Re: public opinion haters of windmills: Part of a posting I recently made in the "Active Pitch Control" thread seems apropos here:
Any windmills at all are "controversial". "Oh NO! They KILL THE POOR BIRDIES!" Note that this meme started showing up right after a plan was announced to build offshore windmills that would have been visible from the Kennedy compound on Martha's Vinyard. All of a sudden windmills went from earth-saving carbon-replacing green tech to sky-mowers cutting down migrating flocks and hunting raptors.
In fact windmills don't have any substantial impact on animal populations - especially as compared to a lot of other human activity that's not about to stop. And small mills have the blades come by often enough that the animals generally notice them and stay away when they're moving fast enough to be a hazard.
Windmills have several ways to annoy people that leads to some not-in-my-back-yard effects, leading to attempts to zone them away. They are sky-graffiti to people who liked the view without them. Their moving shadows in sunlight can cause flicker that is a problem for people with vertigo or epilepsy, or just be annoying. The vortices shed by a slowly turning mill can cause infrasound, which at some frequencies acts directly on the body's physiology to produce anxiety. A poorly constructed or installed mill can tip over or throw pieces at dangerous speeds. Most of these things can be mitigated or eliminated by good design, some don't apply to small mills or sufficiently rural sites.
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Regarding current recommendations for installing windmills vs. other forms of renewable energy:
Ten or so years ago, especially just after the introduction of rare-earth magnets, homemade windmills were comparable in price to solar panels, and both were practical power supplies, even competitive with grid power in some remote locations on good sites. Practical wind generators could be constructed, erected, and maintained by a reasonably healthy and handy person. Wind and solar were comparable in price performance (perhaps wind somwhat ahead) and the two complemented each other nicely - with solar providing good output in clear weather and daytime, windmills in stormy weather and around the clock - but with many sites having especially good wind in the midafternoon to early evening.
Now we've had another decade of progress. Solar photovoltaic is semiconductor based, and has been benefitting from both its own form of Moore's Law and economies of scale. This has improved the price-performance ratio drastically - to the point that it is becoming competitive with grid power even in urban settings and without government subsidies. (Ten years of Moore's Law is a LOT of improvement.) Battery storage has also had substantial breakthroughs which are just being deployed, and is achieving economy of scale also, driven by the electric vehicle developments. Improved batteries help both photovoltaic and wind, but photovoltaic benefits more. Windmills, on the other hand, are electromechanical machines of forms that were well developed a century ago. Since the introduction of neo magnets they have had only modest improvements - and most of those have been concentrated in the large, commercial windfarm, mills, where large engineering and construction costs can achieve payback. Small, homebrew, windmills have improved little since the introduction of neos.
So these days photovoltaic tends to be the best place to put your initial effort at renewable energy generation - at least if you have a good site for solar. Wind still complements solar, especially in bad weather, so you may find it practical to add it later. Or if your site is sun-poor, wind-rich, and rural enough that NIMBY isn't a significant issue, perhaps wind still will make sense as your first step. (And if you have running water you can tap it might beat the pants off either of them.)