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The size dependence seems backwards: small scale solar is eminently practical with only tiny losses in efficiency, whereas small scale wind is mostly worthless (due to relative mass compared to power).
by njh on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 01:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The very-small-scale wind bonus sounds like they want to encourage the rollout of vertical spinners and such, in urban settings... as far as I know, pretty worthless in terms of energy, but perhaps for psychological impact?

It's as if they slipped a decimal place. What is being done elsewhere (notably in the UK, Lithuania, Bulgaria?) is incentivising wind installations of less than 500kw, which are not too inefficient, and have fairly low visual and acoustic impact. These are being rolled out (for example in in Northern Ireland), and might be a good fit for Japanese topology, as they don't require major engineering works for difficult mountainous sites.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 03:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Residential microwind is also the one kind of wind that is the most likely to have a noise impact. I wonder who could sell the idea to the Japanese government.

I wonder about the sub-500-kW units: that's not something new, that's where the average turbine was in 1997 or thereabouts. The way I understand it, the trend for the bigger the better was footed in two main reasons: the rise in hub height (stronger and less turbulent and more stable winds higher up) and less impact (visual and road and cable ditch). So sub-500-kW units would appear useful as niche fillers: off-grid supply for a consumer with low demand, sites hemmed in relatively closely by residential areas, and the mountainous sites you mention.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 07:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where the average turbine was in 1997 or thereabouts

Having checked the then biggest markets: the least year when newly installed turbines averaged below 500 kW was 1995 in Germany and the USA, 1996 in Denmark.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 01:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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