Germany’s RWE Innogy is hoping to take micro wind power technology to the masses through a EUR7.5 million investment in a UK firm.

The renewable energy arm of RWE, one of Europe’s largest utilities, believes that localised renewable energy supplies such as micro wind and rooftop photovoltaic systems will become increasingly important, and has taken a minority shareholding in London-based Quiet Revolution.

“The purpose of our involvement is to take this promising technology towards mass production, so that it will become commercially usable,” says Crispin Leick, head of RWE Innogy’s Ventures Division.

Quiet Revolution has so far installed 30 micro wind turbine units in the UK, and has a further 45 units sold and at the manufacturing stage. Its flagship product – the QR5 – is a 6 kW vertical axis turbine that can be installed on buildings, as stand-alone units or in clusters.

“The local supply of electric power to individual buildings from renewable energy will become increasingly significant,” said Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chief Executive Officer at RWE Innogy. “Small wind power units on roofs can make a major contribution … especially in places with insufficient sunshine [where] photovoltaics would not be efficient enough.”

The triple-helix-shaped wind turbines are five m high and just over three m wide. The turbines are vertical in orientation and generate electric power by turning around their own axis.

The investment in Quiet Revolution is part of RWE Innogy’s EUR50 million/year venture capital activities, through which it aims to help bring innovative new technologies to market.