In the past there have been  great debates from many different people of ranging viewpoints regarding the efficiency, cost and renewability of wind energy. The general consensus now, is that wind-generated power has the potential to make a massive contribution to varying renewable energies across the planet. The main issues that still arise, appear to be where the turbines are to be located. This can be a big concern for many communities.

Could the Wind Tree be hidden in plain sight amongst a natural wooded area?

When wind turbines farm is unable be built off-shore,  the next logical step of constructing them some places on land seems like the best solution. But this still causes issues with ruining the scenery of the landscape and turbines notoriously take up lots of space and they generate an amount of noise too.

So where do we go from here? France’s NewWind may have the answer. The company has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines that are meant to run silently within cities, at ground level!

The Wind Tree, as they are known, are NewWind’s clever turbine that measure 36 feet (11 meters) tall and around 26 feet (8 meters) in diameter, and feature 72 artificial leaves. Each leaf is actually a small turbine that rotates while in a vertical position. Due to their light weight material, they can spin enough to generate power with as little as 4.4 mph (2 meters/second) of wind; that is nothing more than a mild breeze.

The firm behind the design and construction says the 72 turbines on a single tree can generate 3.1kW of power, which may not seem like much in comparison to the huge turbines most often seen, but again because of their low mass, the leaves are expected to spin approximately 280 days in the average year. On the other hand however, large turbines spin with less frequency due to how much wind is required.