Picking a Green Power System

Picking between the more common forms of green power system to install can be a somewhat daunting process. There are a set of factors to consider. First, what kind of property do you live in? If you have no yard space, there are still options in passive solar, but you are not likely to be able to install other forms of generators (although installation on the roof may be possible if you have access). Second, it’s important to consider what resources are available where you live. This is easier, but should take some evaluation.

Your Property

Putting in a green power system tends to take up a lot of space. The most efficient wind turbine installation involves yard space. Micro-hydro systems require a piece of land with running water. Even solar panels are more easily installed on the ground. Nevertheless, there are options. First, do you have access to the roof? If so, it is a worthwhile location on which to build green power generators. If you do not, you can still install passive solar systems, such as green windows and passive solar window boxes. Evaluate the design of your property and decide from there what kind of system you need.

Where you Live

A second key consideration is simply where you live. Some areas lend themselves to solar power due to large amounts of sunshine. This is great if you live in in the Southwestern US. On the other hand, if you live in a cloudier climate, you may want to look to wind systems. In truth, where there is less sun, there tends to be more wind. It is also worth noting that you need not live in the perfect climate in order to install green power. Solar panels may function better in Phoenix than Chicago, but they will still get sun in Chicago.


Power systems that rely on nature are never full proof. In truth, this has probably been the largest roadblock in the implementation of green power around the world. You know the coal plant will always work- not so with a wind turbine. Thus, at home, you need a backup plan. Most people will choose one of two options. Either, you tie the whole system into an existing electrical grid or you have a backup battery bank. Although it seems sort of pie-in-the-sky, the latter system can be as reliable as the former. Regardless, before installing a green power system, consider what option you will use to prevent yourself from being without power entirely.


Although green power ultimately saves money, how much you can spare to build the system in the first place. If you are on a very limited budget, consider buying an online guidebook. Many of these books teach you how to create your own system for as little as $200 or less. If you have more to spare, you can consider buying new systems or even having one installed.

While that initial investment may be high, in the long-run, green power is a money saver. Most government offer tax incentives to those who build green power. In some cases, there are grants available- either locally or from your national government. Utility companies will often do this. Either way, in the US and Canada, you can claim a tax break based on having an “energy efficient property” every year- saving you a lot of money for many years to come. And this is without considering the money saved every month by cutting out power bills. A well-designed system will prevent you from ever paying for power again- and you may even find yourself making money by selling your electricity back to the power company.

Perhaps the most important result of this, however, is not financial. All that money you save is a great incentive. But for many, the greater incentive will that creating your own power constributes to saving the climate on a much larger scale.

Good luck building!


Damon Westchester is the editor of build-green-power.com.

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