Founder of inline board sport and boards company Dirtsurfer International Graeme Attey has been awarded $34,000 by the State Government to commercialise a modular wind turbine system, Premier Alan Carpenter announced today.

The State government allocated a total of $62,000 today to be spent on the research and commercialisation of small wind turbines, which are anticipated to sit on rooftops and generate power for homes.

The technology is expected to be small, quiet and relatively cheap with no visible rotating blades.

Murdoch University's Jonathan Whale was awarded the remaining $28,000 to obtain data on the best practice placement of rooftop wind systems.



The full text of an announcement from the Premier's office is pasted below

Perth householders could soon be using the "Fremantle Doctor" to save energy and cut electricity bills.

Premier and Minister for Science and Innovation, Alan Carpenter today announced State Government funding for two projects that could lead the way to electricity being generated from small wind turbines on suburban roofs.

Mr Carpenter said $34,000 would be provided to local inventor Graeme Attey, who has developed a modular wind turbine system that sits neatly on a roof to generate power for a home.

The funding, from the Government's Sustainable Energy Development Office (SEDO) Grants program, will help Mr Attey develop the system for commercialisation.

"Mr Attey's design has considerable advantages over other residential systems that are being developed in other parts of the world," Mr Carpenter said.

"There are no visible rotating blades; it is quiet; it is not an eyesore; it should be relatively cheap and can operate in variable urban winds.

"And the system is modular, so you can produce as much energy as you want by simply connecting units together. I am told that five units could produce enough electricity to run an average household."

Mr Carpenter said another $28,000 had been awarded to Dr Jonathan Whale from Murdoch University to obtain data on the best practice placement of rooftop wind systems.

The Premier said wind sensors would be installed on the roofs of buildings owned by the City of Melville and monitoring and computer simulation studies would be carried out.

The findings would ensure rooftop systems were as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

"It would be a fantastic outcome if these projects helped to create the technology and the environment that allowed householders to use the wind to generate their own electricity," Mr Carpenter said.

"It would save money for householders in reduced electricity costs and save the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

The State Government is aiming to reduce Western Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent of 2000 levels by the year 2050.

Mr Carpenter said WA was a world leader in the development of innovative, renewable energy solutions. Other technologies developed in the State include:

- the wind-diesel technology installed by Verve Energy in remote areas of WA including Hopetoun, Coral Bay and Rottnest Island and now being considered for other parts of Australia and the world;
- Verve Energy's integrated wood processing project that uses mallee trees grown on farms to produce electricity, activated carbon and eucalyptus oil; and
- new wave-energy technology invented and designed in WA to produce 'green' electricity and fresh water.

"The Government's new $36.5million Low Emissions Energy Development Fund will also support the development of technologies like these which cut greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Carpenter said.

Energy Minister Francis Logan said more than $250,000 would be distributed under SEDO's grants program to new projects as part of the State Government's commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Mr Logan said each project had been judged to promote sustainable energy practices, benefit the broader community and assist the development of the local sustainable energy industry.

"The Carpenter Government supports community initiatives that reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions," Mr Logan said.

"These are important issues and by funding community-based projects, as well as research and development initiatives, we are investing in a sustainable energy future."

Other funded projects include:

- Goolarri Media: $15,700 to undertake a television and radio campaign in the Broome area to inform people of easy ways to make their lifestyle more sustainable and reduce the impact of climate change;
- City of Stirling: $50,000 to install energy efficient light globes in about 1,500 local households by trained volunteers. The volunteers will also distribute educational materials to participating households;
- City of South Perth: $25,000 to provide energy audits for 150 local households to promote energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction behaviour. Participating households will receive energy efficient light globes, AAA water saving shower devices and educational materials as part of the audit; and
- Australian Sustainable Developments: $50,000 to undertake a feasibility study on waste heat capture and steam cycle cogeneration at four compressor stations along the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas pipeline.