What? A Spanish developer hopes to bring a bladeless wind turbine to market by 2018. The company expects its turbines to take less space (four to six turbines can fit in the space of one conventional turbine), cause less harm to birds, and make virtually no noise (as it has no moving parts in contact with one another). They can also "...generate electricity for 40 percent less than the cost of power from conventional turbines." They are already being well received by groups who have concerns with conventional wind turbine farms in rural areas.
So what? The idea of social license is more often associated with fossil fuel production, but it is also important for renewable energy projects. These wind turbines could make large-scale wind farms more palatable and could speed up the adoption of renewable energy as well as distributed energy. It may make it possible for individual homes – even urban homes – to have their own wind power generator, much like solar panels on a roof.
- The Guardian - Can bladeless wind turbines mute opposition?
- MIT Technology Review - Bladeless Wind Turbines May Offer More Form Than Function