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Backyard Wind Turbines Boost

Scientists have been working on a way to enable people to produce hydrogen with wind turbine and tanks in their own backyard.

Scientists in Germany at the Fraunhofer Institute and the BTU Cottbus have been busy developing ways in which a home could produce its own supply of green hydrogen using a wind turbine and tank to fulfill its energy needs.

Currently statistics show that private households are responsible for the use of 25 percent of all the energy consumed, with approximately half of this energy generated from fossil fuels such gas or oil. This mean that at the moment renewable sources of energy only play a small – despite ongoing climate change.

Holger Seidlitz Professor fro the Fraunhofer Institute said “Here, hydrogen obtained from renewable energy sources will be much more suitable as an energy carrier in the future. The wind turbine will be designed to be so small that even private individuals can put one in their backyard,” Seidlitz emphasizes. “The hydrogen will then be produced on-site in a small electrolyzer and stored in a tank.” This hydrogen can then be used to produce heat and electricity in the home by means of a fuel cell. In addition, anyone who owns a hydrogen car could refuel at home. Seidlitz believes the biggest advantage of the system is that it is small and at the same time very efficient.”

Across the Atlantic similar plans are gaining traction with wind power will likely play a key role in the transition to a zero-emission economy—especially if we can start to distribute it more widely and harness its benefits on a building-by-building basis. In the end your own small wind turbine next to your home may well become the next way to keep up with the Joneses.

The argument is that small stand-alone wind systems make sense for a larger residence or for a commercial entity like a farm or small factory or warehouse but might not for smaller residence. Turbines that can share the electricity generated among a group of homes or buildings as needed tend to be much more energy- and cost-efficient. And extra capacity in a wind system can be sold to the utilities via so-called Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which can help offset the up-front costs of installing turbines in the first place.

For individual small residences the German scientist might well have come up with the best solution to being able to produce enough energy and meet environmental needs.