Windmills, once a token of traditional life and technology, may once again find their way into the heart of cities in Europe. Authorities in Paris are contemplating the introduction of small to medium sized wind turbines to Paris rooftops, in areas where wind conditions are favorable. These would be machines with about 30 meters rotor diameter, and would be used to generate clean electricity.
One of these locations is the Montmartre, a place known as one of the most attractive locations for tourists in Paris, home to the famous Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and the Moulin Rouge (ironically a windmill itself and a token of the afore mentioned tradition). City officials claim this will not be that big of a deal, as other cities in Europe, such as London, have already installed wind turbines on the outskirts of the city, with a plan to build a huge wind turbine right smack in the middle of London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
If the turbines are installed in Paris, the electricity they produce will be sold to the state-owned power utility EDF, or simply directly used in the building on top of which they are installed. The first tests have been scheduled for 2011 or 2012.
Whether this is the right way to go is arguable, since there is defintely going to be an impact on the overall romantic Paris feel. Once you hear the swooshing sound of rotating turbine blades early in the morning as you open the room window to greet the sun bouncing its way towards you across the colorful rooftops, your morning may be somewhat disturbed. Maybe solar would also be a good way to go, especially if the electricity would be used by the local residents. Nevertheless, clean energy has a price, and it's not all about money. Whether it's a high price to pay, is something people have to think about on an individual level. What do you think? Would you find this acceptable in your area? Please, do share your opinion in the comments.