Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wind wind scenario

I was intrigued by French designer Philippe Starck’s unveiling of the personal windmill earlier this year. Details and technical specifics are pretty sparse as of now but they’re set to go onto the consumer market as early as this September.

The design is unquestionably elegant, but again many people are wondering how exactly it works. The price tag is around $600 and is touted to provide as much as 60% of the energy needed in a typical household. At this point, anything that promotes green energy and frees consumers from overloaded electric companies is welcomed.

I wonder if it’s size will allow it to be applicable to urban dwellers or if it’ll require some serious yard/roof space to dedicate to this device. I would think that it has to be a progression from the giant wind farms consisting of fields of towering windmills. NPR produced an interesting story on the farms and their affects on the local population. I particularly sympathized with the elderly man proclaiming that he can’t sleep anymore due to the noise produced by the spinning blades of the 20 story tall structures.

Even if Starck’s machine fails to make an urban impact, NPR also reports on Chicago’s attempt to place wind turbines on top of its skyscrapers as a space-conserving solution to increasing power consumption issues.

I’m thankful that green energy has become a larger priority over the years. It certainly feels as if we’re working against the clock now.

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