Small-scale wind energy systems are receiving increasing interest in the UK as one of a number of microgeneration technologies with potential to reduce carbon emissions.

Recent years have seen new turbine products being brought forward and made available on the market, supported by grant schemes such as the BERR ‘Low Carbon Buildings Programme’.

However, the overall potential of small-scale wind energy to reduce carbon emissions, and the conditions under which maximum carbon reductions can be made, have not been made entirely clear. Recognising this, the Carbon Trust commissioned research by the Met Office and Entec to determine both the overall UK carbon prize associated with small-scale wind energy and how small wind turbines can best be sited to save most carbon.

This report, prepared with the assistance of Arup, draws conclusions from the study, indicating that for the UK as a whole, the majority of electricity and carbon savings are available from small turbines in rural areas - four times as much as urban areas irrespective of costs, and considerably more given economic drivers.