Buildings Guide

Building Integrated Power Generation  »  Building mounted/integrated and Urban Wind Turbines (BUWT)


Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (n/ZEB) or Plus Energy Buildings (PEB) can only be realised by integrating building with renewable energy systems. Building mounted/integrated and Urban Wind Turbines (BUWT) have a nominal rated capacity of 0.5-100 kW and designed to operate at wind speeds as low as 2.5 m/s, which suits the unstable, and low wind speed pockets in urban areas. As per Wwindea (2014) the globally installed small wind capacity has reached more than 678 MW as of the end of 2012 of which China stands first with 39 %, followed by the USA for 31 % of this capacity and then the UK with 9.4%. It is to be noted that in 2012 new BUWTs of capacity of more than 102 MW have been added to global market accounting for about 18.4 % of cumulative market increase compared to 2011 (Wwindea.org, 2013). The installed cost per BUWT has a wide range depending on the capacity, make and the country from as low as €1,500/kW in China to up to €9,120/kW in Europe. Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) from wind turbines ranges from €cent6.9 in India and China to up to €cent17.4 in parts of Europe.


Definition of BUWTs is not explicitly available and is often combined with data on small and medium scale wind turbines, which are both building mountable and freestanding systems in inhabited urban or rural areas. Capacity of the turbine is a determining factor for the segregation. China, USA and UK continue to be the biggest markets covering 70 % of the world market and with total cumulative installed capacity of small and medium scale wind turbines at 214 MW, 216 MW and 87.3 MW respectively at the end of 2012 (Wwindea.org, 2013).


Renewable systems like wind turbines are economical where energy prices are as high as Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LOCE) or where there is no reliable supply of electricity. Policies like financial incentives for buildings with solar PV installation e.g. by California Energy Commission (Gosolarcalifornia.org, 2015), definitive feed in tariffs for all grid connected systems etc. act as agents of transformation and encourages building integrated renewables for power generation.

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