Our favorite passage in this story has to be: "As well as being noisy and unsightly, they barely produce enough electricity to power a hairdryer in many houses". Lets take these one at a time.
"Noisy." Compared to what? Lawnmowers? Street traffic? Airliners overhead? Give us some decibel numbers.
"Unsightly." That's a value judgement. Compared to what? The homes they are on? Yard ornaments? Their dogs?
"barely produce enough electricity to power a hairdryer." Yes: people are going to buy a wind turbine to blast a hair dryer all day long!
This writer just looked at the wattage on a newly purchased Revlon brand hairdryer: Rating was 1985W. That's roughly equivalent to twenty, 100-W incandescant bulbs...surely more than a whole residence-worth of what's actually lit at any one time... or to over one hundred forty (14W-rated, 60W incandescant equivalent) compact flourescent bulbs.
Picking a number out of the air for the sake of discussion, let's say the average home turbine, so pictured, runs at 20% of rated output, due to wind variability and whatever. That's still enough juice to power over twenty bright CFL bulbs. We wouldn't want that now, would we? Especially if the UK grid has been prounouced under-powered and getting worse, increasing the likelihood of future brownouts.
Some prospective benefits seem to have been overlooked in the story. Citizens could donate their Pounds Stirling to a climate lobby, or, better still, invest the same in a properly installed home turbine, to more immediate practical effect, while providing a transparent polling of concerns. A tally of a district's all-in-a-row turbines, as in the photo, would be a good way to for a local politician to figure out what the body politic really feels about climate change and energy security. Quite a savings on political consulting fees could result.
And then there's the prospective carbon credits issue to resolve. Do the savings go to the home owner or the utility?