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Alistair McConnachie published Sovereignty from July 1999 to its 120th consecutive monthly issue in June 2009, and he continues to maintain this website.
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Good news : a wind-powered generator of electricity which does not destroy either the landscape and environment -- unlike the obtrusive, highly subsidised and (in terms of national dependence) dangerously inefficient windfarms or skyscraper windmills presently being imposed throughout country areas of Britain by certain of "our" ideologically obsessed and big-corporate orientated rulers in Brussels, Edinburgh and Westminster. Compactly sized, the new device (according to the report below, now shielded -- presumably so as not to cause unpleasantly distractive flicker or hurt wild birds) would appear, even this early in its development, to offer a practical application of the principles of localisation.
John Vidal
Environment Editor
Mini-Turbine brings
'Green Power for All'
The Guardian
24 November 2003

company claims its domestic wind unit can provide
15% of average household's electricity needs

The winds of change will blow a little stronger this morning when a small Scottish company launches Britain's first wind power system designed to be fitted on almost any roof or wall to supplement electricity from the grid.

Just two days after Britain's biggest offshore wind farm started generating electricity off the north Wales coast, the designers of the tiny domestic unit believe they can provide up to 15% of the annual electricity needs of an average house for a one-off cost of £750 -- bringing green electricity into the price range of most families.

The machine, a 3ft by 2ft sealed box with three blades which face into the prevailing wind, is backed by the energy minister, Brian Wilson, who is a paid consultant for Windsave, the company behind it.

Unlike old-style domestic wind generators, which needed a lot of land, sat on top of poles and drove pumps and a few bulbs for farmers and backwoodsmen, the machine does not need batteries to store the electricity. Instead, it tops up the existing mains supply.

Unlike bigger systems, it cannot sell excess power back into the grid. But the company believes it has cracked the holy grail of renewable energy -- getting government subsidies and making the machines silent.

In theory, there are handouts both for installation and for "Rocs" -- renewable obligation charges -- which currently pay green electricity providers about 6p per kilowatt-hour generated.

The system, says the Scottish inventor David Gordon, who has pumped  1m into the idea, can generate up to 750 watts -- enough to power lights but not high-energy items such as kettles or heaters.

"Nobody has been able to take raw wind power and put it straight into the domestic electrical system at 240 volts," he said. "We will be able to bring green energy to the masses."

Mr Wilson, who has declared his interest in the company on the House of Commons register and has no financial share in it, was enthusiastic. "I have looked at it upside down and sideways for a catch and I don't think there is one. The amazing thing is its affordability.

"It will be a few hundred quid, you do your bit for the environment, and you get a cheque back once a year. What more can you want? It's been though all the standard checks and everyone who's seen it is of the same opinion."

Mr Gordon admits that his invention is not as technically efficient as turbines sited on high poles to collect the optimum wind, but says that it is the annual supplementing of household electricity which makes it suitable for buildings. The machine starts working at a wind speed of 3mph and is said to be most efficient in a 20mph breeze -- common for much of the year across large parts of Britain.

Using the remote metering technology which made Mr Gordon's fortune after he sold his company to BT, each unit installed will be automatically phoned every quarter to see how much electricity it has generated.

The company will then collect the subsidy from the government and distribute it back to owners according to how much they have generated. "We believe the payback period could be as little as 30 months," said Mr Gordon.

The British Wind Energy Association, which represents large-scale windpower generators, professed itself amazed at the development. "If it works, it's fantastic," said spokeswoman Alison Hill.

Yesterday it was provisionally backed by Country Guardian, the lobby group which has opposed almost every planning application submitted for windpower development in Britain in the past decade.

"I think they are a good idea. I don't think they'll look very beautiful, but we always feel that it's the people in cities who use the power and that we in the country have to pay the price," said Ann Evans, a vice-president.

Local planners may be divided about whether the innovations need planning permission. Technically, they do not, says Mr Gordon, if they are sited below the highest point of houses. But many local authorities and heritage groups objected strongly at first to satellite dishes, and may not want to see large boxes with spinning blades put up.

The machines are to be made outside Edinburgh. Local authorities, government offices and light industry will be targeted first, followed by householders in about three months.

James Reynolds
Environment Correspondent
Domestic Wind Generators Ready to Power Homes The Scotsman
25 November 2003

Television aerials and satellite dishes were facing some new roof-top competition yesterday -- with the launch of the world's first domestic wind generator.

The revolutionary system, which is designed and built by a Scottish company, could save consumers up to 15 per cent of energy costs every year for a single payment of £750.

Windsave's micro wind-generator is the first to bring clean, green renewable electricity within the grasp of most families, and can be plugged directly into the mains.

The system, a 3ft by 2ft sealed unit with three blades, can operate in wind speeds as low as three miles-per-hour and requires no batteries to store the electricity.

Brian Wilson, the former UK energy minister, launched the "Plug & Save" generator together with Allan Wilson MSP, the deputy environment minister, at Glasgow's Hilton Hotel yesterday, and said the system could become an essential part of the mix of green renewable energy for the UK by 2010.

Although the roof-mounted unit will not enable consumers to sell back electricity into the national grid, the company maintain that government subsidies will mean the unit will pay for itself in as little as three years.

Money is available both to help meet the installation costs and also in the form of "Rocs" -- renewable obligation charges -- which would pay any household using the invention about 6p per kilowatt hour generated.

David Gordon, the inventor of the system who put £1 million of his own money into the venture, said: "Using remote metering technology, every unit will be automatically phoned every quarter to check what green energy has been produced and then claim the Rocs on behalf of the consumer, enabling us to reward them with an annual 'green dividend' cheque of around  120 per unit.

"We have been working on this for the past two years to get it exactly right. We are now ready for what we believe is a huge market."

Each unit can generate 750 watts -- enough to power lights, but not energy-hungry appliances such as kettles or heaters.

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