Researchers have claimed that wind turbines on the sides of houses often cause more pollution than they prevent.
According to the Daily Mail, government advisers believe the environmental cost of making, transporting and installing domestic turbines usually outweighs their benefits in built-up areas.
AdvertisementThey say that wind speeds in towns and cities are simply too low to produce enough energy to justify their installation.
It is the latest finding to show how apparently "green" lifestyles can be less environmentally friendly than they seem.
The latest finding comes from the Building Research Establishment Trust, which advises the Government and the private sector on energy efficiency.
It took data from three sites in Manchester, Portsmouth and Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, to work out how three popular models of domestic turbines would perform.
Researchers compared the green energy they produced with the conventional energy used in their manufacture, distribution and maintenance.
The amount of electricity generated varied hugely - and was far lower in cities and towns, the study found.
In Manchester, two-thirds of the 96 locations studied were not windy enough to recoup the energy used in making the turbines.
A third of the sites in Portsmouth were also unsuitable for a wind turbine.
A typical micro-turbine on a pitched roof in a big city would generate less than 150 kilowatt hours of electricity a year - only two per cent of a typical house's consumption, the study found.
In a windy spot such as Wick in northern Scotland, it would create around 3,000 kWh a year.
The amount of carbon dioxide created in order to make and install a turbine varies from 180kg - the equivalent of a 45-mile car journey - to 1,444kg, the same as taking a return flight to New York.
The study looked only at domestic turbines - the sort that are fixed to chimney stacks or the sides of homes - and not large commercial wind farms.
A typical turbine can cost thousands of pounds to install and connect to the national grid. Planning permission can cost another 200 pounds.
The Government gives grants of up to 50 per cent of the costs, as long as householders have also carried out basic energy efficiency improvements.
The British Wind Energy Association said the only way to check a home's suitability for a turbine was to measure wind speeds and directions for several months at the site.
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