation Process

Proper permitting and installation are key to a safe, durable, and optimally performing wind turbine system. Here are the main steps:

Obtain Permits

Site Preparation

Turbine and Tower Delivery

Professional Installation

Local Utility Inspection

Operation and Maintenance

Routine maintenance is essential for maximizing turbine performance and lifetime. Follow these wind turbine care best practices:


Installing a small wind turbine is an excellent way to lower your carbon footprint by generating clean, renewable electricity. Small wind turbines are a proven technology capable of providing years of reliable power production. If you have the available wind resource and adequate siting area, a residential wind turbine can greatly reduce your environmental impact and energy costs for decades to come. Just be sure to research models thoroughly and hire certified installers and electricians. With proper siting, installation and maintenance, a small wind turbine can be a wise long-term investment in your property's energy future.